Putting together a list of the best evangelists in Church history is a daunting task. All lists like this can be pretty subjective. However, this epic list is THE epic list of the best evangelizers in Church history. You’re welcome. At least I hope that you’ll take some time to learn more about these great saints and the hand they had in the proclamation of Christ’s saving Gospel message. We are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses!
Feel free to add your own in the comments section below.
Duh. She was the first and best witness. The model Christian, if you will.
The Gospel Writers
(no-brainer) – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The greatest preacher in the history of Christianity and a Catholic priest.
Evangelized the Indians.
Not those ones. These ones.
He founded the order of PREACHERS! His order is one of the oldest and largest, and has produced a large list of saints, scholars, and evangelists.
First martyr for the faith and a deacon.
Athanasius of Alexandria
Known as the “Father of Orthodoxy” and major player against the Arian heresy. Wrote an early Christian creed that bears his name.
Nicholas of Myra
Punched a heretic. Now that’s how you evangelize.
Augustine of Hippo
One of the greatest converts, churchmen, and minds to ever exist. His writings still influence western civilization over 1600 years later.
Benedict of Nursia
Founder of western monasticism and veritable savior of civilization. “Ora et labora” was his game.
Gregory the Great
Isn’t called ‘great’ for nothing. Responsible for Gregorian chant and other reforms of the mass – the greatest prayer a Christian can offer to God.
Converted the Celts and almost singlehandedly brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle.
Francis of Assisi
He was a “fool for Christ.” He didn’t feel worthy enough to be a priest so he was only ordained a deacon. Namesake of our current pope and a stigmatist.
Catherine of Siena
Dominican nun. She consecrated her virginity to Christ and practiced extreme austerity in her life. She tended the poor and would survive for long periods on just the Blessed Sacrament. She was also a mystic. Perhaps most famously, she implored the pope to return to Rome, thus ending the long Avignon papacy of the 14th century.
Had a hand in converting 9 million souls in the New World to Christ all because he listened to his Mother. This would prove providential, as the Reformation had claimed 9 million away from the one true faith back in Europe.
Francis de Sales
First to use tracts to proclaim the faith, post-Reformation. Many souls came back because of his efforts. He was basically the precursor to our modern “Catholic Answers.”
Ignatius of Loyola
Founder of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) – a teaching and evangelizing order. It would be his lasting legacy along with his Spiritual Exercises. He was truly a soldier for Christ. He was also very short.
One of the greatest theologians of the Church and consequently a patron saint of theologians.
Blessed John Henry Newman
Great convert and Englishman who became a cardinal and influenced countless people to cross the Tiber. Lends his name to the Newman Centers on numerous college & university campuses which seek to proclaim the Good News of Christ and the Catholic Church to young adults.
Fulton J. Sheen
He was the epitome of “sheenazing.” Modern saint whose efforts in the new mediums of radio and television proved to be quite epic and prescient. Hopefully, he will be recognized as a saint formally in the church soon. (I feel a personal connection to him since we both grew up in the same area of IL and share a high school alma mater.)
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” A great witness to Christ and prime example of one of the best modern evangelizers.
John Paul the Great
where do I begin…The most traveled and beloved pope of modern times. This man knew the Good News and shared it with others whenever and how ever he could. He was not afraid to be joyful. Indeed, he told us to “Be not afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!”
All the Christian martyrs throughout history
Martyr means “witness” in Greek. They are the evangelizers par excellence. “The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.” – Tertullian