Ratzinger, Joseph Alois, Pope Benedict XVI.

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Ratzinger, Joseph Alois born, 16-04-1927, in  Marktl am Inn, Bavaria the son of police officer Joseph Ratzinger Sr. and cook Maria Peintner from Rimsting (near Chiemsee), the youngest in a family of three children: Maria (1921-1991), Georg (1924-2020) and himself. Joseph on left side, spent his childhood in Traunstein, a small town near the Austrian border. His father was a critic of the Nazi government, refusing to join the NSDAP even as an agent, and the Ratzinger family took refuge in faith during the turbulent 1930s.

At the beginning of 1939, Joseph Ratzinger became a student of the Traunsteiner Studienseminar Sankt Michael, where he followed a priestly training course for poorer students. Since 1938, students who were not members of the Hitler Youth

were no longer entitled to compensation for their study costs. In 1939/40 the school was merged with the local Realschule, where the proportion of National Socialist teachers was greater. As late as 1939, not one seminarian was a member of the Hitler Youth. The Jugenddienstpflicht was introduced on 25-03-1939. All 10 to 14 year olds were required to become members of the German Jungvolk and all 14 to 18 year olds were required to be members of the Hitler Youth. Even then the seminary still resisted, but in October the leadership of the seminary simultaneously registered all students with the Hitler Youth. Joseph Ratzinger had never registered himself, but was registered by the school management. Despite registering, the students received no compensation for their study costs, because the Nazis made a distinction between students who had registered voluntarily, the Stamm-Hitlerjugend, and those who had only become members under duress, the Zwangs-Hitlerjugend. Because Ratzinger and the other seminary students belonged to the second category, they received no compensation for their study costs.

Because of his refusal to participate, he was punished with financial sanctions. In May 2009, the Vatican press officer denied that Joseph Ratzinger had been a member of the Hitler Youth, being a “movement of fanatical volunteers”. However, Catholic Netherlands reported that the Vatican had stated that Ratzinger had never participated in Hitler Youth ideological activities, and that accusations that he was a “Nazi” were “gross lies”. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the seminarians were easy targets in the eyes of the Nazis and were suspected of having an anti-Nazi attitude. In 1943, he and the rest of his class were deployed to the anti-aircraft gunnery defending a BMW factory. The repro shows a black and white photography of Joseph Ratzinger (2nd from L), today pope Benedict XVI., during his time at the anti-aircraft corps; it was made in Rosenheim

In 1944 he was deployed with the Reich Labor Service in Burgenland and Hungary in the construction of armored barriers. A few days before the final German surrender in 1945, he deserted from his armed unit of the Reich Labor Service and returned to Traunstein, where he was taken prisoner of war by the Americans.

After studying at the gymnasium there, at the age of 18, he studied philosophy and theology from 1946 to 1951 at the philosophical-theological college in Freising and at the Georgianum of the University of Munich. In his own words, Joseph was mainly influenced by the work of Gertrud von Le Fort, Ernst Wiechert, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Elisabeth Langgässer, Theodor Steinbüchel, Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers. He was ordained a deacon in 1950 by Johannes Baptist Neuhäusler, and on June 29-06-1951 he was ordained a priest together with his brother Georg in Freising by Cardinal Michael von Faulhaber, Archbishop of Munich-Freising. In 1951 he was briefly a parochial vicar in Munich-Moosach (Sankt Martin parish). From 1951 to 1952 he was in Munich-Bogenhausen (Heilig Blut parish).

Martin Heidegger (Meßkirch,   26-09-1889 – Freiburg im Breisgau, 26-05-1976) was a German philosopher. His major philosophical work, Being and Time, was published in 1927. In this work, Heidegger attempts to re-ask the question of being. Heidegger was controversial, especially because of his membership of the NSDAP and his undisguised support for Hitler from 1933 until the fall of the Nazi regime. Yet he was a great source of inspiration for many philosophers after him. Martin Heiegger died age 86 on 26-05-1976, in  Freiburg im Breisgau,

On 05-04-1993, he was promoted to cardinal bishop; he became titular bishop of the suburban diocese of Velletri-Segni. He became vice-dean on 09-11-1998 and dean of the College of Cardinals on 30-11-2002; this gave him the suburban diocese of Ostia.

He led the Mass at the funeral of John Paul II. The giving of Holy Communion to Brother Roger caused some sensation. Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche (Provence, Switzerland 14-05-1915 – Taizé 16-08-2005), better known as Frère Roger (Brother Roger), was theologian, resistance hero and the founder and first superior of the Taizé community, an ecumenical monastic community that was founded in 2005. has about a hundred brothers and attracts approximately 200,000 visitors every year, mostly young people. He devoted his entire life to reconciliation between the separated churches, with a particular focus on Christian youth. He impressed many with his charismatic appearance.

After all, it was assumed that he was a Protestant; However, it later turned out that he had (also) joined the Catholic Church in 1972. Ratzinger also chaired the 2005 conclave. A few weeks after the death of John Paul II, he was elected the 265th Pope on 19-04-2005.

Pope Benedict was attacked several times during public ceremonies. However, no one ever managed to actually injure Benedict. On Christmas Eve 2009, he was attacked by 25-year-old “confused” Susanna Maiolo. She jumped over the balustrade next to the aisle and pulled him to the ground by his pallium. The Pope and Cardinal Etchegaray

fell, the latter breaking his hip. Benedict was unharmed and was able to celebrate Holy Mass without any problems.

Susanna Maiolo (born 08-11-1984) is a Swiss-Italian woman who twice attempted to attack Pope Benedict XVI. The first attack, in December 2008, was intercepted successfully by members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. The second attack, on 24-12-2009, happened during the procession to the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass inside St. Peter’s Basilica, where she knocked the Pope and French cardinal Roger Etchegaray to the floor, breaking the cardinal’s leg and hip, and leaving the Pope uninjured. Maiolo and two of her family members had a brief private audience with Pope Benedict after the morning general audience on 1-01-2010 in a room adjoining the Paul VI Audience Hall. Maiolo told the Pope she regretted the incident. He forgave her and expressed his best wishes for her and her health.

On 17-09-2010, six men were arrested in London on suspicion of preparing an attack during Benedict’s visit to the United Kingdom, but were eventually released a few days later.

Pope Benedict announced on 11-02-2013, during the consistory for the canonization of the Martyrs of Otranto, that he would resign on 28-02-2013 at 8 p.m. The then 85-year-old Benedict Since his resignation, the Pope went by the name  His Holiness Benedict XVI and was referred to as Pope Emeritus.Benedict delivered a farewell letter on February 27. His last audience took place in a packed St. Peter’s Square.

Death and burial ground of Ratzinger, Joseph Alois.


As the Pope Benedict visited the concentration camp Auschwitz

  n June 2020, Benedict visited his native Germany for the first time since 2011 to be with his sick brother Georg.

After a stay of four days he returned to Rome. Benedict XVI was greatly weakened after that trip. His brother died on 01-07- 2020, at the age of 96. After Francis’ visit to the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae garden monastery, it was announced at the end of his audience on 28-12-2022 that Benedict’s health was deteriorating. On 31-12-2022 at 9:34 a.m. local time, Benedict died at the age of 95 in the aforementioned Vatican monastery, where he had resided since his retirement. The former pope was laid out for greeting in St. Peter’s Basilica on Monday, 02-01-2023 from 9 a.m. The funeral ceremony led by Pope Francis took place on Thursday, January 5, in St. Peter’s Square, after which Benedict’s body was laid to rest in a crypt under St. Peter’s Basilica. It was the first time in history that a reigning pope led the Eucharist at the farewell of a predecessor.


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