After nearly eight years heading the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI will retire from the papacy on Thursday. Here are some of the most notable moments of Benedict’s service to the Church:

  • Aug. 22, 1981: Coins and popularizes the phrase “big man upstairs”
  • Mar. 14, 1993: After being promoted to bishop, an ambitious Joseph Ratzinger makes a number of shrewd diagonal moves in pursuit of the papacy
  • Apr. 20, 2005: One day after his election, Vatican observers report that it’s pretty obvious that the pope is not into this
  • Dec. 25, 2005: Benedict causes an uproar by wearing Prada shoes, a red cape, and nothing else to Christmas mass
  • Feb. 18, 2006: Benedict upholds longstanding Church doctrine barring horses from becoming priests
  • Nov. 30, 2006: The pope thinks he hears God’s voice, but it turns out to be the heat coming on
  • Mar. 14–Apr. 26, 2009: Hinduism phase
  • Nov. 10, 2011: A group of young archbishops learn tons of cool new curse words in Latin while watching Benedict tumble down a flight of stairs
  • Feb. 28, 2013: Turns in his badge and gun