Famous Polish Spiritual & Religious Leaders

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite Polish Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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Maximilian Kolbe
4
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.

Pope John Paul II
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Birthdate: May 18, 1920
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wadowice, Poland
Died: April 2, 2005

Pope John Paul II was the head of the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005. He is hailed for helping to end Communist rule in his native Poland and improving the Catholic Church's relations with Islam, Judaism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. He was a lifelong football fan, having himself played the sport in his youth.

 3 

Nachman of Breslov
3
Birthdate: April 4, 1772
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Międzybóż, Kingdom of Poland
Died: October 16, 1810

Nachman of Breslov was a Polish Rabbi best remembered as the founder of the famous Breslov Hasidic movement. He managed to revive the Hasidic movement by merging in-depth Torah scholarship with the esoteric secrets of Judaism. Nachman of Breslov attracted thousands of followers and his influence continues even today through several Hasidic movements like Breslov Hasidism.

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 4 
Jacob Frank
(Religious Leader)

Jacob Frank
3
Birthdate: 1726 AD
Birthplace: Korolivka, Ukraine
Died: December 10, 1791

Jacob Frank was a Polish-Jewish religious leader. He is credited with creating Frankism, a new denomination of Judaism. Jacob Frank is also remembered for his claims; he convinced his followers that he was the reincarnation of the biblical patriarch Jacob and the self-proclaimed messiah Sabbatai Zevi.

Stanislaus of Szczepanów
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1030
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Szczepanów, Poland
Died: April 11, 1079

Stanislaus of Szczepanów was a Polish priest who also served as the Bishop of Kraków. He is best remembered for his conflict with the King of Poland Bolesław II the Generous whose violent behavior was criticized by Bishop Stanislaus. Enraged, the king executed Stanislaus and he became known as Saint Stanislaus the Martyr.

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Stefan Wyszyński
(Archbishop and primate)

Stefan Wyszyński
2
Birthdate: August 3, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Zuzela, Poland
Died: May 28, 1981

Stefan Wyszyński was a Polish prelate best remembered for his service as the bishop of Lublin between 1946 and 1948. He also served as the archbishop of Gniezno and archbishop of Warsaw from 1948 to 1981. Stefan Wyszyński is credited with saving Christianity in Poland during the Communist regime, which witnessed the repression of Christianity. 

 7 
Isaac Halevi Herzog
(Chief Rabbi)

Isaac Halevi Herzog
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Birthdate: December 3, 1888
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lomza, Poland
Died: July 25, 1959

The first Chief Rabbi of Ireland, Isaac Halevi Herzog had later also been the Chief Rabbi of Palestine and, later, of Israel. He is remembered for his efforts in merging the traditional Jewish beliefs with modern living requirements. He also made contributions to resolve the Arab–Jewish conflict of Palestine.

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Elimelech of Lizhensk
2
Birthdate: 1717 AD
Birthplace: Tykocin, Poland
Died: March 11, 1787

Elimelech of Lizhensk was a rabbi who played a key role in the founding of the famous and influential Hasidic movement. Many of his disciples like Chozeh of Lublin and Menachem Mendel of Rimanov went on to become great leaders.

Jonathan Eybeschutz
1
Birthdate: 1690 AD
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: September 18, 1764

Jonathan Eybeschutz was a Kabbalist, Halachist, and Talmudist. He served as the Rabbi of Wandsbek, Hamburg, and Altona—together they were called the Three Communities. Jonathan Eybeschutz is also remembered for his works concerning Halakha (Jewish law), many of which have been published. 

 10 
Józef Glemp
(Cardinal)

Józef Glemp
1
Birthdate: December 18, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Inowrocław, Poland
Died: January 23, 2013

Józef Glemp was a senior member of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church. He was appointed a Cardinal of the Church and also served as Archbishop of Warsaw between 1981 and 2006. Glemp also played a key role in selecting Pope Benedict XVI as he was one of the cardinal electors who took part in the 2005 papal conclave.

 11 

Yechezkel Landau
1
Birthdate: November 6, 1713
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Opatow, Poland
Died: April 29, 1793

Yechezkel Landau was a Polish religious leader and an influential authority in halakha. He is best remembered for his work Noda Biyhudah, which serves as a major source of halakha or Jewish law from his time. A highly respected figure, Yechezkel Landau also had a say in political affairs, particularly when the government introduced anti-Semitic measures.

 12 
Raphael Kalinowski
(Discalced Carmelite Friar)

Raphael Kalinowski
1
Birthdate: September 1, 1835
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vilnius, Russian Empire
Died: November 15, 1907

Raphael Kalinowski was a Polish friar who founded several Carmelite monasteries in and around Poland after the suppression by the Russians. A multi-talented personality, Kalinowski also served as a royal tutor, engineer, and teacher. Raphael Kalinowski was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1983. Today, he is revered by Catholics as a patron saint of officers in Poland.

 13 
Piotr Skarga
(Hagiographer)

Piotr Skarga
1
Birthdate: February 2, 1536
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Grojec, Poland
Died: September 27, 1612

Piotr Skarga was a Polish Jesuit, hagiographer, polemicist, and preacher. He played a major role in Poland's Counter-Reformation of Catholic Church in response to the spread of Protestantism in the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Also a prolific writer, Piotr Skarga's work The Lives of the Saints was counted among the most popular Polish language books for several centuries.

 14 

Arthur Hertzberg
1
Birthdate: June 9, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lubaczow, Poland
Died: April 17, 2006

Arthur Hertzberg was a Jewish-American activist and scholar who served as the president of the American Jewish Congress as well as the American Jewish Policy Foundation. As a social activist, Arthur Hertzberg walked alonsgide Martin Luther King Jr. in The Great March on Washington. He also took part in the Rabbis' March in 1943.

 15 

Zbigniew Oleśnicki
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Birthdate: December 5, 1389
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Sienno, Poland
Died: April 1, 1455
Zbigniew Oleśnicki was a Polish Roman Catholic clergyman, diplomat, and statesman. He also served as the Archbishop of Kraków from 1423 to 1455. In 1439, he was appointed cardinal of the Church, making him the first native Polish cardinal. An influential statesman, Zbigniew Oleśnicki served as regent during King Władysław III's reign as a minor. 

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Stanislaus Hosius
(Polish cardinal)

Stanislaus Hosius
1
Birthdate: May 5, 1504
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: August 5, 1579

Stanislaus Hosius was a Polish Roman Catholic cardinal who served as the papal legate to the Holy Roman Emperor's Imperial Court in Vienna, Austria. He carried out many difficult political negotiations during his career. He founded the lyceum of Braniewo to counter the rapid spread of Protestantism. He is designated a Servant of God. 

Jacob Joseph of Polonne
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Birthdate: 1710 AD
Birthplace: Poland
Died: 1784 AD

Jacob Joseph of Polonne was a rabbi and one of the first disciples of the founder of Hasidic Judaism, the Baal Shem Tov. He was already an accomplished scholar of the school of Lurianic Kabbalah when he became associated with Tov. In his teachings, he addressed the question regarding the dual requirement in Judaism to both love and fear God.

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Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz
(Religious leader)

Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz
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Birthdate: 1766 AD
Birthplace: Przedbórz, Poland
Died: 1813 AD

Yaakov Yitzchak Rabinowicz was the founder and first Grand Rabbi of the Peshischa movement of Hasidic philosophy. Also known as Yehudi, he was an important figure of Polish Hasidism. He was the leading disciple of Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin and encouraged individuality of thought and critical judgment of religious routine. His teachings had a great influence on modern Hasidism. 

 19 
Jan Szarek
(Theologian)

Jan Szarek
1
Birthdate: February 13, 1936
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bielsko, Poland
Died: October 8, 2020

Jan Szarek was a Polish bishop affiliated with the Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland. He headed the Polish Ecumenical Council from 1993 to 2001. He studied theology at the Christian Theological Academy before beginning his religious career. He received an honorary doctorate from the Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw. He died from COVID-19 in 2020. 

 20 

Joseph Samuel Bloch
0
Birthdate: November 20, 1850
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dukla, Poland
Died: October 1, 1923

Joseph Samuel Bloch was an Austrian rabbi of Polish descent. As a young boy, he devoted himself to the exclusive study of the Talmud and obtained his degree of doctor of philosophy from the University of Zurich. In the 1880s, he founded a periodical, Oesterreichische Wochenschrift, to defend the political rights of the Jews against unjust attacks.