On 31 December 2022 at 9:34am (Central European Time), Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died at age 95.
He was the longest-living pope, having surpassed Pope Leo XIII who died at age 93.
Born Joseph Ratzinger, he was elected as 265th Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church on Tuesday, 19 April 2005. He reigned as Pope for 8 years before resigning on 11 February, 2013 with these words:
“After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry … For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter.”
It was the first time a pope had resigned in almost 600 years.
He spent his remaining years living in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, spending his days in quiet reflection and prayer.
His funeral took place on 5 January 2023 in St. Peter’s Square and was celebrated by Pope Francis – the first time in history a pope has presided over the funeral for his predecessor.