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The life of Pope Benedict XVI in pictures

A picture gallery featuring memorable moments from the life of Pope Benedict XVI.
When he was 14 he was made to join the Hitler Youth, like all young Germans. He served in an anti-aircraft unit during World War II.
Joseph Ratzinger is shown as a German Air Force assistant in this 1943
Following Pope John Paul II's death in April 2005 he presided over the funeral Mass.
Incense is cast over the coffin of Pope John Paul II by German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
In 1977, Pope Paul VI appointed him Archbishop of Munich - and then cardinal.
Joseph Ratzinger, the new archbishop of Munich and Freising, 1977
In a statement he said: "I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry."
Pope Benedict XVI, seen, during a gathering with youths in St. Peter's square, at the Vatican,
A tough theologian and philosopher, the new Pope was expected to defend the Church's traditional values.
Pope Benedict XVI celebrates the holy mass on the Islinger Feld, in Regensburg, Germany, 2006
From 1946 to 1951 he studied philosophy and theology at Munich University in Germany. In June 1951 he became a priest.
Joseph Ratzinger leads an outdoor mass in Switzerland in the summer of 1952
In 2010, Pope Benedict became the first pope to visit the UK in more than 25 years. Here he is visiting Westminster Abbey in central London.
The Pope in Westminster Abbey.
He became Pope Benedict XVI on 19 April 2005. Here he is waving to the crowds in Vatican City.
Pope Benedict XVI is the first pope to join Twitter. He sent his first tweets in 2012.
The Pope
Pope Benedict XVI was born Joseph Ratzinger in Germany in 1927. Do you recognise him in this photo? (He's second from right!)
Picture taken in the year 1951 shows the family of Josef Ratzinger (top right) in Freising, Bavaria
Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals. It is only the fourth time in history that a pope has stepped down. It last happened in 1415.
Pope Benedict XVI reading his resignation letter.