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Watch live: Pope Benedict remembered at the Vatican after his death | USA TODAY

Mourners gather at the Vatican to remember Pope Benedict XVI.

Benedict XVI, whose eight-year papacy sought to preserve a place for traditional Catholic values in an increasingly secular world, but who will no doubt be remembered as the first pope in modern times to resign his position, has died.

Born in Germany in 1927, the former Joseph Ratzinger was among the main intellectual forces in the church beginning the 1960s, when he was one of the youngest participants in the Second Vatican Council. Later, he was the main theological advisor to Pope John Paul II, who reigned from 1978 to 2005, and who Benedict succeeded as pontiff, making him the 265th occupant of the Throne of St. Peter.

Benedict stunned observers when he announcing his resignation XXXX years ago [2013], citing a “lack of strength of mind and body.” When he stepped down, he became the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415 and the first to do so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.

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