14 amazing facts you didn't know about the Catholic Papacy

By Franklin Izuchukwu
Pope Francis

Sure, the Pope is leading a global religion and promotes unity and the Word of God. Before now, the papacy was as sinful as the layman.

There were multiple accounts were Popes were involved in debauchery, adultery and even the cases of illegitimate children.

The pope is respected across all religious lines, but the job is one of the most dangerous jobs on earth, as you will find out soon.

You will be amazed as you read some of the weird facts about the papacy.

#1.0 1. The Papacy has no age limit

There is no mandatory age limit for potential Popes—the youngest pope in history was Pope John XII. Pope John XII was appointed Pope at the age of 18 in 955. You can still be a Pope even at the age of 150, i.e. if you live that long.

2. The Papacy is one of the most deadly jobs on the planet

There had been a total of 266 Popes in history, but at least 42 of them were either martyred or assassinated. 

Saint Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, was killed via reverse crucifixion, while Pope Clement 1, 99AD was drowned with an anchor tied to his neck. Pope Pontian, 235AD, was forced to work to death in mines.

Pope John VIII, 882AD was Poisoned and beaten to death, while Popes Stephen VI in 897AD and Leo V in 903AD were strangled to death.

3. You have to be fluent in both Italian and Latin

A pope needs to fluent in Italian and Latin (Latin has not been spoken since the Roman Empire 27BC-1453AD).

Fluency in both languages is necessary because the Pope is required o say the mass in Latin while Italian if the official language in Italy.

4. The Pope also goes to Confession

Though not a requirement, the Pope is supposed to observe the sacrament of confession every month. The late Pope John Paul II had weekly confessions until his death in April 2005.

5. Healthcare is relatively Cheap in the Vatican

Popes pay just about $0.75 for any prescription, X-rays and other medical procedures. The low cost is due to The Vatican's Health Assistance Fund program.

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors at the Chair of Saint Peter in St. Peter's Basilica.

6. Pope Alexander VI was one of the most corrupt Pope in history

Pope Alexander VI is regarded as the most corrupt pope in the history of the church.

Pope Alexander VI created cardinal positions during his reign from 1492 to 1503 for wealthy “donors” who helped fill The Vatican’s coffers.

7. The Vatican is wealthy, but the Pope Doesn't own a thing

The Vatican possess different assets. The papacy also has over 33 000 bank accounts with a net value of over $33 billion, but the Pope doesn’t have any material possessions.

Though whatever the pope wants, he only has to ask. The Pope is also head of The Vatican Bank.

8. The office of the Papacy is a lifetime appointment

The pope holds his office until his death or resignation. When a pope dies, a new pope is elected by the papal conclave.

The Papal Conclave is made up of the College Of Cardinals; They are locked within the Sistine Chapel, and they cast their votes.

While the papal Conclave votes, a chimney outside the chapel will either show black or white smoke.

The white smoke shows that a new pope has been elected, while the black smoke stands for no successful vote.

Portrait of Pope Alexander VI (AKA Borgia. One of the most controversial pope in catholic history)

9. Feeding the Pope is not an easy Job

The Pope is not permitted to eat in public, and he has a team of chefs who travel with him to make sure that his preferred food served; they also make sure no one poisons the Pope.

10. The shortest papal reign was 24 hours

Pope-elect Stephen suffered a fatal stroke a day after being elected head of the church in March 792, following Pope Zachary's death, and was not officially installed to the title.

Borgias - Family of Pope Alexander VI

11. The pope's cars aren’t confined to the Vatican

The Pope has about 20 official cars around the world. They are kept under lock and key for visits by the Pope.

1#12.0 12. Only one person makes the Pope’s shoes

The Pope has only one shoe-maker.

The official papal cobbler is Milan-based shoemaker Adriano Stefanelli, who handmakes the €400 shoes himself.

13. You don’t want to mess with the Swiss Guard

The Swiss Guard is the official ceremonial “army” of the Pope.

The Swiss Guard receive advanced training in small arms, close-quarter and unarmed combat. This started after the attempted assassination of Pope John Paull II in 1981.

Turkish hitman Mehmet Ali Agca shot Pope John Paull II (the Pope absolved and forgave him for the crime).

The Swiss Guard is also the world’s oldest continuous military unit; The Swiss Guard has been protecting the papacy since 1471.

1#14.0 14. There will only be one more Pope after Pope Francis

According to the Prophecy Of Popes, an ancient prophecy, there is a declaration that Pope Francis will be the second-last leader of the church.

The prophecy claims that there will be only one pope after Pope Francis, then Peter, the Roman, is prophesied to take the papal throne, leading to the destruction of Rome and the Catholic church.