Choice of Name
The Holy Father chose the name Benedict XVI for several reasons. At his papal audience on April 27, 2005, he explained his motivations for adopting the name.
"I want to call myself Benedict XVI to bind myself to the venerated Pope Benedict XV, who guided the church in a troubled period because of the First World War. He was a courageous and authentic prophet of peace and worked with valiant courage first to prevent the drama of war and then to limit its nefarious consequences. In his footsteps, I want to place my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony among individuals and peoples, deeply convinced that the great good of peace is, first of all, a gift of God, a fragile and precious gift to invoke, safeguard and build day after day with the help of everyone."
Benedict XVI also said he chose the name to evoke the spirit of Saint Benedict, the founder of Western monasticism whose influence helped spread Christianity over Europe.
"St. Benedict is very venerated in Germany, particularly in Bavaria, my homeland. He is a basic point of reference for the unity of Europe and a strong reminder of the undeniable Christian roots of its culture and civilization."