List of popes by length of reign

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Pius IX reigned for 31 years, 7 months, and 23 days (11,560 days) from 1846 to 1878.

The List of popes by length of reign is parsed using two organizing standards—identifying the longest reigns and the shortest ones.

Popes[change | change source]

The term pope is the name several churches give to their highest spiritual leader. In English, the term usually means the head of the Roman Catholic Church. The most accurate information about the popes is published every year by the Vatican in the Annuario Pontificio.

Popes with the longest reigns[change | change source]

After Peter, who was the first Bishop of Rome and the first pope, the list of the 10 longest-reigning popes[1] includes:

    Saint Peter (3064 or 67): 34 or 37 years.
  1. Pius IX (18461878):[2] 31 years, 7 months and 23 days (11,560 days).
  2. John Paul II (19782005):[3] 26 years, 5 months and 18 days (9,665 days).
  3. Leo XIII (1878–1903):[4] 25 years, 5 months and 1 day (9,281 days).
  4. Pius VI (17751799):[5] 24 years, 6 months and 15 days (8,962 days).
  5. Adrian I (772795):[6] 23 years, 10 months and 25 days (8,729 days).
  6. Pius VII (18001823):[7] 23 years, 5 months and 7 days (8,560 days).
  7. Alexander III (11591181):[8] 21 years, 11 months and 24 days (8,029 days).
  8. St. Sylvester I (314335):[9] 21 years, 11 months and 1 day (8,005 days).
  9. St. Leo I (440461):[10] 21 years, 1 month, and 13 days. (7,713 days).
  10. Urban VIII (16231644):[11] 20 years, 11 months and 24 days (7,664 days).

Popes with the shortest reigns[change | change source]

The list of the 11 shortest-reigning popes[1] includes:

  1. Urban VII (September 15September 27, 1590):[12] reigned for 13 calendar days,[13] died before consecration.
  2. Boniface VI (April, 896):[14] reigned for 16 calendar days
  3. Celestine IV (October 25November 10, 1241):[15] reigned for 17 calendar days, died before consecration.
  4. Theodore II (December, 897):[16] reigned for 20 calendar days
  5. Sisinnius (January 15February 4, 708):[17] reigned for 21 calendar days
  6. Marcellus II (April 9May 1, 1555):[18] reigned for 22 calendar days
  7. Damasus II (July 17August 9, 1048):[19] reigned for 24 calendar days
  8. Pius III (September 22October 18, 1503):[20] reigned for 27 calendar days.
  9. Leo XI (April 1April 27, 1605):[21] reigned for 27 calendar days
  10. Benedict V (May 22June 23, 964):[22] reigned for 33 calendar days.
  11. John Paul I (August 26September 28, 1978): reigned for 33 calendar days.[23]

References and notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Catholic Encyclopedia, "List of Popes"; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  2. "Pope Pius IX," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  3. "His Holiness John Paul II: Short Biography", Holy See Press Office; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  4. "Pope Leo XIII," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved but ass2011-11-9.
  5. "Pope Pius VI," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  6. "Pope Adrian I," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  7. "Pope Pius VII," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  8. "Pope Alexander III," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  9. "Pope Sylvester I (314-335)," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  10. "Pope St. Leo I (the Great)," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  11. "Pope Urban VIII," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  12. "Pope Urban VII," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  13. The number of calendar days includes part days, e.g., if a pope's reign commenced on 1 August and he died on 2 August, this would count as having reigned for two calendar days.
  14. "Pope Boniface VI," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  15. "Pope Celestine IV," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-3.
  16. "Pope Theodore II," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-3.
  17. "Pope Sisinnius," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-3.
  18. "Pope Marcellus II," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-3.
  19. "Pope Damasus II", Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-8.
  20. "Pope Pius III," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  21. "Pope Leo XI", Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  22. "Pope Benedict V," Catholic Encyclopedia; retrieved 2011-11-9.
  23. "Obituaries: The Smiling Pope," New York Times. November 6, 1978; retrieved 2011-11-9.