Sept. 12, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI leads the Sunday Angelus prayer from the window of his summer residence in Castelgandolfo, south of Rome.
Sept. 10, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI welcomes Hungarian President Pal Schmitt to his summer residence of Castelgandolfo.
L'Osservatore Romano via AP
Sept. 5, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI waves from his "popemobile" as he arrives to celebrate a mass during a visit in Carpineto Romano, Italy.
Sept. 2, 2010
Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Pope Benedict XVI at his summer residence on the outskirts of Rome. Peres met with the pope and senior Vatican officials who expressed hope that the Israeli-Palestinian talks would bring peace to the region and respect the "legitimate aspirations'' of both sides.
L'Osservatore Romano via AP
Sept. 1, 2010
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by pilgrims gathered in a square near his summer home.
Filippo Monteforte-AFP/Getty Images
July 10, 2009
President Obama and the first lady meet with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican in 2009.
May 8, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI shakes the hands of the faithful during his visit to the Lady of Peace Church in Amman, Jordan.
April 17, 2008
Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands after a mass at Nationals Park in D.C.
Richard A. Lipski-The Washington Post
April 17, 2008
People grab for the pope's hand as he leaves Nationals Park in D.C. after presiding over a mass.
Sarah L. Voisin-The Washington Post
March 22, 2009
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithful from his Popemobile as he arrives at a field on the outskirts of the Angolan capital, Luanda.
Pope Benedict XVI blesses the faithful as he arrives to celebrate a mass at Santa Maria Liberatrice church in Rome on Feb. 24, 2008. The 265th reigning Pope and sucessor to Pope John Paul II was elected on April 19, 2005, and inaugurated five days later.
Pope Benedict XVI greets a crowd during the Angelus prayer in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in January 2008. The pope was born Joseph Ratzinger on April 16, 1927, in Marktl am Inn, Germany.
Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims after a holy mass in Mariazell, Austria, in September 2007. The pope was raised near Austria; his German childhood was spent in Traunstein, not far from the border and close to Salzburg.
Pope Benedict XVI and U.S. President George W. Bush met for the first time and exchanged gifts on June 9, 2007 in Vatican City. Benedict was ordained in 1951; Pope Paul VI named him a cardinal in 1977.
Franco Origlia-Getty Images
Archbishops stand before a painting of Friar Galvao in preparation for the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Sao Paulo, Brazil on May 11, 2007 for the canonization of Galvao as Brazil's first native-born saint.
Vincenzo Pinto-AFP/Getty Images
Pope Benedict XVI gestures to the crowd at the Sao Bento Monastery in Sao Paulo on May 9, 2007. Latin America is home to more than half of all Catholics in the world, though many churches are concerned about losing members to Protestantism.
Pope Benedict XVI leads the Corpus Domini procession in an open van from Basilica of St. John Lateran to St. Mary Major Basilica. The June 7, 2007 procession in Rome marked the feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.
Pier Paolo Cito-AP
Pope Benedict XVI talks to journalists onboard an airplane on Nov. 28, 2006, before leaving Rome for Ankara, Turkey. His first trip as pontiff to a predominantly Muslim country was intended to promote dialogue between Christians and Muslims. Patrick Hertzog
Pope Benedict XVI is greeted by well-wishers as he arrives to deliver the Holy Mass in front of the House of the Virgin Mary on Nov. 29, 2006, in Ephesus, Turkey.
Carsten Koall-Getty Images
A nun kisses the hand of Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves Mary's House chapel near Ephesus. The Pope celebrated his first mass on Muslim soil at the House of the Virgin Mary.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou-AFP/Getty Images
Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, right, and Pope Benedict XVI, arrive for the Divine Liturgy in Honor of the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle in Istanbul, Turkey on Nov. 30, 2006. Healing relations between the Vatican and the Orthodox Church was one of the main goals of Benedict's visit.
Benedict shakes hands with Ahamad Abdulkareem Al-Ibrahim, Kuwait's ambassador to the Holy See, at Castel Gandolfo in September 2006. During this meeting, Benedict told Muslim diplomats that "our future'' depends on good relations between Christians and Muslims.
While presiding over Good Friday services in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on April 14, 2006, Pope Benedict XVI looks at a tall, wooden crucifix. Benedict presided over the services shortly before his scheduled participation in a torch-lit Way of the Cross procession at the Colosseum in Rome.
On his first foregin trip as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI made a visit to Cologne in western Germany for the Roman Catholic Church's 20th World Youth Day on Aug. 18, 2005.
Pope Benedict XVI waves to the crowd after celebrating his first mass in St. Peter's Square on April 24, 2005. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims flocked to the Vatican for his inaugural mass.
Producer, Photo Editor Anne C. Marley
Text Editor David P. Marino-Nachison, Michael Keefe-Feldman