Pope Benedict XVI’s birth name was Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger. He was born on April 16th, 1927. His homeland is Bavaria, Germany and he was born in his parents’ home at 8:30 in the morning. Benedict served as pope from 2005 until his resignation in 2013. He was elected pope following the death of Pope John Paul II.
Joseph was ordained into the priesthood in 1951. He was considered a highly knowledgeable theologian and was appointed a professor in 1958. His writings defended the Catholic doctrine and values.
Ratzinger was baptized the same day he was born. He was the third child and also was the youngest of three. Benedict’s brother dedicated his life as a catholic as well, and became a priest. Joseph trained in the German infantry. He became a German solider and was a prisoner of war camp. Few months later the US released him at the end of the war in May 1945. Ratzinger became a professor at the University of Bonn in 1959. He had very strong views on topics such as birth control, and homosexuality.
Benedict XVI was elected pope at the age of 78. Since Pope Clement XII, he is the oldest person to be elected pope. He also was the ninth German pope ever.
At the balcony in Saint Peters Benedicts first words to the crowd was as follows:
“Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Cardinals have elected me a simple, humble laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. The fact that the Lord knows how to work and to act even with insufficient instruments comforts me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, confident of his unfailing help, let us move forward. The Lord will help us, and Mary, His Most Holy Mother, will be on our side. Thank you.”
Joseph was pope during the First World War. Ratzinger chose Benedict, which comes from the Latin word meaning “the blessed”.
Benedict explained his choice of the name benedict also at the St. Peter’s Aquare on April 27th 2005 saying:
“Filled with Sentiments of awe and thanksgiving, I wish to speak of why I chose the name Benedict. Firstly, I remember Pope Benedict XV, that courageous prophet of peace, who guided the church through turbulent times of war. In his footsteps I place my ministry in the service of reconciliation and harmony between peoples. Additionally, I recall Saint Benedict of Nursia, copatron of Europe, whose life evokes the Christian roots of Europe. I ask him to help us all to hold firm to the centrality of Christ in our Christian life: May Christ always take first place in our thoughts and actions.”
Benedict celebrated his first canonizations on October 23rd 2005 in St. Peter’s square. Pope Benedict wrote three...