Worshippers braved the bitter wind to celebrate the Great Blessing of the Water on the eve of Theophany. But they were equally there to pray for peace in their war-torn spiritual homeland across the sea.

Fr. Joshua Roldan, the director of the Office of Catholic Youth at the Archdiocese of Toronto, turned 20 years old in 2005, the year the late Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI.  

Pope Benedict XVI was a renowned theologian, a "recognized authority," who left "a rich legacy of studies and research on the fundamental truths of the faith," said the official summary of his life and papacy.

Beginning well before he was elected pope in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI made substantial contributions to theology and Catholic thought through his prolific writing, academic lectures and long-form interviews, say scholars who study his work. In the wake of his Dec. 31 death, Benedict has been heralded as one of the most important theologians of the 20th century, one whose scholarship will stand the test of time.

The Jan. 5 funeral Mass for Pope Benedict XVI will be a papal funeral with a few changes to fit with the fact that he was not the reigning pope and has not left behind a "sede vacante."

In accordance with Pope Benedict XVI's wishes, his funeral and moments of prayer surrounding it will be simple, according to the Vatican press office.

Tributes have been pouring in from across Canada as the Catholic community has joined the world in mourning the passing of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.

During his many years at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as during his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI made incisive contributions to the search for Christian unity, although some of his teaching also was read as ecumenically insensitive.

The late Pope Benedict XVI's disgust over the abuse scandals marring the church was made evident even before his election as pope.

In trying to help people understand how belief in God is a natural part of life and provides grounding for the values that protect human dignity and peaceful coexistence, the late Pope Benedict XVI saw Jews and Muslims as natural allies.