Benedict XVI Now 7th Oldest Pope in History

ROME, JULY 22, 2010 ( On Monday, Benedict XVI became the seventh oldest pope in history, considering only those popes who reigned since the year 1400 when records became more reliable.

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Blogger and author Anura Guruge reported this milestone at his site Popes and the Papacy.

There, he includes a chart showing the 83-year-old Benedict in the No. 7 slot, having overtaken Gregory XIII, Paul IV and Benedict XIV, who all died at age 83, but closer to their 83rd birthdays then Benedict XVI now is. On Monday, the Holy Father was 30,410 days old.

Pope John Paul II, who died just over a month before his 85th birthday, is in the No. 6 spot, having lived 31,000 days.

The record for the oldest pope in history, Guruge reports, is held by Pope Leo XIII, who died at age 93, reigning from 1878 to 1903.

The chart also includes the records for the longest papal reign, and an interesting datum: the percentage of their lives they spent as pope.

Pope Pius IX, who reigned from 1846 to 1878, that is, 31 years, spent 36.5% of his life as pope. He died at age 85, putting him in the No. 4 slot for history’s oldest pope.

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