This Friday Pope Francis' pontificate will surpass Benedict XVI's in duration
Benedict XVI was elected pope in the evening on April 19, 2005.
He was elected 17 days after John Paul II's death, and his pontificate lasted seven years, 10 months and nine days. These were the final images of his papacy: Castel Gandolfo. Feb. 28, 2013.
Benedict XVI stepped down from the papacy at 8 p.m. In that moment, the Swiss Grds left their posts because there was no pontiff to protect. It was the beginning of a sede vacante period.
Almost two weeks later, on March 13, Jorge Bergoglio looked out from the balcony on St. Peter's facade as the new pope.
On Friday, Jan. 22, at 8 p.m., Pope Francis will begin day 2,873 of his pontificate, surpassing the duration of Benedict's despite having predicted a short papacy.
After this milestone, the next important date will be March 13, which will mark eight years of Pope Francis' pontificate.