Random papal facts from all over

• There have been 265 popes.

• Last time we had a married pope: Pope Adrian II, from 867 to 872.  He, his wife and daughter lived in the Lateran Palace.

• A number of popes have been widowers. The last was Pope Clement IV, 1265 to 1268.

• The word “pope” comes from the Latin “papa” and the Greek “pappas,” or “daddy.”

• Early popes were chosen by senior clerics in and near Rome. The  task of electing pope was restricted to cardinals in 1059. Sometimes, the earlier popes were chosen by acclamation.

• Last officially recognized papal martyr: Martin I, died 654 in exile in Crimea.

• The last conclave not in Rome was held in Venice in 1800.

• Conclaves now last days, but some have gone on for years.

• The ballots and other notes and materials are burnt after each round of voting. If there is a winner, the ballots are burned alone, producing white smoke. If there is no winner, the ballots are burned with something to produce black smoke. In the past, wet straw was burned to produce black smoke. It didn’t always work, so now they add chemicals. And that also doesn’t always work, so they ring bells. The ballots have been burned since 1417.

• When a cardinal has been elected, the dean of the College of Cardinals asks two questions. The first is, “Do you freely accept your election?” The new pope’s reign begins immediately upon his saying, “accepto.”  Then, the dean asks, “By what name shall you be called?”

• The proclamation of a new pope from a balcony over St. Peter’s Square is, “Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum” Habemus Papam! (Latin for: I announce to you a great joy! We have a pope!)

• Sometimes clerics don’t want to be pope. St. Philip Benizi in 1271 ran away from the conclave and hid. There have been rumors of cardinals declining the vote (St. Charles Borromeo in the 16th century, and Cardinal Robert Bellarmine in the 17th century), but no one can say for sure.  Refusals are supposed to be kept secret.

• The longest interregnum (time between popes) was from November 1268 to September 1271 (two years and nine months) and resulted in the election of Pope Gregory X. It took place in the town of Viterbo, near Rome.

• The youngest person elected pope was Pope John XII, 18, in 955. The oldest (since 1400) was Pope Clement X, at 79 years and nine months, on April 29, 1670.

•Pope Leo X, at age 37, was a deacon at the time of his election on March 9, 1513, and the last non-priest to become pope.

• Some popes have been elected by as few as a dozen or so cardinals. Pope Sixtus V limited the maximum number of cardinals to 70 in 1587. Other popes increased the number; Pope Paul VI put a limit of age 80 on the right to participate in a conclave.

• Canon law says that the maximum number of voting cardinals can be 120, although only 115 will participate in the upcoming conclave. Currently, there are 210 — including Benedict XVI, now that he has resigned.

• Shortest papacy: Urban VII, 12 days, in 1590. Longest papacy: Pope Pius IX, from June 16, 1846, to Feb. 7, 1878 — 31 years.