Women Spiritual & Religious Leaders

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 1 
Esther
(Queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus)
Esther
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Birthplace: Achaemenid Empire
Esther from the Book of Esther was a Jewish queen of the Persian king Ahasuerus. While the king’s advisor, Haman, angered by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai, planned to kill all Jews, Esther reversed the plan with the king’s permission. The Jewish festival Purim marks the day the Jews murdered their enemies.
Thérèse of Lisieux
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Birthdate: January 2, 1873
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Alençon, France
Died: September 30, 1897
French nun Thérèse of Lisieux, known as "The Little Flower of Jesus,” became one of the most well-known Catholic saints ever. She became the youngest Doctor of the Church and the third woman to receive the honor. A devoted Carmelite, she died of tuberculosis at age 24.
Bernadette Soubirous
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Birthdate: January 7, 1844
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Lourdes, France
Died: April 16, 1879
Bernadette Soubirous grew up amidst poverty, which contributed to her ill health and her stunted frame of just over 4 feet. At 14, she had visions of the Virgin Mary, which led to the formation of the Marian shrine of Lourdes. She was declared a saint by Pope Pius XI.
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Saint Anne
(Mother of Virgin Mary)
Saint Anne
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Birthdate: 0050 BC
Birthplace: Bethlehem
Died: 0012 AD
Though she finds no mention in the Bible, Saint Anne is regarded as the mother of the Virgin Mary, and thus the grandmother of Jesus Christ. Ancient scriptures mention how Gabriel had visited childless Anne and Joachim and had told them they would have a child dedicated to God.
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Anne Hutchinson
(Puritan spiritual adviser, Preacher)
Anne Hutchinson
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Birthdate: 1591
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Alford, Lincolnshire, England
Died: August 20, 1643
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Olga of Kiev
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Birthplace: Pskov, Russia
Died: July 11, 0969
Although revered as a saint, Olga, the first Kiev royal member to adopt Christianity, is remembered for the brutal revenge on her husband Igor I’s murderers. She got her men to capture the Drevlians who suggested she marry Prince Mal, who had killed Igor, and watched them being buried alive. 
Catherine of Alexandria
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Birthdate: 0287 AD
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 0305 AD

Catherine of Alexandria is a Christian saint who was martyred at the hands of the Roman Emperor Maxentius in the early 4th century. Catherine is generally credited with converting hundreds of people to Christianity. Over 1,100 years after her martyrdom, French warrior Joan of Arc claimed that Catherine was one of the saints to counsel her in her visions.

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 8 
Saint Lucy
(Saint)
Saint Lucy
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Birthdate: 0283 AD
Birthplace: Syracuse, Roman Empire
Died: 0304 AD

Saint Lucy was a Christian martyr who was killed during the Great Persecution. Lucy is venerated as a saint in the Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic churches. She is one of the women commemorated in the Canon of the Mass by Roman Catholics. Saint Lucy's Day, her traditional feast day, is observed on 13 December by Western Christians.

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Stella Immanuel
(Physician, writer)
Stella Immanuel
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Birthdate: 1965 AD
Birthplace: Cameroon
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Bernice King
(Minister)
Bernice King
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Birthdate: March 28, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Bernice King is an American minister best known as the daughter of the popular activist and leader Martin Luther King Jr. Over the years, Barnice King has supported many noble causes for which she has been honored with several awards. In 2009, she was honored at the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Convention for her service to women.

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Mary, Mother of Jesus
(Mother of Jesus)
Mary, Mother of Jesus
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Birthdate: September 8, 0018
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nazareth

The mother of Jesus Christ and the wife of Joseph, Mary, also known as the Virgin Mary, finds mention in both the New Testament and the Quran. Though most Catholic scholars believe in traditional Marian dogmas, Protestants have often argued, questioning ideas such as the Assumption of Mary.

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Clare of Assisi
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Birthdate: July 16, 1194
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Assisi, Italy
Died: August 11, 1253
Clare of Assisi, inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, ran away from home to escape marriage and received her vows instead. She later formed the Poor Clares. She was made the patron saint of television, as she had once seen the Mass on the walls of her room.
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Vestal Virgin
(Goddess)
Vestal Virgin
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Birthplace: Rome
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Rita of Cascia
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Birthdate: 1381 AD
Birthplace: Roccaporena, Italy
Died: May 22, 1457
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Rebecca
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Leah
(Daughter of Laban)
Leah
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 17 
Saint Cecilia
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Birthdate: 0200 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 22, 0230
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Mother Angelica
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Birthdate: April 20, 1923
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Canton, Ohio, United States
Died: March 27, 2016

Born to Italian parents, amid poverty, in Ohio, Mother Angelica and her siblings were raised by her mother after her father abandoned them. Initially a factory worker, she later became a Poor Clare nun and also founded the Eternal Word Television Network, which streamed Catholic-oriented programs.

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Mary MacKillop
(Religious sister)
Mary MacKillop
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Birthdate: January 15, 1842
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fitzroy, Australia
Died: August 8, 1909

Mary MacKillop, the first Australian to be made a saint by the Catholic Church, was born to poor Scottish immigrants and had taken up the reins of her family at age 14. She got a pedophile priest dismissed and is thus revered as a patron saint of sexual abuse victims.

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Mary Baker Eddy
(Religious Leader)
Mary Baker Eddy
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Birthdate: July 16, 1821
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bow, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 3, 1910

Born to Congregationalist parents, Mary Baker Eddy had a difficult life, from losing her brother at 20, being widowed at 22, and then surviving a divorce. Remembered as the pioneer of Christian Science, she propagated faith healing and believed the cause of all illnesses lie in the human mind.

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Zinovia Dushkova
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Birthdate: July 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kongaz, Moldova

Zinovia Dushkova is a Russian poet, historian, philosopher, and author. A prominent writer, Dushkova's works have been translated into seven languages. In 2015, she was honored with the 20 Years of Gagauzia Medal. In 2017, Zinovia Dushkova’s book, The Call of the Heart, was honored at the Nautilus Book Awards with a silver medal in the United States of America.

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Mirra Alfassa
(Spiritual Guru, Writer)
Mirra Alfassa
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Birthdate: February 21, 1878
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: November 17, 1973

Mirra Alfassa was a French occultist and spiritual teacher. Alfassa, who worked closely with the Indian philosopher and yogi Sri Aurobindo, is credited with founding the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India. She is also credited with establishing Auroville, an experimental township in India. She serves as an inspiration to people seeking knowledge about Integral Yoga.

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Catherine of Siena
(Mystic, Author)
Catherine of Siena
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Birthdate: March 25, 1347
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Siena, Italy
Died: April 29, 1380

Catherine of Siena was a mystic, author, and activist. Thanks to her influence over Pope Gregory XI, Catherine is widely regarded as a prominent figure of medieval Catholicism. She also had a strong influence on the Catholic Church and Italian literature. Canonized in 1461, Catherine of Siena was declared the patron saint of Italy in 1939.

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Mary in Islam
(Religious leader)
Mary in Islam
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Birthdate: 0018 AD
Birthplace: Nazareth, Israel; Judea, Israel; Roman Empire, Ancient Rome
Died: 0033 AD
Louise Marie Therese
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Birthdate: November 16, 1664
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Moret-sur-Loing, France
Died: 1732 AD

Louise Marie Therese was a French nun who lived in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. She has been mentioned in many different sources, some dubiously claiming that she was the daughter of the Queen of France, Maria Theresa of Spain. She was a black woman and a Benedictine nun in the abbey of Moret-sur-Loing. 

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Katharina von Bora
(Martin Luther's wife)
Katharina von Bora
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Birthdate: January 29, 1499
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Lippendorf, Neukieritzsch, Germany
Died: December 20, 1552

Katharina von Bora was a former nun, whose marriage with German professor of theology, priest, Augustinian monk, author and composer Martin Luther, a seminal figure of the Protestant Reformation, set a model for clerical marriage, permitting Protestant clergy to marry. She is often regarded to have played a key role in Reformation as she helped in defining Protestant family life.

Frances Xavier Cabrini
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Birthdate: July 15, 1850
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sant'Angelo Lodigiano, Italy
Died: December 22, 1917

Frances Xavier Cabrini was an Italian-American nun who founded a Catholic religious institute called the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The institute played a major role in supporting Italian immigrants to the US. In 1946, Frances Xavier Cabrini became the first American citizen to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

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Miriam
(Moses' sister)
Miriam
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Saint Teresa of Avila
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Birthdate: March 28, 1515
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Gotarrendura
Died: October 4, 1582

Teresa of Ávila, also known as Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a Spanish noblewoman who later turned into a Carmelite nun. She was posthumously named a Doctor of the Church. She co-established the Discalced Carmelite Order. Her written works include The Interior Castle and her own autobiography.

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Macaria
(Goddess)
Macaria
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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.

 31 
Mata Amritanandamayi
(Spiritual Leader)
Mata Amritanandamayi
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Birthdate: September 27, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parayakadavu, Alappad Panchayath, Kollam District, (now Kerala), India
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Saleh
(Prophet)
Saleh
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Birthplace: Thamud
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Jemima Wilkinson
(Religious leader)
Jemima Wilkinson
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Birthdate: November 29, 1752
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cumberland, Rhode Island, United States
Died: July 1, 1819

Jemima Wilkinson was an American preacher who later became known as the Public Universal Friend after becoming a genderless evangelist. The Public Universal Friend preached throughout the northeastern US. The Friend's teachings attracted several followers who became part of the Society of Universal Friends.

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Hannah Emerson Duston
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Birthdate: December 23, 1657
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Haverhill, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 6, 1736

Hannah Emerson Duston was a Puritan who was taken captive during King William's War by the Abenaki people. She is best remembered for killing and scalping 10 of the Native American family members with the help of two other captives. She later became a folk hero and was honored with a statue.

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Ann Lee
(Religious leader)
Ann Lee
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Birthdate: February 29, 1736
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manchester, England
Died: September 8, 1784

Ann Lee is remembered as the founder of the Society of Believers in Christ's Second Appearing, also known as the Shakers, for their ritual of shaking during worshipping. Born to a blacksmith in England, she initially worked at a textile mill and later ushered her movement into the U.S.

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Gertrude of Nivelles
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Birthdate: 0628 AD
Birthplace: Landen, Kingdom of Austrasia
Died: March 7, 0659
 37 
Margaret the Virgin
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Birthdate: 0289 AD
Birthplace: Antioch of Pisidia, Turkey
Died: 0304 AD
 38 
Elizabeth Barton
(Catholic nun)
Elizabeth Barton
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Birthdate: 1506 AD
Birthplace: Aldington Frith , England
Died: April 20, 1534

Elizabeth Barton was an English Catholic nun best remembered for her prophecies. Although her prophecies, which were fairly accurate, made her popular, they eventually led to her death. Her prophecy against Henry VIII was deemed fake and she was executed for treason. Barton continues to be revered by churches like the Anglican Catholic Church.

 39 
Mary Slessor
(Missionary)
Mary Slessor
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Birthdate: December 2, 1848
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aberdeen
Died: January 13, 1915

Born into a Scottish working-class family, Mary Slessor had grown up in the slums of Dundee and had initially been a mill worker. She later went to Nigeria as a Presbyterian missionary. She fought against the Nigerian custom of killing twins and later became the first female British Magistrate.

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J. Z. Knight
(Psychic, Writer)
J. Z. Knight
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Birthdate: March 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Roswell

American mystic and spiritual author J. Z. Knight claims she had channelized a spirit she calls Ramtha. She founded the Ramtha's School of Enlightenment, where she teaches Ramtha’s preachings, though she has courted controversy for her anti-semitic, homophobic, and unscientific comments. She believes Ramtha heals better than medicine.

Catherine of Bologna
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Birthdate: September 8, 1413
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bologna, Italy
Died: March 9, 1463
 42 
Minnie Vautrin
(Missionary)
Minnie Vautrin
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Birthdate: September 27, 1886
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Secor
Died: May 14, 1941

Born to a blacksmith in Illinois, Minnie Vautrin was determined to explore the world, in spite of her parents’ inability to afford her education. She thus joined the Foreign Christian Missionary Society’s mission to China. She is remembered for saving thousands of Chinese women during the Nanking Massacre.

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Clare Crockett
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Birthdate: November 14, 1982
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Londonderry, Northern Ireland
Died: April 16, 2016

Irish Catholic nun Clare Crockett initially aspired to be an actor and even appeared in the TV drama Sunday. She later ditched her reckless lifestyle and became Sister Clare Maria after a spiritual experience in Spain. She died in the 2016 Ecuador earthquake. The film All or Nothing speaks about her journey.

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Angela Merici
(Educator)
Angela Merici
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Birthdate: March 21, 1474
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Desenzano del Garda, Italy
Died: January 27, 1540
 45 
Frances of Rome
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Birthdate: 1384 AD
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 9, 1440
Katharine Jefferts Schori
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Birthdate: March 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pensacola, Florida

Katharine Jefferts Schori made headlines when she became the first woman to be the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. Initially a Catholic, she joined the Episcopal Church at 8. A Stanford alumna, she also boasts of a PhD in oceanography and has worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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Louise de Marillac
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Birthdate: August 12, 1591
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Le Meux, Oise, France
Died: March 15, 1660
Angela Warnick Buchdahl
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Birthdate: July 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Seoul, South Korea

Apart from achieving the feat of being the first Asian-American to become a rabbi and a cantor, Angela Warnick Buchdahl has also amazed everyone with her musical skills. A Yale alumna, she was featured in the documentary 18 Voices Sing Kol Nidre, which explored the musical history of Jewish synagogues.

Catherine McAuley
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Birthdate: September 29, 1778
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: November 11, 1841

Catholic nun Catherine McAuley is best remembered as the founder of the Religious Sisters of Mercy. Orphaned as a child, she was raised by Protestant foster parents and later built The House of Mercy, catering to orphans and homeless women, with her inheritance. Her congregation focuses on education of the poor.

Madeleine Sophie Barat
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Birthdate: December 12, 1779
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Joigny, France
Died: May 25, 1865
Throughout history, there have been many women spiritual & religious leaders who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great female spiritual & religious leaders such as Mother Teresa, Bernadette Soubirous, Mata Amritanandamayi, Mary MacKillop, Saint Teresa of Avila.The women spiritual & religious leaders featured in this list are from United States, United Kingdom, Canada & Australia and many more countries.