Crash Course: Little Known History – “Nuns With Guns”

Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. The Vatican Women’s Rifle Team – making a habit out of lock ‘n’ load.

If there are singing nuns, it would appear that there were also “shooting nuns” who formed the Vatican Women’s Rifle Team. However, the “nuns with guns” were reportedly disbanded in February 1938 perhaps because Pope Pius XI didn’t think the existence of the rifle team would advance the pious image of the Catholic Church.

In any case, one of the nuns known as Sister Juliette (extreme right in the photo) must have chucked her habit for military togs because she reportedly joined the French resistance in 1942 and distinguished herself as a sharpshooter.

According to some reports, the sister was good with covert operations and was responsible for the assassination of several Nazi officials. The French government was said to have awarded her the Médaille Militaire in 1946, after which she tried her hand in politics. She didn’t have a lot of luck however, and so re-entered the convent sometime in 1949.