Priests and priestesses have existed since the ancient times, from the simplest societies, to hamlets and royal families. A priest is a person who is authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion and acts as intercessor between humans and one or numerous deities. In order to attain priesthood, an individual has to go through a complex process of introspection, education and sacraments. Some of the ancient priests and priestesses acted as bureaucrats on behalf of kings and were also given the responsibility to staff temples, give offerings and perform other religious rituals. In places like Italy, priesthood was only attained by Roman matrons and the elite. During the onset of Christianity, there was a sudden growth in the formation of Catholic Churches since the 3rd century and priests headed churches and were appointed as the ones in authority to act on behalf of Christ. Although Islam does not hold the office or the title of ‘priest’, they do have the title of ‘mullahs’, which translates to ‘cleric’ and in layman’s terms; priests. They are not necessarily religious, but are highly educated respected individuals in the society. Hindu priests, often known as ‘pujaris’ or ‘purohits’ and belong to the ‘Brahmin’ caste and are ordained as priests after a period of training. Not only do these priests perform rituals in temples but also perform rituals pertaining to weddings, funerals and other services. Here is a list of famous priests. Go through their biographies, which include trivia, interesting facts, timeline and life history.
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