Saint Story
September 24, 2023

Top 10 Most Famous Orthodox Christian Saints

Icon of orthodox saints

In the course of our research for the Lives, Miracles, and Wisdom of the Saints & Fasting Calendar, we often run across stories that constantly amaze us. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Orthodox Christianity, with its rich history and traditions, has been a spiritual guide for millions of people across the world. One of the most fascinating aspects of the faith is its reverence for saints—holy men and women recognized for their piety, wisdom, and miracles. Here is a list of the top 10 most famous Orthodox Christian Saints, whose legacies have left an indelible mark on the religion and its followers.

St. Basil the Great (330-379 AD)

One of the Cappadocian Fathers, St. Basil is known for his contributions to Christian theology and monasticism. He helped shape the Divine Liturgy, which bears his name and is used in the Orthodox Church to this day. His treatises on the Holy Trinity are considered fundamental texts.

St. John Chrysostom (349-407 AD)

Known for his eloquence in preaching and public speaking, the name "Chrysostom" means "golden-mouthed." St. John is particularly revered for his insights into the New Testament, and his Divine Liturgy remains the primary worship service in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Learn more about Saint John Chrysostom.

St. Athanasius of Alexandria (298-373 AD)

Famous for his defense of Trinitarianism against Arianism, St. Athanasius played a key role in the formulation of Orthodox Christian doctrine. His work "On the Incarnation" is a seminal Christian text.

Learn more about Saint Athanasius of Alexandria.

St. Nicholas of Myra (270-343 AD)

Known popularly as the basis for the modern figure of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas was a Bishop of Myra in the 4th century. He is remembered for his acts of charity and miracles, such as saving sailors from a storm.

St. Mary Magdalene

St. Mary Magdalene is celebrated in the Orthodox Church as the "apostle to the apostles." She was one of the first witnesses of the Resurrection of Jesus and is honored for her role in spreading Christianity.

St. Sergius of Radonezh (1314-1392)

A monastic reformer and spiritual leader, St. Sergius founded the Holy Trinity Monastery in Russia. He is revered for his humility and miracles and is considered the patron saint of Russia.

St. Cyril and Methodius (9th Century)

These two brothers are celebrated for their missionary work in converting the Slavs to Christianity. They created the Glagolitic alphabet, a precursor to Cyrillic, to translate the Bible and other texts into the Slavic languages.

St. Theodosius the Great (423-529)

Not to be confused with the Roman Emperor, St. Theodosius is known for his monastic reforms and establishing the cenobitic (communal) form of monastic life. He founded the Monastery of St. Theodosius in Jerusalem, which played a crucial role in the development of monasticism.

St. Ignatius of Antioch (35-108 AD)

One of the Apostolic Fathers, St. Ignatius was an early Christian writer who provided valuable insights into the early Church and Christian theology. He is famous for his seven letters written en route to his martyrdom in Rome.

St. Photini, The Samaritan Woman

Often overlooked, St. Photini is venerated for her encounter with Jesus at Jacob's Well, as detailed in the Gospel of John. She later converted her family and became a martyr, showing great bravery and faith.


These saints have not only contributed to the formation and preservation of Orthodox Christianity but also continue to inspire millions with their lives and teachings. Their stories are a testament to the enduring power of faith, sacrifice, and love.

Read more about the life of the Saint, their works and contributions to the Orthodox Faith.
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