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3 Adorable facts about the late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI


Photo by Andreas SOLARO / AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 01/07/23

These little tidbits reveal a very soft and loving side of the former pontiff.

Much has been in the news about the beloved late Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. While many have spoken of his inspiring faith and his ability to bring others to Christ, there are some more unusual things about Benedict that you may wish to discover.

These three facts reveal a very different side to the former pope, and allow us to glean a little more insight into the man who was so loved and respected.

He was a huge cat lover

There is no doubt about it: the former pontiff had a huge love for our feline friends. In fact, there’s a biography about him designed for kids that was written from the perspective of a cat.

The author, Jeanne Perego, described him as a “Cat-holic.” And apparently the former pope’s love for cats meant he couldn’t resist petting them if he walked passed them, according to Catholic News Register.

This love of cats most probably developed from his childhood, with the Ratzinger family owning a number of cats and welcoming strays into their garden.

Benedict also seemed to “adopt” cats that he came across throughout his life. He famously referred to a red tabby cat, Chico, who belonged to his neighbors in Pentling, Bavaria, as “his cat.”

And even in retirement, the late pontiff befriended two cats in particular, Contessa and Zorro, who would make their way into his garden, where Benedict would spend time cuddling them.

He loved stuffed animals

The fact that Benedict XVI loved cats should make his love for teddy bears not very surprising. According to Church Pop, as a child, he was often sick, and would take comfort in his stuffed animals.

Apparently, he still had stuffed animals given to him by his mother into his later life, and perhaps he never got rid of them.

As a child he wrote to baby Jesus

At the tender age of seven, a young Joseph Ratzinger already demonstrated his deep faith. Instead of writing to Father Christmas, he wrote to baby Jesus. And as Catholic News Agency shared, the letter was put on display in a village in his native Bavaria in 2021. It read:

“Dear Baby Jesus, quickly come down to earth. You will bring joy to children. Also bring me joy. I would like a Volks-Schott (a Mass prayers book), green clothing for Mass (clerical clothing) and an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. I will always be good. Greetings from Joseph Ratzinger”

Looking at the incredible life of the late Joseph Ratzinger, it seems he kept his word.

Catholic LifestyleDeathPope Benedict XVI
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