Interesting Facts about His Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI

• On April 16, 2008, Benedict XVI celebrated his 81st birthday, and on that day he was at the White House, after which he attended a prayer service with bishops at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D. C.

• Two students from the Catholic University of America designed the altar upon which the Holy Father celebrated Mass at Nationals’ Park

• Kelly Clarkson, the first season's winner of the television talent show American Idol, sang for Benedict XVI at Saint Joseph Seminary. One of the hymns she will sang was Ave Maria.

• On April 20, 2008 the Benedict XVI visited Ground Zero and celebrated Mass at Yankee Stadium. Harry Connick, Jr., Jose Feliciano, and Dana performed for the Holy Father at Yankee Stadium before the Mass.

• Benedict XVI has a pilot's license, and liked to fly from the Vatican to the papal summer residence, Castel Gandolfo, but he does not have a driver's license as he never learned to drive a car.

• Weideneder Brau Vertriebs GmbH, a family-owned brewery in nearby Tann, Germany, created a special brew called Pabstbier/Pope Beer. The label reads, "Dedicated to the Great Son of our Homeland, Pope Benedict XVI."

• Benedict XVI was the youngest of three children whose father, Joseph Sr., was a police officer. His brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, is a retired priest.

• Benedict XVI's sister Maria was his housekeeper until she died at the age of 69.

• At the age of 16, Josef Ratzinger was drafted into the German army.

• In 1945, during World War II, Josef deserted from the German army and was a U.S. prisoner of war.

• Benedict XVI is fluent in German, English, Italian, French, and Spanish and has knowledge of Portuguese. Naturally, he can also speak classical Latin.

• Benedict enjoys playing the piano and listening to the music of Mozart and Bach daily.

• Benedict XVI loves cats, and had two of his own. One was a stray which he found in Rome.

• Benedict still has the stuffed animals his mother made for him when he was a child.

• Benedict XVI's favorite meal is Bavarian potato ravioli with pancake strips.