Famous Greek Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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 1 
Saint George
(Christian martyr, Saint)

Saint George
5
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Cappadocia, Turkey
Died: April 23, 0303

Saint George was a Christian soldier in the Roman army who is accepted as a saint in Christianity. He was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith and was executed by decapitation, according to Greek tradition.  Saint George's Day is celebrated in his memory on 23 April. He is one of the most venerated saints in Christianity.

 2 

Luke the Evangelist
4
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Antioch, Turkey
Died: February 29, 0084

Widely considered as the author of the two books of the New Testament, Saint Luke the Evangelist contributed far more to the New Testament than any other author and had a huge impact in the development of Christianity. He was also the companion of St. Paul the Apostle, a physician as well as the patron saint of artists and physicians.

 3 
Irenaeus
(Bishop)

Irenaeus
4
Birthdate: 0130 AD
Birthplace: Smyrna, Turkey
Died: 0202 AD

Greek bishop Irenaeus, now revered as a Catholic saint, is remembered for his clashes with the Gnostics and his notable work Adversus haereses. Irenaeus apparently preached about the validity of the Jewish Bible, while the Gnostics were against it. Legend has it that he had seen Polycarp of Smyrna.

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 4 
Saint Nicholas
(Bishop of Myra)

Saint Nicholas
2
Birthdate: March 15, 0270
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Patara, Turkey
Died: December 6, 0343
Fourth-century Greek Christian bishop Saint Nicholas gave rise to the legend of "Santa Claus," associated with the tradition of gifting during Christmas. One legend states that he saved three girls from prostitution and dropped sacks of gold coins through their window to help their father pay for their dowry.

 5 
Macaria
(Goddess)

Macaria
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Greece

A daughter of Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, Macaria is remembered for sacrificing her life to ensure victory for Athens against King Eurystheus. When Athens prepares for war against Eurystheus, an oracle informs that Athens will win only if a maiden is sacrificed to Persephone. Upon hearing this, Macaria decides to save other girls by volunteering.

 6 
Marcion of Sinope
(Theologian)

Marcion of Sinope
3
Birthdate: 0085 AD
Birthplace: Sinop, Turkey
Died: 0160 AD

Marcion of Sinope was an evangelist, theologian, and a prominent figure in early Christianity. His teachings gave rise to a dualistic belief system called Marcionism. Marcion claimed that the god mentioned in the Old Testament was a deity responsible for the creation of the material universe and is different from the true Supreme Being, who sent Jesus Christ to earth.

 7 

Pope Anacletus
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0092 AD

Pope Anacletus, or Cletus, was once the bishop of Rome and later set up 25 Roman parishes as the pope. He was said to have been martyred during Domitian’s rule. He finds mention in Dante’s Divine Comedy and has been named to the Roman Canon of the Mass.

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 8 

Pope Telesphorus
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Terranova da Sibari, Italy
Died: 0136 AD

Pope Telesphorus served as the bishop of Rome from 126 until his death in 137. He is venerated as a patron saint of the order by the Carmelites. Some sources even portray him as a hermit living on Mount Carmel. Saint-Télesphore, a town in Canada's Quebec province, is named after Pope Telesphorus.

 9 

Pope Hyginus
3
Birthdate: March 18, 0074
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: 0142 AD

Pope Hyginus served as the bishop of Rome from 138 until his death in 142. Hyginus played a crucial role in determining the numerous prerogatives of the clergy during his papacy. He also helped define the various grades of the priestly hierarchy. 

 10 

Pope Sixtus II
3
Birthdate: 0215 AD
Birthplace: Greece
Died: August 6, 0258

Pope Sixtus II served as the bishop of Rome from 257 to 258. He was among the deacons who were persecuted by Emperor Valerian. One of the first victims to be beheaded on 6 August 258, Pope Sixtus II was martyred with six other deacons. He is venerated by the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.  

 11 
Pope Dionysius
(Former Pope)

Pope Dionysius
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Greece
Died: December 26, 0268

 12 

Pope Stephen III
2
Birthdate: 0720 AD
Birthplace: Syracuse, Italy
Died: January 24, 0772

Pope Stephen III served as the bishop of Rome from 768 until his death in 772. As the ruler of the Papal States, Pope Stephen III called for the Lateran Council of 769, which is widely regarded as the most prominent Roman council of the 8th century.

Antipope Alexander V
2
Birthdate: 1339 AD
Birthplace: Neapoli, Greece
Died: May 3, 1410

During the Great Western Schism, Peter of Candia/Peter Phillarges, was elected a pope by the Council of Pisa and crowned Alexander V. His reign in opposition to the Roman pope Gregory XII and the Avignon antipope Benedict XIII lasted just ten months. Later, the Catholic Church recognised the Roman Pope as legitimate while Alexander V was considered an antipope.

 14 

Pope Theodore II
2
Birthdate: 0840 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: January 31, 0897

Elected during one of the worst phases in the papal history, Pope Theodore II’s rule lasted for a short period of twenty days only. His principal work was to cancel the recently held Cadaver Synod, at which Pope Stephen VI had annulled the ordinations and acts of Pope Formosus,  and thereafter give an honourable burial to the corpse of Formosus.

 15 
Pope John VI
(Bishop of Rome from 30 October 701 to his death)

Pope John VI
2
Birthdate: 0655 AD
Birthplace: Ephesus, Turkey
Died: January 11, 0705

 16 

Pope Eleutherius
2
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Nicopolis, Greece
Died: May 4, 0189

Pope Eleutherius, the bishop of Rome for around 15 years from 174 to 189 C.E, is revered as a Saint in the Catholic Church. He is known for his stance against the Montanist movement and the food decree that he issued. Also, as per a legend, it is believed that Lucius, the King of Britain, asked him to send missionaries.

 17 
Damaskinos of Athens
(Archbishop of Athens)

Damaskinos of Athens
2
Birthdate: March 3, 1891
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Dhorvitsia, Greece
Died: May 20, 1949

Damaskinos of Athens served as the archbishop of Athens from 1941 to 1949. Between 1944 and 1946, he also served as the regent of Greece; the period that marked the exit of the German occupation force and the return of King George II. He also founded the charity Queen's Fund to help children affected by the Greek Civil War.

Athenagoras I of Constantinople
2
Birthdate: April 6, 1886
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vasiliko, Greece
Died: July 7, 1972

Athenagoras I of Constantinople was a Greek archbishop who went on to serve as the 268th Patriarch of Constantinople. He served as the Patriarch from 1948 to 1972 during which he worked closely with the World Council of Churches. He also worked tirelessly to improve Constantinople's relations with the Pope and the Catholic Church.

Alexander of Abonoteichus
2
Birthdate: 0105 AD
Birthplace: Abonoteichos
Died: 0170 AD

Alexander of Abonoteichus was a Greek oracle and mystic best remembered for founding the Glycon Cult, a large cult that achieved wide popularity in the 2nd century within the Roman Empire. Although Alexander of Abonoteichus achieved great popularity and political influence with his predictions, modern scholars like Lucian of Samosata have called him a fraud.

 20 

Ieronymos II of Athens
2
Birthdate: March 10, 1938
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oinofyta, Greece

Ieronymos II of Athens is the current Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. He was elected by the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece on 7 February 2008. Ieronymos is also credited with authoring two major textbooks, namely Christian Boeotia and Medieval Monuments of Euboea.

 21 
Isidore of Kiev
(Cardinal)

Isidore of Kiev
2
Birthdate: 1385 AD
Birthplace: Monemvasia, Greece
Died: April 27, 1463

Isidore of Kiev was a Greek Orthodox patriarch of Russia, Roman cardinal, humanist and theologian who was a prominent advocate of the reunion of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Western Catholic Church. He, however, faced opposition, imprisonment and was forced into exile. Later, Pope Pius II gave him two titles - Latin Patriarch of Constantinople and Archbishop of Cyprus.

Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) of Kafsokalivia
2
Birthdate: February 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Agios Ioannis, Euboea, Greece
Died: December 2, 1991

A Greek Athonite hieromonk and Eastern Orthodox Saint recognised for his gifts of spiritual discernment, Porphyrios (Bairaktaris) of Kafsokalivia was born in a village in Greece as Evangelos Bairaktaris. He became a monk when he was around fourteen and then served as a priest, a spiritual confessor and a hospital chaplain. The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople canonized him in 2013.

 23 

William of Moerbeke
1
Birthdate: 1215 AD
Birthplace: Geraardsbergen, Belgium
Died: 1286 AD

William of Moerbeke was a translator best remembered for translating important scientific, medical, and philosophical written materials from Greek to Latin. He is credited with translating some of Aristotle's works, including Politics. William of Moerbeke's translations were influential and his works are still revered by modern scholars.

 24 

Christodoulos of Athens
1
Birthdate: January 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Xánthi, Greece
Died: January 28, 2008

Christodoulos of Athens served as the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece from 1998 to 2008. He is credited with launching new Church social services to tackle social issues like the support for single mothers, the welfare of drug addicts, and the support for abused women. Christodoulos of Athens also established an NGO named Solidarity to aid humanitarian causes.

Macedonius I of Constantinople
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Thracia, Greece

Macedonius I of Constantinople was a Greek bishop who served as the Archbishop of Constantinople between 342 and 360. He had two terms as the Archbishop of Constantinople; from 342 to 346 and again from 351 to 360. Macedonius I of Constantinople is credited with inspiring the founding of a sect called Pneumatomachi, which was later declared heretical.

 26 

Gregory of Sinai
1
Birthdate: 1260 AD
Birthplace: Klazomenai, Turkey
Died: November 27, 1346

Gregory of Sinai was a monk who played a major role in the emergence of Hesychasm in 14th century. He learned the ways of Hesychasm from Arsenios. Gregory of Sinai is also credited with founding a monastery in southeast Bulgaria where he had taken shelter in the Bulgarian Empire in an attempt to escape the increasing Muslim raids on Athos.

 27 

Andreas of Caesarea
1
Birthdate: 0563 AD
Birthplace: Greece
Died: 0637 AD

Andreas of Caesarea was a Greek theological writer whose commentary on the Book of Revelation is regarded as his principal work. His work is widely considered the earliest Greek patristic commentary on the Book of Revelation. Andreas of Caesarea is also credited with preserving several Eastern traditions associated with the Apocalypse of John.

 28 
Philotheus I of Constantinople
(Patriarch of Constantinople)

Philotheus I of Constantinople
0
Birthdate: 1300 AD
Birthplace: Thessaloniki, Greece
Died: 1379 AD

Philotheus I of Constantinople served as the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople between 1353 and 1376. He had two terms as the Ecumenical Patriarch; from 1353 to 1354 and again from 1364 to 1376. Philotheus I of Constantinople was also a prolific writer. As a hymn writer, he is remembered for composing services in commemoration of Saint Gregory Palamas.

 29 

Seraphim of Athens
0
Birthdate: October 26, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karditsa, Greece
Died: April 10, 1998

Seraphim of Athens served as the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. In his capacity as the Archbishop, a position which he served from 1974 until his death in 1998, Seraphim of Athens visited the Patriarchates of Belgrade, Sofia, Antioch, Moscow, and Constantinople. During his 24-year tenure as Archbishop, he swore in numerous Prime Ministers and six Presidents of Greece.

 30 
John XI of Constantinople
(Patriarch of Constantinople)

John XI of Constantinople
0
Birthdate: 1225 AD
Birthplace: Nicaea
Died: February 29, 1297

John XI of Constantinople served as the Patriarch of Constantinople from 1275 to 1282. He was also the chief Greek advocate during the reunion of the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches in Byzantine times. John XI of Constantinople served in the court of Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus, who depended on John for maintaining his empire's tranquility with the West.

 31 

Eusebius of Emesa
0
Birthdate: 0300 AD
Birthplace: Edessa, Greece
Died: 0360 AD

Eusebius of Emesa was a pupil of Eusebius of Caesarea and ecclesiastic of the Greek Church. His abilities as an astronomer and mathematician led locals to believe that he was practicing sorcery. His reputation as an astrologer earned him a respectable place in the empire of Constantius II. Eusebius of Emesa often accompanied the emperor on his expeditions.

 32 
Anthimus VII of Constantinople
(Ecumenical Patriarch)

Anthimus VII of Constantinople
0
Birthdate: 1827 AD
Birthplace: Epirus, Greece
Died: December 19, 1913

Anthimus VII/Anthimus VII Tsatsos was the Ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople for two years between 1895 and 1896. He is known for his criticism of the papal encyclical Praeclara Gratulationis (of Roman Pope Leo XIII) which called for the reunion of Eastern and Western churches. He was also a theologian, an orator and a critic of the Roman Catholic Church.

 33 
Dositheos II of Jerusalem
(Patriarch of Jerusalem)

Dositheos II of Jerusalem
0
Birthdate: May 31, 1641
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Arachova, Greece
Died: February 8, 1707

Dositheos II of Jerusalem was the Patriarch of Jerusalem between 1669 and 1707 and is known for supporting the Eastern orthodoxy over Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. Earlier, after being ordained deacon, he was made archdeacon of Jerusalem and thereafter consecrated archbishop of Caesarea Palestinae. His work History of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was published after his death.

 34 
Macarius Magnes
(Religious Leader)

Macarius Magnes
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Greece

Macarius Magnes is best remembered for his apology against a Neo-Platonic philosopher. The apology, which seems to be written in the early period of fourth century, was discovered along with a manuscript of the 15th century in Athens in 1867. This work, which was edited by Blondel, is considered valuable because of its agreement with the views of Gregory Nyssen.

 35 
Meletios Pegas
(Patriarch of Alexandria)

Meletios Pegas
0
Birthdate: 1549 AD
Birthplace: Heraklion, Greece
Died: September 12, 1601

Meletios Pegas was consecrated Greek Patriarch of Alexandria in 1590 and continued to serve till 1601. He was opposed to the Roman Catholic Church and worked towards the Greek Church-Coptic Church reunification. While in office, he simultaneously also served as locum tenens of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. He is revered as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Patriarch Metrophanes of Alexandria
0
Birthdate: 1589 AD
Birthplace: Veria, Greece
Died: May 30, 1639

Patriarch Metrophanes of Alexandria was a Greek theologian and monk. Between 1636 and 1639, he was the Greek Patriarch of Alexandria. Metrophanes constructed an important library during his term as patriarch of Alexandria. Patriarch Metrophanes of Alexandria is also credited with educating the West of Orthodoxy and aspired to unify the churches of Western Europe with the Orthodox Church.

Munejjim-bashi Ahmed Dede
0
Birthdate: 1631 AD
Birthplace: Thessaloníki, Greece
Died: February 27, 1702

Munejjim-bashi Ahmed Dede was an Ottoman courtier, historian, scholar, and Sufi poet. His principal work Jamiʿ al-Duwal is considered valuable for the information it provides on the history of the Muslim dynasties from the medieval period. The work also states that the Muslim dynasties were located around the southwestern shore of the popular Caspian Sea.