The name Benedict evokes the extraordinary figure of the great 'patriarch of western monasticism,' St. Benedict of Norcia, who was a co-patron of Europe with Cyril and Methodius. It is derived from the Latin name Benedictus meaning "The Blessed". The progressive expansion of the Benedictine Order he founded exercised an enormous influence on the spread of Christianity throughout the European continent. For this reason, St. Benedict is much venerated in Germany, and especially in Bavaria. He constituted a fundamental point of reference for the unity of Europe and a powerful call to the irrefutable Christian roots of European culture and civilization."
Popes with this name had appealed to St. Benedict for help "to hold firm Christ's central position in our lives. "May he always be first in our thoughts and in all our activities!" Benedict XVI announced that, just as at the beginning of his pontificate, John Paul II had continued the reflections on Christian virtues begun by Pope John Paul I.
Benedict XVI ideally venerated Pontiff, Benedict XV, who guided the Church through the turbulent times of the First World War. He was a true and courageous prophet of peace who struggled strenuously and bravely, first to avoid the drama of war and then to limit its terrible consequences.