Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger (1927-2022), was the head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State from 19 April 2005 until his resignation on 28 February 2013. He was elected to the papacy in 2005 and is remembered outside the Catholic Church for his surprise resignation. He was known for his sense of pontifical fashion, regularly donning intricate and ornate vestments for mass.
Benedict died on Saturday December 31, 2022 (aged 95), almost 10 years after stepping down as pope. His successor, Pope Francis, presided over his funeral service and prayed for Benedict's passage to heaven at a special New Year's Day mass. The strange afterlife of Pope Benedict XVI’s pontificate saw him become an adviser to Pope Francis and a unrivalled theologian who was regarded as a mentor by many cardinals.