8 Quick Facts About the Man, the Legend, Pope Benedict XVI – EpicPew

8 Quick Facts About the Man, the Legend, Pope Benedict XVI

Most of us know the common facts about Pope Benedict. He’s German, he was a pope, he resigned, he died. In between all that, he even wrote some encyclicals and made quite a few papal visits. (Nothing like St. John Paul II, but still!) In honor of what would be Pope Benedict XVI’s 97th birthday, here’s some interesting facts about him—a few of which, I bet you have never heard.

  1. Born Joseph Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, he was elected Pope at the age of 78. The oldest person to be elected Pope since Clement XII in 1730.
  2. Benedict had a pilots license but not a drivers license. He liked to fly himself from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo – the papal summer residence – but never learned to drive a car.

  3. Pope Benedict was fluent in 6 languages: German (his native language), French, Italian, English, Spanish and Latin. He was also able to read ancient Greek and Biblical Hebrew.
  4. He was the first Pope to own an iPod.
  5. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately?), Benedict was a cat person. While a cardinal living in Rome, he would often leave out food for stray cats and if he found one who was injured, he’s bandage the wounds. Upon becoming Pope, Benedict had to leave his black and white short haired cat, Chico, back home in Bavaria as the Vatican Apartments have a strict no animal rule.

  6. Benedict was a gifted piano player and preferred Mozart and Beethoven. In an 1996 interview with Peter Seewald (published in Salt of the Earth, Pope Benedict said of Mozart: “His music still touches me very deeply, because it is so luminous and yet at the same time so deep…His music is by no means just entertainment; it contains the whole tragedy of human existence.”
  7. The name Benedict was chosen to honor both Pope Benedict XV and Saint Benedict. Both men, he mentioned in a 2005 Papal Audience, were courageous and authentic defenders of the faith. Benedict XV led the church through World World I, while Saint Benedict is the founder of Western Monasticism and influenced the spread of Christianity throughout Europe.
  8. While Pope, he signed a record deal with Geffen Records and released an album, “Alma Mater”.

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