Discover Famous Saints: 12 Top Tips to Inspire Your Soul With Stories of the World’s Most Beloved Famous Saints
This blog post explores the lives and legacies of the most famous saints throughout Christian history. Discover why certain famous saints like St. Francis, St. Patrick, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and other famous saints became renowned for their virtue, miracles, and service to the Gospel.
Learn what led to the widespread veneration of these famous saints across time, making them shining examples that continue inspiring devotion and emulation today. Study the key moments and qualities that propelled these famous saints in the Catholic Church to international fame and influenced many spiritual seekers over the centuries.
Whether converts who spread the faith, founders of religious orders, or martyrs whose sacrifices moved nations, these famous saints’ stories are worth learning for their wisdom and witness.
Who are the most famous saints?
Certain holy men and women have captured the attention and admiration of multitudes of the faithful across time. Though all famous saints enjoy heavenly glory, some seem to shine with special brightness, illuminating the path for those still on earth. These well-known holy figures include:
- St. Francis of Assisi – This beloved 13th-century saint founded the Franciscan order and was the first recorded figure to receive the stigmata. St. Francis exemplified extraordinary humility, poverty, and love for nature and animals. His compassion continues speaking through the centuries.
- St. Anthony of Padua – Only 36 years old when he died in 1231, this dynamic Franciscan preacher left an enduring legacy of inspirational sermons and public ministry. Anthony had profound mystical experiences and was renowned for miracles during and after his life.
- St. Patrick – As the missionary bishop and patron saint of Ireland, Patrick is one of the world’s most famous saints. He spread the Gospel extensively through Ireland in the 400s and helped establish Christianity there.
- St. Teresa of Calcutta – A 20th-century saint known for ministering to the poor, Mother Teresa gained worldwide fame through her work in the slums of Calcutta. Her Missionaries of Charity serve the destitute globally.
- St. Therese of Lisieux – Joining a convent at only 15 years old, this young French saint is known as “the Little Flower” left a profound spiritual legacy emphasizing simplicity, trust in God, and devotion to charity.
Why are they the most famous saints?
Certain key factors contribute to the widespread fame and high esteem surrounding famous saints like these. Their places in the Communion of Saints stand out for many because:
– Their stories are so captivating and inspiring, revealing extraordinary virtue even amidst difficulties. Their lives encourage us in faith.
– They embraced key missions, from founding religious orders to zealous evangelization to serving society’s outcasts. Their works changed the world.
– Many miracles and spiritual gifts are attributed to them, revealing heaven’s favor. God worked wonders through their openness.
– Their deeds and sacrifices witness to the radical nature of the Gospel. Their examples propel the faith forward.
– They responded wholeheartedly to their unique personal vocations. We relate to the passion of their individual spiritual journeys.
– Their wisdom and insights remain influential through their writings, prayers, and reflections. Their words still guide souls to God.
– They continue impacting lives and doing good works from heaven through their ongoing intercession. They actively help those who seek them.
What makes someone a saint in the Catholic Church?
For the Catholic Church to officially declare someone a saint involves several careful steps. First, at least 5 years after the individual’s death, the local bishop investigates their life of “heroic virtue.” If deemed worthy, they receive the title “Venerable.”
Next, beatification requires that a miracle occurs through that venerable person’s intercession. They then receive the title “Blessed.” Canonization occurs after a second miracle, and the Pope declares this individual a saint. Martyrs can follow a faster process toward sainthood.
To be declared a saint means the Church has verified the person practiced extraordinary, exemplary holiness during their life on earth. They remained heroically faithful to Christ and His Gospel, sacrificing much in service to God and others. Their lives now reflect His glory in heaven.
How many Catholic saints are there?
The sheer number of Catholic famous saints may surprise some! In the Church’s 2000-year history, over 10,000 faithful followers of Jesus have been officially canonized as saints. Today, new saints continue being recognized at a faster pace than ever before.
Recent popes have presided over large canonization ceremonies honoring dozens of new famous saints at once. For example, Pope Francis canonized 813 martyrs of Otranto in Italy in 2013. He also canonized two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII, in 2014.
Additionally, there are innumerable holy men and women honored as famous saints since the early Church though not officially canonized. The definitive number of famous saints and martyrs now reigning in heaven remains known to God alone. It serves as a testament to the abundant spiritual fruits produced by lives animated by faith.
When did sainthood start in the Catholic Church?
The origins of recognizing certain deceased Christians as saints dates back to apostolic times and the Roman martyrdoms of the 1st century AD. From the beginning, those who died for the faith were honored as special witnesses of Christ. Their relics were cherished, their gravesites venerated.
By the 3rd century AD, churches were being built over the tombs of martyrs, and the anniversary of a martyr’s death was celebrated. Famous saints became patrons of churches and inspirations for the faithful.
In the 10th century, the Catholic Church began regulating the public veneration of famous saints. The legal process of canonization emerged under Pope John XV in 993 AD when he officially canonized Saint Ulrich of Augsburg.
Today, formal canonization remains under papal authority. Famous saints are seen as crucial examples and intercessors pointing us continually toward Christ, the source of holiness.
What saint is known for miracles?
Miracles enlighten the presence of the supernatural within our world. Certain famous saints became renowned specifically for miracles accredited to their intercession. These include:
- St. Jude Thaddeus – This apostle emerges in the Scriptures little but became famous for miraculous answers to desperate cases. St. Jude assists when all else fails.
- St. Padre Pio – Known for bearing the stigmata and mystically battling demons, this 20th-century Franciscan also frequently worked wonders for the suffering. Many were healed simply by his touch.
- St. Teresa of Avila – A remarkable Spanish mystic and reformer, the miracles surrounding St. Teresa included visions, prophecies, bodily cures, and levitation. Her intercession continues working favors.
- St. Francis Xavier – The miracles ascribed to this companion of St. Ignatius of Loyola were said to include raising people from the dead, healing cripples and speaking unknown languages while evangelizing Asia.
- St. Anthony of Padua – Legends of this saint’s miracles include speaking to fish, reading people’s hearts, and visions of the infant Jesus. Anthony’s wonders invoked during lost item searches persist today.
Which saints are known for evangelism?
Certain saints stand out for their zeal to spread the Gospel message. These holy evangelists include:
- St. Paul – After his dramatic conversion, Christianity’s greatest missionary traveled thousands of miles founding churches throughout the Roman Empire. His letters fortified the early Church.
- St. Patrick – Despite hardship, this former slave returned to the land of his captivity to convert pagan Ireland to Christianity in the 400s. His work had an enduring legacy.
- St. Francis Xavier – In the 1500s, this Jesuit missionary heavily evangelized India and other parts of Asia, converting many. He longed to expand Christianity further into China.
- St. Therese of Lisieux – Though cloistered in a convent, this young saint called herself a “missionary” through fervent prayer and sacrifice supporting priests and the Church’s global evangelization.
- St. Junipero Serra – In the 1700s, this Franciscan founded missions up the California coast, helping spread Christianity among Native Americans. He baptized thousands of converts.
- St. John Paul II – This modern Pope evangelist traveled the world sharing the Gospel, inspiring massive youth rallies, and influencing many to reexamine the Catholic faith through his bold witness.
Who was the first canonized saint?
The first saint officially canonized through a papal declaration was Saint Ulrich of Augsburg. Born in 890 AD, this German bishop was known for his personal holiness, care for the poor, rebuilding churches, and defense of Augsburg from invasion.
Shortly after Ulrich’s death in 973, reports of miracles occurring at his tomb circulated. Pope John XV formally declared Ulrich a saint in 993, the first instance of papal canonization on record. Previously, saints were venerated based on local tradition and popular devotion.
Saint Ulrich set an important precedent of canonization being a formal act of the Pope to verify sanctity. This established a more orderly process for the universal Church to officially recognize individuals the faithful could confidently venerate for their now-confirmed holiness and heavenly intercession. Ulrich paved the way for countless canonizations to come.
How can I make a pilgrimage to visit the most famous saints?
Seeking out encounters with our holy forebears in the faith through pilgrimage is spiritually enriching. One thing that I absolutely love about the saints is that you can find a saint in almost all places of the world that you would go visit. Better yet, you can delve into their story and see how they spread the saving message of our Lord in that region of the world. However, if you are looking for a place that is packed with tons of saints, there are a few places that stand out. Some ways to visit famous saints include:
- Going to Italy and visiting all of the famous saints there is the trip of a lifetime. Going to the Vatican is a must. There you can see St Peter and visit his tomb beneath the vatican. There are also so many other famous saints it would take a whole book to talk about them all. Among the most famous saints to see St. Francis of Assisi. Travel to Assisi, Italy to pray at the tomb of St. Francis and walk in his footsteps where he lived, worked, and founded the Franciscans. Also, while you’re there, don’t miss a very new saint on his way to canonization, Blessed Carlo Acutis who is a modern-day saint and has an incredible story.
- Next, making a pilgrimage to Lourdes, France, the site of St. Bernadette’s Marian apparitions with their healing waters. They have nightly walks of the Rosary and you can actually take home healing water from the same spring that Our Lady of Lourdes gave to Saint Bernadette. While in France, you can go see Saint Therese of Lisieux, The “Little Flower”, who is one of most famous saints in the entire world.
- Journey to the National Shrine of St. Therese in Darien, Illinois which contains her incorrupt bodily relics.
- Visit the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia where St. Francis Xavier Cabrini’s body lies.
- Pray in the beautiful Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy which holds his venerated tomb and was built around the site of his death.
- Seek an indulgence at St. Patrick’s holy mountain of Croagh Patrick in Ireland and visit the St. Patrick Centre museum.
- Make a pilgrimage to Calcutta, India to visit Mother Teresa’s tomb and the Missionaries of Charity’s motherhouse.
How can I prepare to make a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the most famous saints?
As the Eternal City, Rome offers an abundance of holy places associated with revered saints. Pilgrimage sites in Rome include:
– St. Peter’s Basilica, was built over the tomb of St. Peter with relics of many popes.
– St. Paul Outside the Walls basilica, built on the site of St. Paul’s tomb.
– St. John Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral which holds the skulls of Peter and Paul.
– St. Mary Major, a magnificent basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
– St. Sebastian Catacombs where early martyrs and popes were buried.
– St. Clement Basilica’s underground excavations date to the first centuries of the Church in Rome.
– Santa Croce which contains relics from Christ’s Passion obtained by St. Helena.
– Scala Sancta, the stairs said to be from Pontius Pilate’s palace ascended by Christ.
How an I prepare to make a Catholic pilgrimage to Israel?
However, nothing compares to seeing the famous saints in Israel and making a Catholic pilgrimage to the Holy Land. What spiritual riches await us in the Holy Land, where walked so many famous saints from ages past! Making a prayerful pilgrimage to Israel allows us to trace the footsteps of some of our most beloved and famous heavenly friends. Just imagining setting foot where they once trod, and seeing the biblically significant places that shaped them, fills me with profound joy.
The Bible will fell like it’s literally opening before your eyes as you walk through all of these beloved Bible stories!
In the north, we will journey to Acre, where dwelt the remarkable St. Francis of Assisi during his peaceful mission to the Muslims. Nearby Haifa was home to the prophet Elijah and the holy Carmelites. Traveling to Bethlehem, we will visit the ancient site of Jesus’ birth, so dear to St. Jerome who translated the Bible there.
And oh, the holy city of Jerusalem! Here we will pray at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre over Christ’s tomb and walk the Via Dolorosa with Christ as Our Lady of Sorrows did. We will climb the Mount of Olives as Jesus did. The holy ground where these famous saints walked is layered with meaning.
As we voyage through this blessed land, we shall recall how Moses the great prophet stood firm, how John the Baptist prepared the way, and how the Virgin Mary said her fiat. Their lives examples will accompany us. What joy to journey to Israel on pilgrimage, soaking in the spiritual heritage of its many famous saints! Their faith inspires our own.
I’ve traveled extensively. Among the nations I’ve traveled to are America, Scotland, Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, The Vatican, Switzerland, France, Milan, and all of Israel. I’ll be in Turkey very soon.
I am knowledgeable about every aspect of travel. I’ve given you a few simple tools to help you get ready for your vacation.
- Find cheap flights for your journey HERE
- A Car Rental
- Taxi Drivers
- Bus or Train Tickets
- Choose the Perfect Hotel for Your Trip HERE
- Fun Events for Your Journey
- Travel Insurance
- Phone for Traveling
Time to pack your bags! 🙂
How can learning about the most famous saints help me to become a saint?
Studying the lives of renowned saints is beneficial for our own journey toward sainthood, because of their holy examples:
– Remind us that sanctity is possible and in every age, for every person open to God’s grace. We can follow their path to heaven.
– Reveal the wide diversity of individual spiritual vocations. We can discern our unique gifts and call by seeing how they found theirs.
– Inspire us with their passion for living the Gospel radically and serving others. Their charisms motivate our faith.
– Offer wisdom from their spiritual writings that provide guidance and nurture growth in holiness. We benefit from their experience.
– Intercede for our needs and intentions when we seek their prayers. Saints continue actively helping from heaven.
– Push us to move beyond mediocrity into heroic virtue by their bold, countercultural witness. We are emboldened in faith.
– Anchor us in the unbroken Communion of Saints across time. Their friendship accompanies us on our journey.
Pondering stories of famous holy lives illuminates the adventurous pilgrimage that we are each invited to embark upon – the path of sanctity that leads to joy in Christ forever.
Are You Inspired?
Do the lessons on these famous saints today make you feel motivated or inspired in any way? Biographies of saints make for interesting reading and conversation. It’s highly likely to bear spiritual fruit in our life.
Would you desire a quick way to talk about the saints with your family and friends? Why don’t you purchase one of these wonderful famous shirts I made just for you? There is a search box at the top of this website where you can search for your favorite famous saints. When people ask you about the meaning of your clothing in this way, you can then tell them about your favorite famous saints and their stories.
Through these inspiring stories, they could even consent to go to church with you. Even better, you might be able to introduce them to the Gospel. Romans 3:23 says that everyone has sinned and is short of the glory of God. Therefore, everyone needs a Savior.
God made provision for us to become His children by sending His one and only son to fulfill the criteria of the law. Rom. 4:15–16
Jesus had to come to Earth, live a blameless life, and die in order to offer the ultimate atonement for our sins. The Bible says it like this…
“Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.”
– Hebrews 9:22
Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial were not the end of the story, though. No, he came back to life! Because He is alive, He promises to bring us back to life once we pass away. He conquered death and sin for all time. Hallelujah!
After you’ve given your family, friends, and acquaintances this life-saving knowledge, ask them to RCIA at their neighborhood Catholic church.
Through the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults, or RCIA, family members, friends, and acquaintances can join the Catholic Church and qualify to receive the Holy Sacraments. Students can learn everything they need to know about our glorious Christian religion and our Compassionate Jesus by participating in RCIA sessions given by their parish.
This is the genuine method of saving a life. I’m wishing for you in this.
You can find a list of additional well-known saints on our website by clicking HERE.
Are you free to read about another saint after studying about St. Therese of Lisieux?
Why not look into:
- ‘Prayer for Our Mother of Perpetual Help’ – 11 Top Tips to This Inspiring Prayer that Will Reignite Your Devotion
- 15 Prayer of St Bridget: Transform Your Spiritual Life with St. Bridget’s 15 Prayers
- St. Thérèse of Lisieux: Top 11 Joyful Spirituality Aspects of Her Shining Light for Our Times
- Feel Christ’s Presence With the “St Kateri Tekakwitha Prayer” – Our Top 15 Facts & Exclusive Guide
Have you ever considered revisiting this page daily to learn more about the Saint of the Day after reading the biography of St. Therese of Lisieux? If you’d like to receive my daily saint emails in your inbox, kindly take a moment to join up. Since I realize you have a lot on your plate, I’ll keep it brief, but I’ll say more because I want you to take something away from me and continually strive to be better.
As a freebie, I’ll provide you a Mother Mary printable to display in your residence or place of business. As soon as you submit the form, I will send you an email with a link to download it.
Well, that’s all for today.
I’ll see you back tomorrow with another Saint of the Day to inspire you!
God bless you,