10 Things You Didn't Know About Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican Radio gave the pope an iPod nano in 2006 when the radio station celebrated its 75th birthday.

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Pope Benedict XVI

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1) The future Pope Benedict XVI, Joseph Ratzinger, was born in Marktl am Inn, a Bavarian village, on April 16, 1927. The pope was born on Holy Saturday and was baptized that same day. He is one of Josef and Maria Ratzinger's three children. The pope has a brother, Georg. His sister, Maria, is deceased.

2) When the pope was 5, he met a cardinal visiting his town. According to his brother, the young boy came home that day and told his father that he wanted to be a cardinal.

3) After the pope's father retired in 1937, the Ratzingers moved to Traunstein, a town in Bavaria. The pope spent a majority of his childhood in Traunstein, where the family lived in a farmhouse built in the 18th century.

4) Growing up, the pope wasn't interested in sports but loved music and reading. He took piano lessons as a child and still plays today. The pope enjoys playing Mozart and Bach.

5) Along with Jay-Z, David Beckham, and Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI was named by Esquire magazine in 2007 as one of the best-dressed men in the world. The magazine named him "Accessorizer of the Year."

6) Vatican Radio gave the pope an iPod nano in 2006 when the radio station celebrated its 75th birthday.

7) The German Army drafted Ratzinger in 1943, but, because of an infected finger, he never learned to shoot. He deserted the Army near the end of the war.

8) Ratzinger entered the seminary at age 12. His studies were put on hold when he was drafted, but he continued them after the war. On June 29, 1951, he was ordained on the same day his brother was.

9) The pope has been seen wearing red loafers. Some speculated that the shoes were Prada; others say they were made by the pope's own cobbler. He has also been photographed wearing Serengeti sunglasses.

10) The Marktl Am Inn house where the pope was born is open to the public. It features exhibits about the pope and his family.

Sources:
Advertising Age
Associated Press
Baltimore Sun
Chicago Tribune
Current Biography
Esquire
Los Angeles Times
New Statesman
New York Times
Radiovaticana.org
Star-Ledger (Newark, New Jersey)
Sunday Tribune (Ireland)
Vatican.va