Benedict XVI's papacy ended last month with an act of great symbolism: Swiss Guards banged shut the giant doors of the papal palace in Castel Gandolfo at the strike of 8pm.
Since then, Benedict has been kept out of sight as part of a calculated strategy to show he will play no role in selecting his successor.
The former Pope has been spotted only once since retiring – in a picture snapped by a photographer hiding in a tree.
It showed Benedict dressed in a white down coat and white baseball hat while taking an afternoon stroll with a cane in the castle gardens, accompanied by his faithful secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein.
These days, the Vatican rarely even speaks of Benedict.
And only a few official details have trickled out on his life after the papacy: He slept well his first night as a former Pope, celebrated Mass as usual in the morning and ate breakfast.
The sparse details all seem to stem from fears over conflicts arising from having a reigning pope and a retired one.
As part of the process of forgetting Benedict, the retired Pontiff's coat of arms were removed from a floral display in front of the Vatican's governor's palace, ready to be replaced by the coat of arms of the new Pope.
The 115 cardinals who will elect the new Pope will meet in the Sistine Chapel later today for the first vote.
There is no clear front-runner for the job.