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Chart: Christian Monks & Mystics

This chart provides quick-reference information on notable monks and mystics in Christian history. Many more saints and historical figures than those listed here were monks (e.g. Martin Luther, St. Anselm of Canterbury); this page includes only those who are especially known for their contributions to monasticism, their monastic life and/or their mysticism.

Image Name(s) Birth Death Order
Anthony (Antony) of Egypt c. 251
none none Considered founder of Christian monasticism. Left wealth to live as a hermit in the desert.
Benedict of Nursia


Monte Cassino
Benedictine Rule of St. Benedict Considered founder of western monasticism.
Bernard of Clairvaux 1090
Fontaines, France

Aug. 20, 1153

Cisterician various letters, sermons, and hymns Excellent preacher; revived religious piety in Europe. Preached the Second Crusade.

Dominic c. 1170
Calaroga, Castile
Aug. 6, 1221
Order of Preachers (Dominican) Nine Ways of Prayer Founder of the Dominican order. Credited with invention of the rosary. Acted as Inquisitor against heretics.
Francis of Assisi 1181/2
Assisi, Italy
Oct. 3, 1226
Portiuncula, Italy
Franciscan Regula Primitiva (first monastic rule) Founder of the Franciscan order. Known for stigmata and abilities with animals. Built first nativity scene.
Ignatius of Loyola; San Ignacio de Loyola 1491
Loyola, Spain
July 31, 1556
Rome, Italy
Society of Jesus (Jesuit) Spiritual Exercises; Constitutions of the Society of Jesus Founder of the monastic Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and one of the most influential figures in the Catholic Reformation.

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