Born to Joseph Ratzinger sr. and Maria Ratzinger, in April 16, 1927, in Marktl, Germany, Pope Benedict XVI ( full name Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger) was the head of the Catholic church and Sovereign of the Vatican city state from April 19, 2005 until his resignation on February 2013.
In 2005, he was elected Pope by the Papal Conclave following the death of Pope John Paul.
His emergence as pope at the time made him the oldest so elected since 1730.
He celebrated his 81st birthday at the White House, there after, he attended a praying service with bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C.
A licensed pilot, Pope Benedict XVI flew regularly from the Vatican to the papal summer residence Castel Grandolfo. Interestingly, the late Pope does not have a driver’s license as he never learnt how to drive a car.
His choice of name was to honour Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict Nursia. The name Benedict means ‘the blessed’.
During World war 1, Pope Benedict XV was pope and worked diligently for peace while Saint Benedict of Nursia founded the Benedictine Monasteries and wrote the Rule of St. Benedict which is one most influential books written in monastic life.
The red hat and shoes which he usually worn in winter are among several papal garments that were reinstated by Pope Benedict XVI.
After his resignation in 2013, he continued to wear white robes but stopped wearing the white shoulder cape, the red shoes or the Fisherman’s ring.
Pope Benedict XVI was fluent in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latin and English.
He died December 31, 2022 at Monastero Mater, Vatican city.