November 3, 2009.
Like he does every November, the pope visited the Vatican crypt to pray at the tombs of some of his predecessors who are buried there.
First he prayed at the tomb of Benedict XV, the pope who inspired him to choose his name. Then he went to the tomb of Pius XI who was pope when Joseph Ratzinger was a child.
The pope also prayed before the tomb of Pius XII, who was pope when Ratzinger was ordained a priest.
He then visited the tomb of Paul VI, who named him bishop and cardinal.
At the tomb of John Paul I, the pope remembered participating in the conclave that elected him pope and his funeral 33 days later.
Benedict left John Paul II’s tomb for last, the pope who brought him to Rome and who he worked closely with for 24 years.
He did not visit the tomb of John XXIII, under whom the Second Vatican council was held, because it was moved in the year 2000 when he was beatified. –JMB/RS/JM-WP