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[1]. He was elected to the papacy in 2005[2] and is remembered outside the Catholic Church for his surprise resignation[2]. He was known for his sense of pontifical fashion, regularly donning intricate and ornate vestments for mass[2].

Benedict died on Saturday December 31, 2022 (aged 95), almost 10 years after stepping down as pope[3]. 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[3]. 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[4].

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