Pope Benedict XVI - Saint John's Seminary
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Pope Benedict XVI

Requiescat in pace

The Vatican said that his funeral would be held on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, presided over by Pope Francis.

Papal Legacy

Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy testifies to a churchman of scholarship and pastoral sensitivity.

Born in a devout Catholic family and baptized the day he was born, he felt one with the Church from his earliest days. As a boy, with his parents and brother and sister, he visited the Bavarian Shrine of Our Lady of Altötting, a place he returned to as pope. There, he prayed before the Black Madonna (as the smoke-charred linden wood image of Mary is called) and left at its base the ring he had received from Pope Paul VI. His intense fervor for Mary showed clearly in 2008 at Lourdes, where he said, “When speech can no longer find the right words, the need arises for a loving presence: we seek then the closeness not only of those who share the same blood or are linked to us by friendship, but also the closeness of those who are intimately bound to us by faith. Who would be more intimate to us than Christ and his holy mother, the Immaculate One?”

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  • April 16, 1927 Born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria, Germany, and baptized the same day
  • 1939 Enters minor seminary
  • 1951 Ordained a priest for Diocese of Munich
  • 1953 Earns doctorate in theology from University of Munich
  • 1962-1965 Participates in Second Vatican Council as a theological adviser
  • March 1977 Named archbishop of Munich and Freising
  • May 1977 Named to the College of Cardinals
  • 1981 Named head of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
  • April 2005 Elected pope, chooses the name Pope Benedict XVI
  • February 28, 2013 Resigns from papacy, first such resignation in six hundred years
  • December 31, 2022, Pope Benedict XVI passed away and entered his eternal reward