Saints are holy people who are considered pious and virtuous in different religions and traditions. Here’s a list of famous saints who influenced the world with their profound values and inspiring way of living.
The saints are holy people who lived a life full of virtues and are usually considered to reach heaven after death. In Catholic and Orthodox Churches, people who are formally recognized and canonized after death are called saints. Since ages and ages, the common masses have embraced the values of these saints, their life stories and their legends.
Here are the most famous saints from diverse religions and spiritual traditions.
Born in Skopje, Mother Teresa was a true disciple of Christ who was beatified in 2003 and canonized as a saint in 2016 by Catholic Church and Pope Francis. She wholeheartedly dedicated all her life to care and service of poor. In 1950, she laid the foundation of a Roman Catholic religious congregation named ‘Missionaries of Charity’. In 2012, it had more than 4500 sisters and was operational in 13 countries. She received many honors including Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 and Ramon Magsaysay Peace Prize in 1962. She is a historical woman hero who devoted her life to humanity.
As recognized by scholars, Mirabai was one of the most celebrated central poet-saints of Bhakti movement. A Hindu mystic poet and big devotee of Lord Krishna, she was the child of Ratna Singh Rathore of Merta. She is known to have composed many devotional songs. After her husband Bhojraj’s death, she devoted herself entirely to religious pursuits and sang praises of Lord Krishna.
Also known as The Maid of Orleans, Joan of Arc was regarded as the heroine of France and because of her significant role at the time of Lancastrian phase of Hundred Years’ Wars. She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is among the nine secondary patron saints of France.
A historic Christian saint, Saint Nicholas was also called Nikolaos the Wonderworker because of his several miracles attributed to intercession. It’s his secret and legendary gift-giving habit that influenced the Santa Claus (St. Nick). He is venerated in several Christian traditions.
Some Catholics call him Saint John Paul the Great, he is Pope John Paul II. He served as the Pope of Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican city during 1978-2005. He is one of the most influential spiritual leaders of 20th century. He traveled around the world and shared message of religious values.
A figure of primal importance in Buddhism religion, Gautam Buddha or Siddhartha Gautama or simply Buddha was an ascetic and sage. He was a privileged prince who renounced the luxurious life and turned to asceticism. After attaining nirvana, he spent rest of his life imparting life teachings and taking disciples mostly in the eastern part of ancient India around 4th to 6th BC.
Sai Baba of Shirdi, or Shirdi Sai Baba, was an Indian spiritual master and was revered by Hindu and Muslim devotees alike. He has been regarded as a fakir, saint, satguru, and Lord Shiva’s incarnation. His devotees consider him to be creator, sustainer and destroyer of universe. His idols are adorned with jewels and all kinds of Hindu vedic deities as he is supreme God.
Dalai Lama is the political as well as spiritual leader of Tibetans. One of the scholar saints, he practices non-violent opposition to Chinese rule while adhering to Buddhist values and traditions of compassion and forgiveness.
Lord Mahavira or Vardhamana was the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism. Born into a royal family around 6th century BC, he gave up all the worldly possessions to lead life of an ascetic at the age of 30. Practising severe austerities and intense meditation for next 12 and a half years, he is known to have acquired Kevala Jnana (omniscience). Before attaining nirvana, he gained enlightenment and preached the Jain religion to his disciples.
Mary Magdalene is regarded as a saint by churches of different Christian traditions. Other Protestant churches commemorate her as a heroine of faith. She is one of the most important woman in Bible and several legends surround her. One of the most devoted disciples of Jesus, she is believed to have witnessed Jesus’ crucifixion and visit his tomb.
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