Throughout history, Saints have paved the way for our moral goals, showing us how we might go on to help humanity. While there have been a huge number of kind hearted saints, there are a number out there who weren’t quite as pious as they seemed. Before they gave their lives to the church, these holy men and women were serious sinners, racking up a whole lot of trouble.
- Mary of Egypt
One of the most ancient saints out there, Mary of Egypt started out her days working as a prostitute, setting out to corrupt the virginal men who came her way. As she grew into her 20s, Mary decided to move to Jerusalem in a bid to try out a new town. On entering the area, she made her way to Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre for a holy feast but on entering, she was overcome with an invisible strength. In one move, Mary of Egypt realized her sins and began praying to the Virgin Mary, vowing to give up physical pleasures. After she was committed to the church, Mary moved out into the desert, seeing only one person for the rest of her life. She even claimed to have become clairvoyant, predicting her own death.
- Augustine of Hippo
Despite growing up within a pious family, Augustine of Hippo rebelled against his parents’ holy ways. As well as drinking, he attended scandalous parties and became friends with thieves. Things didn’t get better as he aged, either. Keeping a mistress for 15 years, Augustine was unable to marry and when their illegitimate son died, he went about wedding a 10 year old girl. While waiting for his bride to be to turn 12 and become legal, Augustine began to doubt his lifestyle. After reading sections of the Bible, he converted to Catholicism and later became a monk. Augustine of Hippo was later renowned for his thoughts on Christianity, becoming one of the most important figures in history.
- Olga of Kiev
Princess Olga came into power after her husband was murdered over an outstanding debt. Still in her grieving period, Olga continued to feel anger towards the Slavic tribe who were responsible for her husband’s death, massacring everyone involved. Following this, Olga burned the entire settlement the tribe had set up, keeping any of the survivors in her company as slaves. Later in her life, however, she changed her ways entirely. Baptized in later life, she influenced her grandson to make Christianity the official religion of the area.