Pope Benedict’s explanation as to why he chose the name Benedict:
[first General Audience, 2005]
“I wanted to be called Benedict XVI in order to create a spiritual bond with Benedict XV, who steered the Church through the period of turmoil caused by the First World War. He was a courageous and authentic prophet of peace and strove with brave courage first of all to avert the tragedy of the war and then to limit its harmful consequences. Treading in his footsteps, I would like to place my ministry at the service of reconciliation and harmony between persons and peoples, since I am profoundly convinced that the great good of peace is first and foremost a gift of God, a precious but unfortunately fragile gift to pray for, safeguard and build up, day after day, with the help of all.
“The name “Benedict” also calls to mind the extraordinary figure of the great “Patriarch of Western Monasticism”, St Benedict of Norcia, Co-Patron of Europe together with Sts Cyril and Methodius, and the women Saints, Bridget of Sweden, Catherine of Siena and Edith Stein. The gradual expansion of the Benedictine Order that he founded had an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity across the Continent. St Benedict is therefore deeply venerated, also in Germany and particularly in Bavaria, my birthplace; he is a fundamental reference point for European unity and a powerful reminder of the indispensable Christian roots of his culture and civilization.”
St. Benedict of Norcia lived in the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.
He founded the Benedictine Order.
The following predictions are from the fifth edition of my book, The Bible and the Future of the World, published in 2004. Pope Benedict was elected in spring of 2005.
“This Pope will reign during the time just before the terrible war between the Arab nations and Europe. He will constantly seek peace, the olive branch, between nations, between religions between Christian groups. But he will not be able to bring peace to the nations because peace is for a later time. The olive branch is a symbol of peace; the glory of the olive is peace. As his reign ends, war begins. This Pope’s reign will end before the time of war in Europe begins. The reign of Pope Benedict XVI will be brief. Shortly before his death, he will suggest making three places in Jerusalem, a Church, a Temple, and a Mosque. But his plan will be superceded by war.”
“Some say that this prediction of St. Malachy, “From the Glory of the Olive,” refers to the Order of St. Benedict, because they have a well-known group within their order called the ‘Olivetans.’ There is some merit to this idea. But it does not mean that this Pope will come from the Order of St. Benedict, but rather that he will take the name of Saint Benedict and will live in imitation of him.”
“The next Pope after John Paul II will take the name Pope Benedict XVI, in imitation of Saint Benedict and also of Pope Benedict XV. Just as Pope Benedict XV was an emissary of peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI be an emissary of peace. Just as Pope Benedict XV sought peace and spoke of peace and wrote papal documents seeking peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI do also. Just as Pope Benedict XV failed to achieve peace in the world, so will Pope Benedict XVI fail to achieve peace in the world. Just as the Pontificate of Benedict XV began prior to World War I, so will the Pontificate of Benedict XVI occur prior to World War III. After the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, World War III will begin.”
“Pope Benedict XVI will be like Saint Benedict, who lived in the fifth and sixth centuries. He will be a man dedicated to peace and holiness.”
During the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, I correctly predicted the name of the next Pope and the reason for the choice. I also incorrectly predicted that this Pope would be a black man (because one of the well-known Saint Benedicts is black). My current prediction is that the next Pope [after Pope Francis resigns] will be black (Cardinal Arinze/Pope Pius XIII).