Who Was the Oldest Pope Ever Elected?

Editorial credit: neneo / Shutterstock.com. The current pope, pope Francis, was 76 years old when he was elected.
Editorial credit: neneo / Shutterstock.com. The current pope, pope Francis, was 76 years old when he was elected.

It can often be said that with age comes wisdom. Below is a list of popes who assumed their roles at an age that is above the average.

Top 4 oldest pope

Pope Benedict XIII

Pope Benedict XIII was born in the Italian region of Gravina and was very active as a chaplain boy in his early days. He was rewarded by being crowned a priest in the year 1671. He climbed the ladder to become bishop within a very short period of time due to the influence of his family in the church matters at the time. Later on, he would succeed pope Innocent XIII who passed away in the year 1724. He was an honorable man and was not carried away by the worldly pleasures. He left a legacy by establishing a university and what most refer to as the Spanish steps. He became pope at the age of 75 years and 91 days.

Pope Francis

Pope Francis was aged 76 years and 86 days. He is the current pope. He was born in the year 1936. He has been documented as the only pope (besides Pope Gregory III, who came from the Byzantine Empire) to ever come from outside the region of Europe, as he comes from Argentina in South America. His papacy legacy will surely be built around humility which has been his defining character in the public domain.

Pope Callixtus III

Born in the year 1378, Callixtus became pope at the age of 76 years and 98 days. He took the mantle of papacy from 1455 to the time he passed away in 1458. His reign too was characterized by nepotism as he appointed his nephews to church affairs.

Pope Innocent XII

Pope Innocent was born in the year 1615 in a family that was aristocratic in nature. He was elected pope at the age of 76 years and 124 days. His legacy is centered around the fight against nepotism in the Catholic church.


The papacy is a demanding profession that many are not qualified to take over until they are a considerable age.

Who Was the Oldest Pope?

RankPope NameAge at Beginning of Palpacy
1Clement X79 years, 290 days
2Alexander VIII79 years, 177 days
3Paul IV78 years, 330 days
4Clement XII78 years, 100 days
5Benedict XVI78 years, 3 days
6John XXIII76 years, 337 days
7Innocent XII76 years, 124 days
8Callixtus76 years, 98 days
9Francis76 years, 86 days
10Benedict XII75 years, 91 days

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