Billions around the world were moved to tears at the death of Pope John Paul II on April 2.
Polish born Karol Wojtyla served as Pope for more than a quarter century.
With his departure the Catholic Church is faced with the question, who will succeed the Pope?
The process of electing the new Pope will begin on April 18, with the cardinals holding a conclave in the Sistine Chapel.
How is the Pope elected?
The Sacred College of Cardinals meets to elect the new Pope. There are currently 116 voting cardinals from across the globe. Only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote.
Pope John Paul II appointed all but three cardinals over the last 26 years.
Each cardinal votes four times a day, twice in the morning and twice in the afternoon, until they reach a two-thirds majority. If the majority is not reached, the ballots -- which are destroyed after every vote -- are burned in a way to create a black smoke indicating that the election is still in progress.