St. Francis of Assisi
c.1181–1226 - Italian
Religious leader. His story is one of the most important, and most moving, in the history of values. After a false start as a soldier, he preached and practiced a true imitation of Christ, eschewing all worldly possessions as part of a life of service to others, especially the poor, an idea which was revolutionary then and now. Just when things looked dark, however, his simplicity and sincerity persuaded the Pope that he was not a threat, and he was able to found the Franciscan Order of Monks.
He is also especially well known for his love of nature and of animals and birds.
1162–1227 - Mongol
Empire builder. He created the (for a time) invincible Mongol military machine and ruthlessly exterminated anyone who dared oppose him, even whole towns and peoples. He is reputed to have said that the greatest anyone could have was to defeat an enemy, take their belongings, to make their families cry, to ride their horses, and to make love to their wives and daughters.
St. Agnes of Assisi
1197–1253 - Italian
Christian Nun and Saint. She assisted her sister, St. Clare, in founding the order of Poor Clares, the female counterpart of St. Francis's order. Like St. Francis, she and her sister exemplified a simple, pure, uncompromising, and thus revolutionary, Christianity, an attempt to follow Jesus's teachings directly, to reject all forms of worldliness, to embrace the natural world, including animals and birds, to serve the poor and sick and anyone in need, and to live as much as possible as Jesus lived.
St. Louis IX
1214–1270 - French
King. Joinville's moving and readable memoir of Louis describes a heroic figure who exemplified faith and chivalry to an almost unparalleled degree. He led several crusades. When captured by Muslim enemies, ransom was raised and delivered. But Louis pointed out to his captors that they were being cheated; the ransom was actually less than had been demanded and promised. He then waited patiently until the missing sum was delivered. In addition to his piety and chivalry, he was also a just king who revised laws and made peace with England.