Famous German Priests

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 1 
Martin Luther
(German Theologian, Religious Reformer and Key Figure in Protestant Reformation)
Martin Luther
5
Birthdate: November 10, 1483
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eisleben, Germany
Died: February 18, 1546

German monk Martin Luther challenged the dogmas of Roman Catholicism and the authority of the pope, in his Ninety-five Theses, and was thus excommunicated. His German translation of the Bible enriched the German culture, and his marriage set an example for clerical marriage. His teachings are now known as Lutherans.

 2 
Thomas à Kempis
(German-Dutch Canon and Author of 'The Imitation of Christ')
Thomas à Kempis
4
Birthdate: 1380 AD
Birthplace: Kempen, Germany
Died: July 25, 1471

German-Dutch clergy Thomas à Kempis is largely believed to be the author of Imitatio Christi, or Imitation of Christ. Part of the Devotio Moderna, or the Modern Devotion movement, he was the son of a blacksmith and had moved from Rhineland to the Netherlands, where he was inspired by Gerard Groote’s followers.

 3 
Martin Adolf Bormann
(German Theologian and Roman Catholic Priest)
Martin Adolf Bormann
5
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.

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 4 
Franz Brentano
(German Philosopher, Priest, and Professor Who Founded Intentionalism)
Franz Brentano
3
Birthdate: January 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Marienberg, Germany
Died: March 17, 1917

Widely regarded as the founder of Intentionalism, or act psychology, German philosopher Franz Brentano was also a Roman Catholic priest. He also taught philosophy at the University of Würzburg and the University of Vienna and penned the iconic works Psychology from an Empirical Standpoint and Inquiry into Sense Psychology.

 5 
Heinrich Kramer
(German Inquisitor Who was Instrumental in Establishing the Period of Witch Trials in the Early Modern Period)
Heinrich Kramer
4
Birthdate: 1430 AD
Birthplace: Sélestat, France
Died: 1505 AD

Heinrich Kramer was a German inquisitor and churchman. He is best remembered for his book Malleus Maleficarum, which describes witchcraft and methods to successfully exterminate witches. Heinrich Kramer played an important role in instituting the period of witch trials, which spanned from 1400 to 1782.

 6 
Georg Ratzinger
(German Musician, Conductor, and Catholic Priest)
Georg Ratzinger
3
Birthdate: January 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Pleiskirchen, Germany
Died: July 1, 2020

Georg Ratzinger was a German musician, conductor, and Catholic priest. He is best remembered for his work as the conductor of the cathedral choir of Regensburg, Regensburger Domspatzen. The older brother of Pope Benedict XVI, Georg Ratzinger achieved notoriety when he turned a blind eye to the issues of young choir members who were sexually abused under his directorship.

 7 
Anne Catherine Emmerich
(German Catholic Nun Remembered for Her Mystical Visions)
Anne Catherine Emmerich
4
Birthdate: September 8, 1774
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coesfeld, Germany
Died: February 9, 1824

German Roman Catholic nun Anne Catherine Emmerich was born on a farm and initially failed to join any religious community due to her poor financial conditions. She later received the stigmata and experienced visions of the Virgin Mary and Passion of Jesus. Her visions apparently inspired the 2004 film The Passion of the Christ.

 8 
Karl Rahner
(One of the Most Influential Roman Catholic Theologians of the 20th Century)
Karl Rahner
4
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.

 9 
Pope Damasus II
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Damasus II
3
Birthplace: Pildenau, Duchy of Bavaria, Holy Roman Empire
Died: August 9, 1048

Poppo, who later came to be known as Pope Damasus II had initially served as the bishop of Brixen. However, Damascus II had the shortest papal reign in history, as he passed away of malaria just 23 days after assuming papacy. He was the third German to have been the pope.

 10 
Wolfgang of Regensburg
(A 10th-Century Bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria)
Wolfgang of Regensburg
3
Birthdate: 0934 AD
Birthplace: Swabia
Died: October 31, 0994

Saint Wolfgang, who was the bishop of Regensburg in Bavaria, Germany, had been a teacher for many years initially. Considered one of the 3 great 10th-century German saints, he became a hermit in his later life. He is the patron saint of carpenters and of ailments such as paralysis, strokes, and stomach diseases.

 11 
Michael von Faulhaber
(German Catholic Prelate Who Served as Archbishop of Munich)
Michael von Faulhaber
3
Birthdate: March 5, 1869
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Röthlein, Germany
Died: June 12, 1952

Michael von Faulhaber was a senior Catholic prelate and Archbishop of Munich from 1917 to 1952. He was a co-founder of the Amici Israel, a priestly association that strove for Jewish-Christian reconciliation. During the Nazi era, he was involved in drafting the encyclical Mit brennender Sorge. He recognized the Nazi government as legitimate and preached against communism.

 12 
Rabanus Maurus
(Frankish Benedictine Monk, Theologian and Author of Encyclopaedia 'De rerum naturis')
Rabanus Maurus
3
Birthdate: 0780 AD
Birthplace: Mainz, Germany
Died: February 4, 0856

Apart from being a Benedictine monk, Rabanus Maurus was also a talented author and is remembered for his 22-volume encyclopaedia On the Natures of Things. He enriched German language and literature and this gained the nickname Teacher of Germany. His works also include translations and commentaries.

 13 
Pope Victor II
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Victor II
3
Birthdate: 1018 AD
Birthplace: Germany
Died: July 28, 1057

Pope Victor II was the head of the Catholic Church and ruler of the Papal States from 1055 until his death in 1057. A son of the Swabian Count Hartwig of Calw, he was appointed bishop of Eichstätt as a young man. He became the pope following the death of Pope Leo IX. 

 14 
Leo Baeck
(German Rabbi, Scholar and Theologian)
Leo Baeck
3
Birthdate: May 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leszno, Poland
Died: November 2, 1956

German rabbi and spiritual leader Leo Baeck remains a symbol of liberal Jewish thinking of the Nazi era. He is best remembered for The Essence of Judaism and This People Israel, the latter of which was penned by him while in a Nazi concentration camp.

 15 
Norbert of Xanten
(The Archbishop of Magdeburg Who Established the Order of Premonstratensian)
Norbert of Xanten
3
Birthdate: 1075 AD
Birthplace: Cologne, German
Died: June 6, 1134

Norbert of Xanten was not just the archbishop of Magdeburg but also established the order of Premonstratensian. He is revered as the patron saint of the Kingdom of Bohemia and of safe childbirth. He also defended Pope Innocent II and influenced the German ruler to defend him.

 16 
Romano Guardini
(German Catholic Priest)
Romano Guardini
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: October 1, 1968

Though he initially studied both chemistry and economics, Romano Guardini later became a priest. He later also served the University of Berlin as its chair of philosophy in religion but was forced to resign by the Nazis. He later also taught at the University of Munich.

 17 
Hubert Schiffer
3
Birthdate: July 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Germany
Died: March 27, 1982
 18 
Heinrich Suso
(German Dominican Friar and the Most Popular Vernacular Writer of the Fourteenth Century)
Heinrich Suso
3
Birthdate: March 21, 1295
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Überlingen, Germany
Died: January 25, 1366

German mystic Heinrich Suso was a significant leader of the Friends of God movement. Best known for his work Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, he faced a lot of issues for his support of mystic Meister Eckhart. He apparently practiced austerity by wearing a shirt with 150 nails inside it.

 19 
Johann Eck
(German Catholic Theologian, Scholastic, Prelate, and a Pioneer of the Counter-Reformation)
Johann Eck
3
Birthdate: November 13, 1486
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Egg an der Günz, Germany
Died: February 10, 1543

Johann Eck was a German theologian and Catholic counter-reformer who was one of Martin Luther's most prominent theological opponents. He also contributed as an educator, working at the University of Ingolstadt as a professor of theology.

 20 
Alfred Delp
(Priest)
Alfred Delp
3
Birthdate: September 15, 1907
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mannheim, Germany
Died: February 2, 1945
 21 
Georg, Crown Prince of Saxony
2
Birthdate: January 15, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Dresden, Germany
Died: May 14, 1943
 22 
Pope Clement II
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Clement II
2
Birthdate: 1005 AD
Birthplace: Hornburg, Germany
Died: October 9, 1047

Suidger, better known as Pope Clement II, had initially served as the bishop of Bamberg. He ushered in many reforms and brought in regulations against simony. His death after a trip to Germany was attributed to poisoning with lead sugar, probably by the supporters of his successor, Benedict IX.

 23 
Angelus Silesius
(German Catholic Priest, Physician, Mystic and Religious Poet)
Angelus Silesius
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1624
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: July 9, 1677
Born in Silesia, 17th-century mystic and religious poet Johannes Scheffler, better known as Angelus Silesius, is best remembered as the author of The Cherubic Wanderer. He had initially been the court physician of the duke of Oels but later became a Roman Catholic priest. He urged German Protestants to adopt Catholicism.
 24 
Prince Georg of Bavaria
(Catholic priest)
Prince Georg of Bavaria
3
Birthdate: April 2, 1880
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
Died: May 31, 1943
 25 
Christoph Scheiner
(German Jesuit Priest, Physicist and Astronomer)
Christoph Scheiner
2
Birthdate: July 25, 1573
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Markt Wald, Germany
Died: June 18, 1650

Christoph Scheiner was a Jesuit priest, astronomer, and physicist. He is credited with inventing the pantograph which he demonstrated in Munich after he was invited by Duke William V of Bavaria. Several schools and streets in Germany are named after him. A lunar crater is also named in his honor.

Hermann of Reichenau
2
Birthdate: July 18, 1013
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Altshausen, Germany
Died: September 24, 1054
 27 
Johannes Tauler
2
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: June 16, 1361
 28 
Veleda
(Priestess)
Veleda
2
Birthdate: 0050 AD
Birthplace: Germany
 29 
Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg
(Archbishop of Regensburg)
Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg
2
Birthdate: February 8, 1744
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Herrnsheim, Worms, Germany
Died: February 10, 1817

Among the many positions held by Karl Theodor Anton Maria von Dalberg, the most notable were those of the arch-chancellor of the Holy Roman Empire and the archbishop of Mainz. Though he wished to establish a national German church, his wishes were toned down by the pope.

 30 
Ignaz von Döllinger
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1799
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bamberg, Germany
Died: January 10, 1890
Clemens August Graf von Galen
3
Birthdate: March 16, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dinklage Castle, Dinklage, Oldenburg, Germany
Died: March 22, 1946

Twentieth-century bishop of Münster, Clemens August Graf von Galen, a figure of Catholic resistance, strongly opposed the Nazi T4 program of euthanizing the sick and the physically and mentally disabled. He escaped being executed, as the Nazis had planned to hang him after winning World War II, which never happened.

 32 
Johann Albrecht Bengel
(German Priest and Theologian Known for His Edition of the 'Greek New Testament')
Johann Albrecht Bengel
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1687
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Winnenden, Germany
Died: November 2, 1752

It is unfortunate that German Lutheran clergyman Johann Albrecht Bengel is only remembered for his work on Greek New Testament. One of the greatest biblical scholars, he was also a devout Christian, who founded Swabian Pietism. He was also a pioneer in the modern textual criticism, in scientific exegesis and in modern eschatological study.

 33 
Konrad von Marburg
2
Birthdate: 1180 AD
Birthplace: Germany
Died: July 30, 1233
 34 
Hieronymus Bock
(German Priest, Physician, and Botanist Who Helped the Transition From Medieval Botany to the Modern Science)
Hieronymus Bock
1
Birthdate: 1498 AD
Birthplace: Heidersbach, Germany
Died: February 21, 1554

Hieronymus Bock was a Lutheran minister, credited with helping the philological scholasticism of medieval botany to evolve into modern science by categorizing plants according to their structural similarities. His major work, New Kreuterbuch, not only includes detailed description, but also careful illustrations of around 700 plants. For a time he also served as the physician to the prince of Zweibrücken.

 35 
Benno of Meissen
(Bishop of Meissen)
Benno of Meissen
1
Birthdate: 1010 AD
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
Died: June 16, 1106

Twelfth-century German bishop Saint Benno was imprisoned for opposing King Henry IV. Though deposed initially, he later reconciled and was restored. He is revered as the patron saint of the city of Munich and of fishermen and weavers. His images show him holding a fish with keys between its gills.

 36 
Johann Arndt
(German Lutheran Theologian)
Johann Arndt
2
Birthdate: December 27, 1555
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Edderitz, Germany
Died: May 11, 1621

Seventeenth-century German theologian Johann Arndt is remembered for his Lutheran ideals and is said to have influenced Philipp Jakob Spener, who pioneered Pietism. Of the many works penned by him, one of the most significant was Four Books on True Christianity, which later influenced many religious books.

 37 
Bernhard Häring
(Theologian)
Bernhard Häring
1
Birthdate: November 10, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Böttingen, Germany
Died: July 3, 1998
 38 
Regino of Prüm
1
Birthdate: 0842 AD
Birthplace: Altrip, Germany
Died: 0915 AD

Benedictine monk Regino of Prüm is best known for his two-volume chronicle of the period between Christ’s birth and the early 10th century, Chronicon. The abbot of Prüm, he later headed the monastery at Saint-Martin. He also advocated for a reform of church music and penned a collection of canons.

 39 
Johann Martin Schleyer
(Catholic priest who invented the constructed language Volapük)
Johann Martin Schleyer
1
Birthdate: July 18, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lauda-Königshofen, Germany
Died: August 16, 1912
 40 
Johann Ernst Hanxleden
(Priest, Philologist)
Johann Ernst Hanxleden
0
Birthdate: 1681 AD
Birthplace: Ostercappeln, Germany
Died: March 21, 1732
 41 
Eugen Drewermann
(German Theologian, Peace Activist, Church Critic, and Former Catholic Priest)
Eugen Drewermann
2
Birthdate: June 20, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berghamen, Germany

Eugen Drewermann is a German theologian, peace activist, church critic, and former Catholic priest. Drewermann's work is considered important and has been translated into over 12 languages. Over the years, Eugen Drewermann has received several prestigious awards such as the Herbert-Haag-Prize, Erich Fromm Prize, and International Albert Schweitzer-Prize.

 42 
Saint Gotthard
1
Birthdate: 0960 AD
Birthplace: Bavaria, Germany
Died: May 4, 1038
 43 
Samson Raphael Hirsch
(German Orthodox Rabbi Best Known as the Intellectual Founder of the 'Torah im Derech Eretz')
Samson Raphael Hirsch
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1808
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: December 31, 1888

Samson Raphael Hirsch is best remembered as the pioneer of the Neo-Orthodox school of Judaism. He also opposed Reform Judaism and their application of historical techniques in the study of religious texts. The Nineteen Letters on Judaism, written under the pseudonym Ben Uziel is his most notable work.

 44 
Arculf
(Bishop)
Arculf
1
Birthplace: Germany
 45 
August Gottlieb Spangenberg
1
Birthdate: July 15, 1704
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hohenstein, Germany
Died: September 18, 1792
 46 
Nikolaus von Amsdorf
1
Birthdate: December 3, 1483
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Torgau, Germany
Died: May 14, 1565
 47 
Rupert Mayer
(Catholic priest)
Rupert Mayer
2
Birthdate: January 23, 1876
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
Died: November 1, 1945

German Catholic priest Rupert Mayer is remembered for his lifelong opposition to Nazism. He had been an army chaplain during World War I and had earned the nickname The Limping Priest after losing a leg to a grenade attack. The Nazis had sent him to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Wilhelm Emmanuel von Ketteler
1
Birthdate: December 25, 1811
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Münster, Germany
Died: July 13, 1877
Duke Carl Alexander of Wurttemberg
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1896
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stuttgart, German Empire
Died: December 27, 1964

Duke Carl Alexander of Wurttemberg had been part of the German army in World War I. He escaped Nazi Germany and moved to Switzerland and later to the U.S. Remembered for his relentless work to help German Jews and refugees move to the U.S., he had also been an FBI spy.

 50 
Saint Bruno the Great
2
Birthdate: 0925 AD
Birthplace: Germany
Died: October 11, 0965

Tenth-century archbishop of Cologne Saint Bruno the Great, also known as Bruno of Saxony, was the brother of Roman emperor Otto I and the youngest son of Henry the Fowler. He established countless institutions, such as the St. Pantaleon in Cologne. In Otto’s absence, Bruno served as the regent.