Former Pope Benedict XVI, who served as the 265th pope from 2005 until his resignation in 2013, has passed away at the age of 95. His death occurred on December 31st, marking the first anniversary of his departure from this world.
The news of his passing was shared by Vatican News via Twitter, stating, “With sorrow, I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible.”
Joseph Ratzinger, born on April 16, 1927, in Marktl, Bavaria, led a life deeply intertwined with faith and scholarship. His journey into priesthood began after the turbulence of World War II, where he, like many German children, was conscripted into the Hitler Youth and later the Wehrmacht. Following the war, he pursued theological studies and was ordained a priest alongside his brother Georg in 1951.
His intellectual prowess led him to academic prominence as a professor at various German universities, culminating in his election as Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005, succeeding St. John Paul II. His papacy was marked by both continuity and controversy, with his unexpected resignation on February 11, 2013, sending shockwaves through the Catholic Church.
Following his resignation, Benedict XVI largely remained out of the public eye, residing in the Mater Ecclesiae monastery building within Vatican City. Though his public appearances were infrequent, occasional glimpses of him were shared by those who had the opportunity to meet him, notably including visits from Pope Francis.