Famous 17th Century Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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 1 
Guru Gobind Singh
8
Birthdate: December 22, 1666
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Patna, India
Died: October 7, 1708
Guru Gobind Singh, the son of Guru Tegh Bahadur, became the 10th guru, or spiritual leader, of the Sikhs after his father was killed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. He established the concept of the “Five Ks” of Sikhs and formed the Khalsa community. He also finalized the Guru Granth Sahib.
 2 
Murad IV
(Ottoman Sultan)
Murad IV
4
Birthdate: July 26, 1612
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died: February 8, 1640

Murad IV, who ruled as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1623 to 1640, was infamous for his cruelty. He took over the throne at 11 and subsequently came to be known for his exploits in the Ottoman–Safavid War, which changed the map of the Caucasus.

 3 
Osman II
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Osman II
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1604
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Istanbul
Died: May 20, 1622

Osman II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1618 until his regicide in 1622. Despite becoming the emperor at the young age of 14, Osman II sought to exercise his powers as a ruler. Renowned for his bravery, Osman II led the Ottoman campaign against Sigismund III, the King of Poland, during the Moldavian Magnate Wars. 

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 4 
Guru Tegh Bahadur
8
Birthdate: April 1, 1621
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Amritsar, India
Died: October 31, 1675

Guru Tegh Bahadur, the youngest son of Guru Hargobind Sahib, was the ninth Guru of the Sikhs. His 115 hymns find place in the Guru Granth Sahib. He tried to prevent forced conversion of Hindus and Sikhs into Islam, and was, as a result, executed by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.

 5 
Mustafa II
(Emperor of the Ottoman Empire)
Mustafa II
3
Birthdate: February 6, 1664
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: December 29, 1703

Mustafa II was the Emperor of the Ottoman Empire from 6 February 1695 to 22 August 1703. As the Sultan of the empire, Mustafa II played important roles in the Great Turkish War and Habsburg Wars. He was succeeded by his brother Ahmed III in 1703.

 6 
Mustafa I
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Mustafa I
4
Birthdate: 1591 AD
Birthplace: Manisa
Died: January 20, 1639

Mustafa I reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire on two separate occasions; from 1617 to 1618 and again from 1622 to 1623. Nicknamed Mustafa the Mad, Mustafa I is believed to have suffered mental illness and was used as a puppet by his brother-in-law Kara Davud Pasha.

 7 
Sabbatai Zevi
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1626
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: İzmir, Turkey
Died: September 17, 1676
Born to wealthy merchants in Smyrna, Sabbatai Zevi later claimed to be the Jewish Messiah. He gained a huge base of followers and gave rise to the Sabbatean movement. Threatened by the Ottoman sultan, he converted to Islam and later died in oblivion. His followers are known as crypto-Jews.
 8 
Baal Shem Tov
3
Birthdate: August 25, 1698
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Okopy, Ukraine
Died: May 22, 1760
Louise Marie Therese
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1664
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moret-sur-Loing, France
Died: 1732 AD

Louise Marie Therese was a French nun who lived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. She has been mentioned in many different sources, some dubiously claiming that she was the daughter of the Queen of France, Maria Theresa of Spain. She was a black woman and a Benedictine nun in the abbey of Moret-sur-Loing. 

 10 
George Fox
(Author)
George Fox
3
Birthdate: 1624
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Fenny Drayton, Leicestershire, England
Died: January 13, 1691

Born to a weaver, George Fox had little formal education and left home at 18, in pursuit of some religious experience. The English missionary later founded the Society of Friends, or Quakers, which is a Protestant branch. He was married to Margaret Fell, known widely as "the mother of Quakerism."

John Baptist de La Salle
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1651
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kingdom of France
Died: April 7, 1719

John Baptist de La Salle, also known as La Salle, is remembered as the founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or the de La Salle Brothers. Apart from setting up charitable boarding schools, he also trained teachers. He is revered as the patron saint of school teachers and educators.

 12 
Guru Arjan
(Fifth Sikh Guru)
Guru Arjan
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1563
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Goindwal Sahib, India
Died: May 30, 1606
 13 
Pope Benedict XIII
3
Birthdate: February 2, 1649
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Gravina in Puglia, Italy

Pope Benedict XIII served as the ruler of the Papal States and head of the Catholic Church from 1724 to 1730. A man who was not interested in worldly matters, Benedict XIII chose to maintain a monastic lifestyle. He abolished the lottery in the Papal States and built several hospitals. He is also credited with founding the University of Camerino.

 14 
Suleiman II
(Sultan of the Ottoman Empire)
Suleiman II
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1642
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Constantinople
Died: June 22, 1691

Suleiman II reigned as the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from November 1687 until his death in June 1691. He is credited with changing the fortunes of the Ottoman Empire along with Fazıl Mustafa Pasha during the War of the Holy League and reconquered Belgrade in 1690. Suleiman II is also credited with carrying out important fiscal and military reforms.

 15 
Cardinal Mazarin
(Italian Cardinal and Chief Minister of France under Louis XIII and Louis XIV)
Cardinal Mazarin
3
Birthdate: July 14, 1602
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pescina, Italy
Died: March 9, 1661
 16 
Pope Innocent X
3
Birthdate: May 6, 1574
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 7, 1655
 17 
Pope Benedict XIV
3
Birthdate: March 31, 1675
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: May 3, 1758
 18 
James Ussher
(Archbishop)
James Ussher
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1581
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 21, 1656
 19 
Pope Innocent XI
(Head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 21 September 1676 to his death on August 12, 1689)
Pope Innocent XI
3
Birthdate: May 16, 1611
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: August 12, 1689
 20 
Matthew Henry
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1662
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Flintshire, Wales
Died: June 22, 1714

Born in Wales, to a Church of England cleric who had been ejected by the Act of Uniformity, Matthew Henry grew up to be a Nonconformist minister. He is best remembered for his iconic work Exposition of the Old and New Testaments, a six-volume commentary on the Bible.

 21 
Pope Paul V
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1550
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 28, 1621
 22 
Guru Har Krishan
(Eighth Sikh Guru)
Guru Har Krishan
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1656
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kiratpur Sahib
Died: March 30, 1664
 23 
Pope Clement XI
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1649
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: March 19, 1721
 24 
Thomas Hooker
(British Colonial Leader and Congregational Minister)
Thomas Hooker
3
Birthdate: July 5, 1586
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Marefield, Leicestershire, England
Died: July 7, 1647

Thomas Hooker was an English colonial leader. Hooker is credited with founding the Colony of Connecticut and is hence referred to as the Father of Connecticut. Thomas Hooker, who played a major role in the development of colonial New England, was one of the founders of the state of Connecticut as well as the city of Hartford.   

 25 
Pope Clement XIII
3
Birthdate: March 7, 1693
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: February 2, 1769
 26 
Pope Clement XII
3
Birthdate: April 7, 1652
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: February 6, 1740
 27 
Guru Har Rai
(Sikh Guru)
Guru Har Rai
3
Birthdate: January 16, 1630
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kiratpur, Punjab, India
Died: October 6, 1661
 28 
Louise de Marillac
3
Birthdate: August 12, 1591
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Le Meux, Oise, France
Died: March 15, 1660
Pope Alexander VIII
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1610
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: February 1, 1691
 30 
Pope Gregory XV
2
Birthdate: January 9, 1554
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: July 8, 1623
 31 
Pope Innocent XIII
2
Birthdate: May 13, 1655
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Poli, Italy
Died: March 7, 1724
Marguerite Bourgeoys
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1620
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Troyes, Champagne, Kingdom of France
Died: January 12, 1700
 33 
John Smyth
(Baptist minister)
John Smyth
3
Birthdate: 1554 AD
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: August 28, 1612

Also known as the "Se-baptist," or "self-baptizer," John Smyth is considered the pioneer of the Baptist faith in England. Initially a city preacher in Lincoln, he later joined a group of separatists who believed in believer’s baptism, as opposed to infant baptism, and thus formed the branch of Baptist Christianity.

 34 
Pope Alexander VII
3
Birthdate: February 13, 1599
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: May 22, 1667
 35 
Pope Clement X
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1590
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: July 22, 1676
 36 
Pope Clement IX
2
Birthdate: January 28, 1600
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pistoia, Italy
Died: December 9, 1669
 37 
Pope Innocent XII
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1615
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Spinazzola, Italy
Died: September 27, 1700
 38 
Popé
(Tewa Religious leader)
Popé
2
Birthdate: 1630 AD
Birthplace: Ohkay Owingeh, New Mexico, United States
Died: 1688 AD

Popé was a Tewa religious leader best remembered for leading the Pueblo Revolt against Spanish colonial rule in 1680. The revolt led by him was successful as the Pueblo managed to keep the colonists out of the territory for 12 years. In 2005, Popé was honored with a statue at the National Statuary Hall.

 39 
Takuan Sōhō
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1573
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Tajima, Japan
Died: December 27, 1645
 40 
Alessandro Valignano
2
Birthdate: February 15, 1539
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Chieti, Italy
Died: January 20, 1606
 41 
Louis Hennepin
2
Birthdate: May 12, 1626
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ath, Belgium, Spanish Netherlands
Died: December 5, 1704

Seventeenth-century Franciscan Roman Catholic priest, missionary, and explorer Louis Hennepin was the first to sail through the Great Lakes up to Illinois and to pen a description about the region. Though captured by Sioux Indians, he was later rescued by a French explorer. He spent his final years in a monastery.

 42 
Scipione Borghese
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1577
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Artena, Italy
Died: October 2, 1633
 43 
Patriarch Nikon of Moscow
(Russian patriarch)
Patriarch Nikon of Moscow
2
Birthdate: May 7, 1605
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Veldemanovo, Russia
Died: August 17, 1681
 44 
Manasseh ben Israel
2
Birthdate: 1604 AD
Birthplace: Lisbon?, Portugal
Died: November 20, 1657
 45 
Joseph Justus Scaliger
(French Calvinist Religious Leader and Scholar)
Joseph Justus Scaliger
2
Birthdate: August 5, 1540
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Agen, France
Died: January 21, 1609

Joseph Justus Scaliger was a French Calvinist scholar and religious leader. His works on chronology were regarded as one of the most important contributions of Renaissance scholars. Joseph Justus Scaliger is best remembered for inflating the idea of classical history from ancient Roman and Greek history to include Babylonian, Persian, ancient Egyptian, and Jewish history. 

 46 
François Leclerc du Tremblay
2
Birthdate: November 4, 1577
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 17, 1638
 47 
Étienne Guibourg
2
Birthdate: 1610 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: December 31, 1686
 48 
John Whitgift
(Archbishop)
John Whitgift
2
Birthdate: 1530 AD
Birthplace: Great Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England
Died: February 29, 1604

John Whitgift served as the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 until his death in 1604. Whitgift was also a teacher and is credited with teaching Francis Bacon and his brother Anthony Bacon in the 1570s. He is also credited with establishing charitable foundations like The Whitgift Foundation, which aims at providing care for the elderly and education for the young.

 49 
John Eudes
(Priest)
John Eudes
2
Birthdate: November 14, 1601
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ri, France
Died: August 19, 1680
 50 
Jacob Emden
2
Birthdate: June 4, 1697
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Altona, Hamburg, Germany
Died: April 19, 1776

An outstanding scholar and a prolific writer, Jacob Israel Emden was a leading German Rabbi, mostly remembered for his fierce opposition to the Shabbatean movement and his bitter dispute with Rabbi Jonathan Eybeschütz. Also interested in secular works, he had 31 works to his credit, five of which were published posthumously.