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Pope Benedict XVI: 6 things you may not know about him

In a statement, the Vatican spokesperson, Matteo Bruni, revealed that Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died on Saturday.

Pope Benedict was 95 years old. He had experienced a sudden deterioration in his health due to advanced age.


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Joseph Aloysius Ratzinger was born in Marktel, southeastern Germany, near the border with Austria, on April 16, 1927. His early years were defined by World War II and his faith.

He served in the German army

While still on the seminary in 1943 he was drafted into the German army. Ratzinger served for two years as part of an anti-aircraft unit. He later escaped – and was captured by the US Army.

priestly ordination

Ratzinger was ordained in Freising on 29 June 1951 by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber of Munich.


Benedict XVI was elected the 265th Pope at the age of 78. He was the oldest person to be elected pope since Pope Clement XII (1730-1740).

Name selection

Ratzinger chose “Benedict” as his papal name, which comes from the Latin word for “blessed,” in honor of both Benedict XV and Benedict of Nursia.

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Pope Benedict announced his resignation as leader of the Roman Catholic Church on February 28, 2013, as a result of his advancing age, becoming the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.

Pope Benedict XVI: 6 things you may not know about him

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