Benedikt XV.

Benedict XV, pope, 1854-1922

The pontificate of Benedict XV was dominated by World War I, which he termed, along with its turbulent aftermath, "the suicide of Europe". The war and its consequences were his main focus during the early years of his pontificate. Having failed with diplomatic initiatives, Benedict XV focused on humanitarian efforts to lessen the impacts of the war, such as attending prisoners of war, the exchange of wounded soldiers and food deliveries to needy populations in Europe. After the war, he repaired the difficult relations with France, which re-established relations with the Vatican in 1921.