Famous 20th Century Priests

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 1 
Desmond Tutu
(First Black African Archbishop of Cape Town & Nobel Peace Prize Winner)
Desmond Tutu
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Birthdate: October 7, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Klerksdorp, South Africa
Died: December 26, 2021
Desmond Tutu is known for his anti-Apartheid activism in South Africa. The first black Archbishop of Cape Town, he has also been the Bishop of Johannesburg. His efforts to eradicate AIDS, poverty, anti-LGBT sentiments, and human rights violations earned him the Nobel Peace Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
 2 
T. D. Jakes
(Priest, Author, Writer)
T. D. Jakes
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Birthdate: June 9, 1957
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: South Charleston

Known for his baritone voice and his signature goatee, T. D. Jakes is a bishop at The Potter's House and a filmmaker, too. He has produced and appeared in films such as Jumping the Broom and Not Easily Broken, the latter being based one of his novels.

 3 
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
(Jesuit Priest who Co-developed the Concept of Noosphere & was Part of the Discovery of Peking Man)
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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Birthdate: May 1, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Orcines, France
Died: April 10, 1955

French paleontologist and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin is remembered as someone who deviated from theology to science. He discovered the fossilized remains known as the Peking man in China, but faced a lot of opposition from his religious superiors when it came to publishing his scientific thoughts.

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 4 
Jim Elliot
(Missionary)
Jim Elliot
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Birthdate: October 8, 1927
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Portland, Oregon
Died: January 8, 1956
 American Christian missionary Jim Elliot was one of five people killed during Operation Auca. He is still remembered for his selfless devotion to God and his zeal, tempered by love, to guide people. The Journals of Jim Elliot contains volumes of documents written over many years by Jim Elliot in which the missionary has detailed his mission work.
 5 
Solomon Burke
(Singer, Priest, Guitarist, Songwriter, Composer)
Solomon Burke
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Birthdate: March 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Philadelphia
Died: October 10, 2010
American preacher and singer Solomon Burke shaped the sound of rhythm and blues as one of the founding fathers of soul music in the 1960s. Known for his 'prodigious output', Burke has been called 'a key transitional figure bridging R&B and soul'. During his professional career that lasted 55 years, Burke released 38 studio albums and had 35 singles.
 6 
Max Lucado
(Theologian, Writer)
Max Lucado
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Birthdate: January 11, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: San Angelo
A best-selling author and pastor at Oak Hills Church, Max Lucado is known for combining poetic storytelling and homespun humor. With over 120 million copies sold in 54 languages, Max is dubbed as America’s Pastor. He received three Gold Medallion Book of the Year awards for his books, Just Like Jesus, In the Grip of Grace, and When God Whispers Your Name.
 7 
Ivan Illich
(Roman Catholic Priest and Author of 'Deschooling Society' which Criticises Modern Society's Educational Approach)
Ivan Illich
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Birthdate: September 4, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 2, 2002

Ivan Illich was a Roman Catholic priest, philosopher,  theologian, and social critic. He criticized modern society's institutional approach to education in his book Deshooling Society. He studied theology and philosophy at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was ordained as a priest in 1951. Later on, he founded the Center of Intercultural Formation (CIF) to train missionaries. 

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 8 
Mychal Judge
(Catholic priest)
Mychal Judge
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Birthdate: May 11, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 11, 2001

Designated Victim 0001 of the 2011 Twin Tower attack, Mychal Judge was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest. Developing an early interest in monastic life, he served in various parishes before being appointed chaplain to New York City Fire Department. On hearing about the attack, he rushed to the spot and died while praying for the victims inside North Tower.

 9 
Fray Tormenta
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Birthdate: May 29, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: San Agustín Metzquititlán, Mexico
 10 
Jaime Sin
(Catholic priest)
Jaime Sin
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Birthdate: August 31, 1928
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Washington, Aklan, Philippines
Died: June 21, 2005
 11 
Daniel Berrigan
(Peace activist, Theologian, Writer, University teacher)
Daniel Berrigan
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Birthdate: May 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Virginia
Died: April 30, 2016

Daniel Berrigan was an American anti-war activist, Jesuit priest, Christian pacifist, author, poet, and playwright. Berrigan gained national attention for his protest against the Vietnam War, which landed him on the FBI's most-wanted list. He remained a popular anti-war activist throughout his life, co-founding an anti-nuclear weapons movement called the Plowshares movement in 1980.

 12 
Josemaría Escrivá
(Spanish Roman Catholic Priest)
Josemaría Escrivá
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Birthdate: January 9, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Barbastro, Spain
Died: June 26, 1975
 13 
N. T. Wright
(New Testament Scholar, Pauline Theologian and Anglican Bishop)
N. T. Wright
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Birthdate: December 1, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Morpeth, England

N. T. Wright is an English New Testament scholar. Also a Pauline theologian and Anglican bishop, he served as the bishop of Durham from 2003 to 2010. He calls for a biblical re-evaluation of theological matters and has authored several books and seminars about theology and Christian life. He is highly regarded in academic and theological circles. 

 14 
Marcel Lefebvre
(Catholic archbishop who greatly influenced modern traditional Catholicism)
Marcel Lefebvre
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Birthdate: November 29, 1905
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Tourcoing, France
Died: March 25, 1991

Marcel Lefebvre was a French Roman Catholic archbishop who founded the Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX). He joined the Holy Ghost Fathers for missionary work as a young man and was ordained a diocesan priest in 1929. Years later, he was appointed the Vicar Apostolic of Dakar, Senegal, and the Apostolic Delegate for West Africa.  

 15 
Martin Adolf Bormann
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Birthdate: April 14, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Grünwald, Bavaria, Germany
Died: March 11, 2013

Son of a top Nazi official, laicized Roman Catholic priest Martin Adolf Bormann found shelter in a church after Germany lost the war. Ordained as a priest, he later served in Congo before leaving the ministry to become a teacher of theology. After retirement, he began traveling across Germany and Austria, talking about the horrors of Nazi rule in schools.

 16 
Helen Prejean
(Catholic Religious Sister and a Leading American Advocate for the Abolition of the Death Penalty)
Helen Prejean
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Birthdate: April 21, 1939
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States

A leading advocate for abolition of death penalty, Roman Catholic sister, Helen Prejea,n started her campaign after she became spiritual guide for a death row convict, penning down her experience in her best-selling book, Dead Man Walking. Also the founder of SURVIVE, a group aimed at helping the families of the victims, she has since been giving talks across USA.     

Pio of Pietrelcina
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Birthdate: May 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pietrelcina
Died: September 23, 1968

Born Francesco Forgione, Pio of Pietrelcina changed his name after joining the Capuchin order at age 15. He later became famous for exhibiting stigmata, marks on his body symbolizing the wounds of Jesus. He is revered as the patron saint of adolescents and civil defense volunteers.

 18 
Charles Freer Andrews
(Anglican Priest, Christian Missionary, Educator and Social Reformer)
Charles Freer Andrews
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Birthdate: February 12, 1871
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: England, United Kingdom
Died: April 5, 1940

Charles Freer Andrews was a Christian missionary and Anglican priest. He was also an educator and social reformer. A close friend of Indian freedom fighters Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi, he supported the Indian struggle for independence. Gandhi fondly called him Deenabandhu, or "Friend of the Poor". Even today, Andrews is widely respected in India. 

 19 
Robert Runcie
(Archbishop of Canterbury from 1980 to 1991)
Robert Runcie
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Birthdate: October 2, 1921
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birkenhead, England
Died: July 11, 2000

Robert Runcie was born to middle-class parents, and had been part of the Scots Guards during World War II. He later became the bishop of St. Albans, before taking over as the archbishop of Canterbury. A life peer, he had also penned works such as One Light for One World.

 20 
Hans Urs von Balthasar
(Theologian and Catholic Priest Known for His 15-Volume Trilogy on Beauty, Goodness, and Truth)
Hans Urs von Balthasar
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Birthdate: August 12, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland
Died: June 26, 1988

Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar was one of the chief figures behind the formation of the Community of St. John. He also co-launched the Catholic journal Communio and penned numerous books on themes such as classical literature. Declared a cardinal, he died shortly before his investiture.

 21 
Maximilian Kolbe
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Birthdate: January 8, 1894
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Zduńska Wola, Poland
Died: August 14, 1941

Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish Conventual Franciscan friar and a Catholic priest. Venerated as Saint Maximilian Kolbe, Maximilian is best remembered for volunteering to die at the death camp of Auschwitz in place of a stranger during World War II. In 1982, Pope John Paul II declared Maximilian Kolbe a martyr of charity.

 22 
Theodore McCarrick
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Birthdate: July 7, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Theodore McCarrick is a former cardinal and laicized bishop of the Catholic Church. He became the first cardinal to resign from the College of Cardinals because of sexual abuse claims in July 2018. Known as a champion of progressive Catholicism and social justice causes, McCarrick was found guilty of sexual crimes and abuse of power. He was dismissed from clergy in 2019.

 23 
Patrick Brontë
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Birthdate: March 17, 1777
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Rathfriland, County Down, Ireland
Died: June 7, 1861
 24 
Óscar Romero
(Prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador)
Óscar Romero
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Birthdate: August 15, 1917
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador
Died: March 24, 1980

Óscar Romero was the fourth Archbishop of San Salvador. He was a prelate of the Catholic Church in El Salvador. Disturbed by a growing war between left-wing and right-wing forces, he spoke against social injustice, poverty, assassinations, and torture. He was assassinated while celebrating Mass in 1980. He is considered an unofficial patron saint of the Americas and El Salvador.

 25 
John Stott
(Theologian)
John Stott
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Birthdate: April 27, 1921
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England
Died: July 27, 2011
 26 
Charles de Foucauld
(French Soldier, Explorer, Catholic Priest and Hermit)
Charles de Foucauld
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Birthdate: September 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: December 1, 1916

Charles de Foucauld was a cavalry officer in the French Army in the late 19th century. He later became an explorer and geographer, eventually adopting the life of a hermit and a Catholic priest. He was assassinated in 1916 and is listed as a martyr in the liturgy of the Catholic Church. 

 27 
Karl Rahner
(One of the most influential Roman Catholic theologians of the 20th century)
Karl Rahner
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Birthdate: March 5, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: March 30, 1984

One of the most significant theologians of the 20th century, Karl Rahner was a disciple of Martin Heidegger at the University of Freiburg. His works such as Spirit in the World and Hearers of the Word showcase the Roman Catholic doctrine and its many interpretations.

 28 
Adolfo Nicolás
(Spanish Jesuit Priest of the 'Catholic Church')
Adolfo Nicolás
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Birthdate: April 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Villamuriel de Cerrato, Spain
Died: May 20, 2020
Greg Boyle
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Birthdate: May 19, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles
 30 
George Pell
(Cardinal)
George Pell
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Birthdate: June 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia

Australian archbishop George Pell had served as the first prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He had also played professional Australian rules football before stepping into priesthood. He made headlines in 2018, when he was convicted of child sexual assault, though the conviction was reversed later.

Michael Pfleger
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Birthdate: May 22, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Chicago
 32 
Howard W. Hunter
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Birthdate: November 14, 1907
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Boise, Idaho, United States
Died: March 3, 1995
 33 
Eddie Long
(Priest, Writer)
Eddie Long
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Birthdate: May 12, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Huntersville
Died: January 15, 2017

Senior pastor of the megachurch New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Eddie Long made headlines when a few minor male congregants accused him of sexual abuse. He held a business administration degree and also worked as a sales representative. His long struggle with cancer eventually ended in his death at 63.

 34 
D. Todd Christofferson
(Priest, Lawyer)
D. Todd Christofferson
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Birthdate: January 24, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Pleasant Grove
 35 
Ted Haggard
(Pastor, Priest, Preacher)
Ted Haggard
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Birthdate: June 27, 1956
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Yorktown

Ted Haggard is an evangelical pastor who founded New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is also the founder of the Association of Life-Giving Churches. He is against same-sex marriages. In 2006, it was revealed that he had paid a male sex worker for sexual favors and also purchased some illegal drugs from him. 

 36 
Richard Rohr
(American Franciscan Priest and Spiritual Writer)
Richard Rohr
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Birthdate: March 20, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kansas, United States
American author, Richard Rohr, was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church in 1970. He is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation. Some of Richard's famous books include Everything Belongs, Adam's Return, The Naked Now, Breathing Under Water, Falling Upward, Immortal Diamond, and Eager to Love.
 37 
Gustavo Gutiérrez
(Philosopher)
Gustavo Gutiérrez
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Birthdate: June 8, 1928
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
 38 
Tony Campolo
(Sociologist)
Tony Campolo
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Birthdate: February 25, 1935
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
 39 
Henri Nouwen
(Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian)
Henri Nouwen
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Birthdate: January 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Nijkerk, Netherlands
Died: September 21, 1996
 40 
Paul Shanley
(Priest)
Paul Shanley
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Birthdate: January 25, 1931
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Dorchester
 41 
Justin Welby
(105th Archbishop of Canterbury and the Most Senior Bishop in the Church of England)
Justin Welby
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Birthdate: January 6, 1956
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England

Justin Welby is the most senior bishop in the Church of England and the 105th Archbishop of Canterbury. In the past, he was the vicar of Southam, Warwickshire, and has also been the bishop of Durham. He is known for exploring the evangelical tradition within Anglicanism in his theology. He worked in the oil industry before his ordination. 

 42 
Georg Ratzinger
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Birthdate: January 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pleiskirchen, Germany
Died: July 1, 2020
 43 
Philip Berrigan
(Peace activist)
Philip Berrigan
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Birthdate: October 5, 1923
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Two Harbors, Minnesota, United States
Died: December 6, 2002

Philip Berrigan was a peace activist and Catholic priest. He was active in the peace and nuclear disarmament movement and advocated for peaceful and nonviolent protests. He was affiliated with the Society of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart. He was married to a former nun and peace activist Elizabeth McAlister. The couple founded Jonah House, a faith-based community. 

 44 
R. S. Thomas
(Welsh Poet and Anglican Priest)
R. S. Thomas
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Birthdate: March 29, 1913
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales
Died: September 25, 2000

One of the most prominent modern Welsh poets, R. S. Thomas is remembered for his cold style of depicting the reality of his country. Born to a sailor, he grew up in port towns and grew up to become an Anglican priest. Many of his poems contain the character Iago Prytherch.

 45 
John Geoghan
(Serial Child Rapist)
John Geoghan
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Birthdate: June 4, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Boston
Died: August 23, 2003
 46 
Avery Dulles
(Jesuit Priest, Theologian and Cardinal of the Catholic Church)
Avery Dulles
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Birthdate: August 24, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Auburn, New York, United States
Died: December 12, 2008

Avery Dulles was a Jesuit priest, cardinal of the Catholic Church, and theologian. Renowned for his skills as an author and lecturer, Dulles was associated with Woodstock College and the Catholic University of America from 1960 to 1974 and from 1974 to 1988, respectively. Over the course of his illustrious career, Avery Dulles received several prestigious honors and awards.

 47 
Raymond Leo Burke
(Catholic priest)
Raymond Leo Burke
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Birthdate: June 30, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Richland Center, Wisconsin, United States
 48 
Jean-Louis Tauran
(Cardinal of the Catholic Church)
Jean-Louis Tauran
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Birthdate: April 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bordeaux, France
Died: July 5, 2018

Jean-Louis Tauran was a French cardinal of the Catholic Church who served as president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He was also the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church. Ordained to the priesthood in 1969, he entered the Vatican's diplomatic service a few years later. He was the Vatican's chief archivist and librarian for several years. 

 49 
Momčilo Đujić
(Orthodox priest)
Momčilo Đujić
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Birthdate: February 27, 1907
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kovačić, Croatia
Died: September 11, 1999
 50 
Diane Hegarty
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Birthdate: July 10, 1942
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chicago

Though she appears like a regular blonde beauty, Diane Hegarty made headlines when she co-created the Church of Satan with her partner Anton LaVey. She has also co-written books such as The Satanic Bible and has appeared in many documentaries that featured her with her family and her pet lion.