February 28, 2012.
Wednesday, February 29th,
passed John Paul II
in becoming the sixth oldest pope
the history of the Church, completing 84 years, 10 months, 2 weeks
and 1 day.
The ranking only looks at the popes elected since the year 1400
, because there are no precise records that existed beforehand. This is according to Anura Guruge, he gathers papal statistics and is the creator of the web page “Popes and Papacy,”
on the history of the popes.
Those pope that were older than Benedict XVI include Innocent XII
and Pius XI
, who both died at 85 years old, Clement X
, Clement XII
lived to 87
, and topping the list is Leo XIII
, who served as pope until he was 93
The day may have had an historical significance for the Church, but Benedict XVI passed it quietly making his spiritual retreat in the Vatican.
Despite being nearly 85 years old
, the pope has maintained a busy schedule ever since his election in 2005.
Although he has recently made some changes to save energy
, such as now receiving bishops in a group, and he now crosses St. Peter's Basilica using a mobile platform
to help him support his heavy robes.
Despite holding the sixth place in the list of papal longevity, the pope continues traveling and making plans for the future
he will visit Mexico and Cuba
. He's also preparing a trip to Lebanon in September
, and in 2013
he will attend World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Also, in October, he will open the Year of the Faith
, to remember the Second Vatican Council. It's a year of many ambitious events and ceremonies, the pope is also preparing a document to help explain its importance.
And as the pope spends this anniversary in his spiritual retreat, it shows how nothing passes the time like keeping busy.