Famous Italian Priests

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 1 
Girolamo Savonarola
(Italian Preacher, Reformer and Martyr)
Girolamo Savonarola
4
Birthdate: September 21, 1452
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ferrara, Italy
Died: May 23, 1498
Distingusihed for his clash against corrupt clergy and with tyrranical rulers, Girolamo Savonarola became a moral dictator of the city of Florence. He earned a reputation for austerity and detested every form of pleasure that earned him powerful enemies.
 2 
Benedict of Nursia
(Italian Christian Monk, Writer, Theologian and Founder of Western Christian Monasticism)
Benedict of Nursia
5
Birthdate: March 3, 0480
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Norcia, Italy
Died: March 21, 0547
The only valid mention of Saint Benedict is found in the Dialogues of St. Gregory I. Of the many legends about him is the one in which he rolled himself against bushes to inflict wounds, just to escape the Devil who showed the image of a beautiful woman to him.
 3 
Gabriele Amorth
(Italian Catholic Priest)
Gabriele Amorth
4
Birthdate: May 1, 1925
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: September 16, 2016

Exorcist and Catholic priest Gabriele Amorth had been in charge of countless exorcisms in his career of over 6 decades. The founder-president of the International Association of Exorcists, he had also penned a few books on his experiences as an exorcist and had been part of World War II, too.

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 4 
Charles Borromeo
(Italian Cardinal and Archbishop - A Major Figure of the Counter-Reformation)
Charles Borromeo
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1538
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Arona, Italy
Died: November 3, 1584

A cardinal of the Catholic Church of Italy and the archbishop of Milan, Charles Borromeo was a major figure of the Italian Counter-Reformation. He gained a lot of respect with his charitable work during the plague of 1576–78. He is revered as the patron saint of cardinals, bishops, and spiritual leaders.

 5 
Pope Linus
(Bishop of Rome from 67 AD to 76 AD)
Pope Linus
5
Birthdate: 0010 AD
Birthplace: Volterra, Italy
Died: September 23, 0076

Pope Linus served as the bishop of Rome from 67 AD until his death in 76 AD. Pope Linus finds a mention in the New Testament along with other popes like Saint Peter and Clement of Rome. Canada's Saint-Lin–Laurentides is named in his honor.

 6 
Matteo Ricci
(Italian Priest, Missionary and One of the Founding Figures of Jesuit China Missions)
Matteo Ricci
4
Birthdate: October 6, 1552
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Macerata, Italy
Died: May 11, 1610

Matteo Ricci was an Italian priest best remembered as one of the founding members of the Jesuit China missions. Renowned for his missionary work in China, Ricci became the first European to set foot on the Forbidden City of Beijing. He is credited with converting important Chinese officials to Catholicism. The Catholic Church considers him a Servant of God.

 7 
Gerard Majella
(Italian Saint)
Gerard Majella
4
Birthdate: April 9, 1726
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Muro Lucano, Italy
Died: October 16, 1755

Gerard Majella was an Italian lay brother who is honored by the Roman Catholic Church as a saint. His intercession is sought for unborn children, children, mothers, women in childbirth, expectant mothers, and motherhood. Many churches in New Zealand, England, and Sri Lanka are dedicated to him.

 8 
Pope Anacletus
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Anacletus
4
Birthdate: 0025 AD
Birthplace: Athens, Greece
Died: April 26, 0092

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.

 9 
Thomas Aquinas
(Italian Theologian & Philosopher)
Thomas Aquinas
7
Birthdate: January 25, 1225
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Roccasecca, Italy
Died: March 7, 1274
Dominican friar and Catholic priest Thomas Aquinas was also a Doctor of the Church. He tried to mingle Aristotelian philosophy and Christianity. His works, including Summa Theologica and Disputed Questions on Truth, and his views on the Scriptures have been studied as prominent texts on theology, philosophy, and canon law.
 10 
Pope Alexander III
(Head of the Roman Catholic Church from 1159 to 1181)
Pope Alexander III
4
Birthdate: 1105 AD
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: August 30, 1181

Pope Alexander III served as the chief of the Roman Catholic Church and therefore the ruler of the Papal States from 1159 until his death in 1181. A native of Siena, Alexander was chosen as the pope after a contested election.

 11 
Erasmus of Formia
(Christian Saint & Martyr)
Erasmus of Formia
4
Birthplace: Antakya, Turkey
Died: 0303 AD

Erasmus of Formia was a Christian saint who is venerated as the patron saint of abdominal pain and sailors in Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Erasmus of Formia is counted among the 14 Holy Helpers or saintly figures.

 12 
Lazzaro Spallanzani
(Italian Physiologist and Biologist Who Made Significant Contributions to the Study of Animal Reproduction and Bodily Functions)
Lazzaro Spallanzani
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1729
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Scandiano, Italy
Died: February 11, 1799

Lazzaro Spallanzani was an Italian physiologist, biologist, and Catholic priest. He is best remembered for making significant contributions to the study of animal reproduction, bodily functions, and animal echolocation. Lazzaro Spallanzani's research on biogenesis was the first step towards debunking the theory of spontaneous generation.

 13 
Pope Alexander I
(2nd-Century Bishop of Rome Who Was Probably Martyred)
Pope Alexander I
3
Birthdate: 0075 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: May 3, 0115

Pope Alexander I was a 2nd-century bishop of Rome. Some believe he introduced the custom of the holy water and of mixing sacramental wine with water. Some also believe he may have been martyred during the reign of Trajan or Hadrian. He is believed to have had a vision of baby Jesus.

 14 
Saint Cajetan
(Italian Catholic Priest and Religious Reformer, Co-founder of the Theatines)
Saint Cajetan
4
Birthdate: October 1, 1480
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vicenza, Italy
Died: August 7, 1547

Gaetano dei Conti di Thiene, better known as Saint Cajetan, was a Italian priest who co-established the Theatine order, thus becoming a significant figure of the Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also created what later became the Bank of Naples. He is the patron saint of Argentina, bankers, gamblers, and unemployed people.

 15 
Pope Benedict XV
(Head of the Catholic Church (1914 -1922) Known for His Efforts to Establish Peace During ‘First World War’)
Pope Benedict XV
4
Birthdate: November 21, 1854
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Pegli, Italy
Died: January 22, 1922

Benedict XV became Bishop of Rome at the outbreak of the First World War and his pontificate was mostly occupied with several issues of the war. He declared neutrality of the Holy See and made unsuccessful efforts to mediate peace between both sides. He later succeeded in re-establishing relation between France and the Vatican and promulgated Code of Canon Law.

 16 
Pope Zachary
(Bishop of Rome (741 - 752) and Last Pope of the Byzantine Papacy)
Pope Zachary
3
Birthdate: 0679 AD
Birthplace: Santa Severina, Italy
Died: March 15, 0752

The last Greek pope and the last pope of the Byzantine Papacy, Pope Zachary, or Saint Zacharias, succeeded Pope St. Gregory III. Known for his association with Byzantine emperor Constantine V, he was also successful in making peace with the Lombards. He translated Dialogues by Pope St. Gregory I the Great.

 17 
Pope Leo XI
(Head of the Roman Catholic Church (April 1605))
Pope Leo XI
3
Birthdate: June 2, 1535
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence
Died: April 27, 1605

Pope Leo XI served as the chief of the Roman Catholic Church and therefore the ruler of the Papal States from 1 April 1605 until his death on 27 April 1605. Having lasted under a month, Pope Leo XI's papacy is one of the briefest of all time.

 18 
Pope Benedict IX
(Only Bishop of Rome Who Served as Pope More than Once and Sold the Papacy)
Pope Benedict IX
4
Birthdate: 1012 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 1055 AD

Bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States Benedict IX, counted among the youngest popes in history, is the only person who served as Pope for more than once. He became Pope thrice, however earned bad repute as pope and became notorious as the only man in the history who sold the papacy.

 19 
Gregorio Allegri
(A Roman Catholic Priest and a Celebrated Composer)
Gregorio Allegri
3
Birthdate: 1582 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: February 17, 1652

Apart from being a Catholic priest, Gregorio Allegri was also a talented composer. He was associated with the Vatican’s Papal Choir throughout his life. One of his most-loved compositions, Miserere mei, Deus, is said to have inspired a teenaged Mozart to create his own version of the track.

 20 
Pope Telesphorus
(Bishop of Rome (126 - 137))
Pope Telesphorus
3
Birthdate: January 3, 0067
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terranova da Sibari, Italy
Died: 0137 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.

 21 
Pope Zephyrinus
(Bishop of Rome (199 to 217))
Pope Zephyrinus
3
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: December 20, 0217

The bishop of Rome from 199 to 217, Pope Zephyrinus faced strong opposition from Roman priest St. Hippolytus, who began the first schism of the Christian Church. Ironically, the only source of information on Zephyrinus is Hippolytus’s Philosophoumena. He is remembered for combating heresies.

 22 
Carlo de' Medici
(Italian Senior Clergyman and Papal Tax Collector in Tuscany)
Carlo de' Medici
3
Birthdate: 1428 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: May 29, 1492

Carlo de' Medici was an Italian priest who served as a senior clergyman and Papal tax collector in Tuscany. Carlo de' Medici was portrayed by British actor Ray Fearon in the fantasy drama series Da Vinci's Demons. He was also played by Callum Blake in the second season of Medici.

 23 
Pope Sixtus I
(Bishop of Rome (115 - 124))
Pope Sixtus I
3
Birthdate: 0042 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: 0125 AD

A 1st-century Greek-origin bishop of Rome, Pope Sixtus I was a successor of Pope St. Alexander I. He served the Catholic Church under the rule of Roman emperor Hadrian. Most sources believe he ruled as a pope for about 10 years. Though considered a martyr by some, his martyrdom remains unsubstantiated.

 24 
Pope Pius I
(2nd-Century Bishop of Rome Considered a Saint by the Catholic Church)
Pope Pius I
3
Birthplace: Aquileia, Italy
Died: 0154 AD

While some historians believe that Pope Pius I was initially a slave, others believe he was a man of low ranks. He is known to have battled both Gnosticism and Valentinianism as a pope. Though some believe he was martyred, the claims remain unsubstantiated. His feast day is July 11.

 25 
Pio of Pietrelcina
(Italian Saint)
Pio of Pietrelcina
6
Birthdate: May 25, 1887
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pietrelcina, Italy
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.

 26 
Pope Sixtus II
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Sixtus II
3
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.  

 27 
Bernardino of Siena
(Italian Priest and Franciscan Missionary Known for His Association with the Observants)
Bernardino of Siena
3
Birthdate: September 8, 1380
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Massa Marittima, Italy
Died: May 20, 1444

Italian theologian and missionary Bernardino of Siena contributed immensely to the growth of the Franciscan order of the Observants. Born into a noble family, he was orphaned as a child and served plague patients initially. He was known for his extreme views against homosexuality, witchcraft, and gambling.

 28 
Pope Damasus I
(Bishop of Rome Who Strengthened Ties between the Churches of Rome and Antioch)
Pope Damasus I
4
Birthdate: 0305 AD
Birthplace: Idanha-a-Velha, Portugal
Died: December 11, 0384

A 4th-century bishop of Rome, Pope Damasus I is remembered for building ties between the Church of Rome and the Church of Antioch. His pontificate witnessed the use of Latin as the language of the mass. He was also vocal against major heresies. He is revered as a patron saint of archaeologists.

 29 
Pope Nicholas II
(Head of the Catholic Church (1059 - 1061))
Pope Nicholas II
3
Birthdate: 0990 AD
Birthplace: Château de Chevron, France
Died: July 27, 1061

Also known as Gerard of Burgundy, Pope Nicholas II headed the Catholic Church in the 11th century. He not only increased papal influence in Italy but also brought about a change in the election procedure of popes, shifting the power of electing popes from the Roman aristocracy to cardinals.

 30 
Pope Stephen I
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Stephen I
3
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: August 2, 0257
 31 
Gioffre Borgia
(Illegitimate child of Pope Alexander VI)
Gioffre Borgia
1
Birthdate: October 10, 1482
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rome
Died: January 1, 1517
 32 
Camillus de Lellis
(Priest)
Camillus de Lellis
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1550
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Province of Chieti, Italy
Died: July 14, 1614
 33 
Pope Gregory V
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Gregory V
3
Birthdate: 0972 AD
Birthplace: Stainach-Pürgg, Austria
Died: February 18, 0999

Counted as the first German pope, Pope Gregory V reigned for less than three years. A member of the Salian dynasty, he is said to have acted as a representative of the Holy Roman Emperor in Rome. His pontificate, which started in May 996 and ended with his death in February 999, was historically one of the most unsettled periods.

 34 
Ulfilas
(Missionary)
Ulfilas
3
Birthdate: 0311 AD
Birthplace: Unknown
Died: 0383 AD
 35 
Eusebio Kino
(Italian Jesuit, Missionary, Explorer, Mathematician and Astronomer)
Eusebio Kino
4
Birthdate: August 10, 1645
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Predaia, Italy
Died: March 15, 1711

Eusebio Kino was a Tyrolean missionary, explorer, geographer, astronomer, and cartographer. Nicknamed Father Kino for his missionary work, Eusebio worked closely with the indigenous Native American people, including the Sobaipuri, Tohono O'Odham, and other Upper Piman populations, as part of his exploration. He also led an overland expedition in the Baja California Peninsula, proving that it is not an island.

 36 
Pope Hormisdas
(Former Pope)
Pope Hormisdas
3
Birthdate: 0450 AD
Birthplace: Frosinone, Italy
Died: August 6, 0523
 37 
Pope Stephen III
(Bishop of Rome)
Pope Stephen III
3
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.

 38 
Pope Anastasius II
(Bishop of Rome from 24 November 496 to his death)
Pope Anastasius II
3
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 19, 0498
 39 
Pope Gregory XIV
(Former head of the Catholic Church)
Pope Gregory XIV
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1535
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Somma Lombardo, Italy
Died: October 16, 1591
 40 
Pope John II
(Priest)
Pope John II
3
Birthdate: 0470 AD
Birthplace: Rome
Died: May 8, 0535
 41 
Pope-elect Stephen
(Was a Roman priest selected in March 752)
Pope-elect Stephen
3
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 5, 0752
 42 
Constanzo Beschi
(Poet)
Constanzo Beschi
3
Birthdate: November 8, 1680
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Castiglione delle Stiviere, Italy
Died: February 4, 1747
 43 
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.

 44 
Pope Sergius I
(Bishop of Rome from 15 December 687)
Pope Sergius I
3
Birthdate: 0650 AD
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: September 8, 0701
 45 
Giuseppe Siri
(Priest)
Giuseppe Siri
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: May 2, 1989
 46 
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine
(Italian Diplomat, Archbishop and Explorer)
Giovanni da Pian del Carpine
3
Birthdate: 1185 AD
Birthplace: Magione, Italy
Died: August 1, 1252

Medieval Franciscan friar Giovanni da Pian del Carpine was also the first major European traveler to the Mongol region, where he was sent on a mission by Pope Innocent IV. His treatise of his experiences was recorded as Historia Mongalorum and Liber Tartarorum. He later earned the archbishopric of Primate of Serbia.

 47 
Gabriele Falloppio
(One of the Most Important Anatomists and Physicians of the 16th Century)
Gabriele Falloppio
3
Birthdate: 1523 AD
Birthplace: Modena, Italy
Died: October 9, 1562

Sixteenth-century Italian anatomist Gabriele Falloppio was also a Catholic priest. Of his many discoveries, the most well-known are the tubes which link the ovaries to the uterus, named fallopian tubes. He was also the first to offer written description of a condom as a protective measure against syphilis.

 48 
John of Capistrano
(Italian Friar and Catholic Priest)
John of Capistrano
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1386
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Capestrano, Italy
Died: October 23, 1456

John of Capistrano was a Franciscan friar and Catholic priest also known as  “the Soldier Saint.” He hailed from the Italian town of Capestrano, Abruzzo, and was a renowned preacher, theologian, and inquisitor. In 1456, he led a crusade against the invading Ottoman Empire at the siege of Belgrade. He is the patron saint of jurists and military chaplains. 

 49 
Patriarch of Venice
(Italian Bishop)
Patriarch of Venice
3
Birthplace: Italy
 50 
Alessandro Farnese
(Diplomat)
Alessandro Farnese
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1520
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tuscany, Italy
Died: March 2, 1589