Looking back into history, we can gain a greater appreciation for the battles that Christian saints have fought in upholding their belief in Jesus Christ. Saints like Joan of Arc were willing to be burned at the stake for what they believed. It seems that there must be some truth to the beliefs of these individuals. These individuals were willing to give up their lives for the truth of what they believed. Even if you are not a practicing Christian, you can gain some inspiration from the way that these individuals were willing to fight for their convictions until the very end of their lives. Here are some of the most prolific and powerful historical heroes who also happened to be named Christian saints later in their lives.
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1. Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc was a young woman who actually took on a disguise in order to lead the French army into victory. She followed her heart and belief in God, and her faith in God is what lead her to fight for the French. She helped the French army win several victories, and she was later executed by the Burgundians. She is rumored to have followed the appearance of a cross in the sky as she led the French army into battle. At the age of 19, this young woman was willing to be burned at the stake for her faith in God. When she was questioned in her trial, she was given a question that was scholarly trap and attempted to incriminate her for heresy. She had been asked whether she knew that she was in God’s grace, and she replied with an intellectual response that stunned witnesses.
2. St. Thomas More
St. Thomas More was a Christian lawyer who advised King Henry VIII until his death in 1535. He was convicted for treason after he openly disagreed with King Henry VIII’s separation from the Catholic Church. He is renowned for opposing the Protestant Reformation. The most major disagreement that St. Thomas More had with King Henry VIII was over the topic of divorce. At the time of the reign of King Henry VIII, the king purportedly had multiple mistresses. The king wanted the lawyer to legally grant him a divorce from his current wife so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. When St. Thomas More repeatedly found reasons to avoid granting the divorce, the king grew visibly angry with the Catholic lawyer. This led to St. Thomas More’s beheading in 1535.
3. St. Thomas Acquinas
St. Thomas Acquinas was a Christian monk and philosopher who lived in the 1200s. He is renowned for creating the Summa Theologica. His works are heralded by modern Christian philosophers for their internal consistency.
4. Mother Theresa
Mother Theresa was a Catholic nun who helped millions of impoverished people in the 1990s. She is renowned for her humane treatment of all people. She worked with Princess Diana to help end AIDS, and she has been remembered for her deep commitment to the poor.
5. St. Quiteria
St. Quiteria was one of nine women born to a high-ranking woman in society. The mother did not like the way that the birth of her nine girls impeded on her social status, so she abandoned all of her children. St. Quiteria led her and her sisters as they helped Christian prisoners around Rome. She and her sisters even waged a war against the Roman Empire for their lack of Christian values.
These women and men all played an important role in disseminating Christian values during tumultuous times in society. Their stories are ones of courage and conviction.
Carol Gossett is a history teacher and guest author at Christian Colleges, a site with guides to and rankings of online Christian colleges.