Saints and Holy People

Find out about their lives and how they changed the world

Moses (approximately 1300 BC)

Moses (approximately 1300 BC)


Moses is, without a doubt, one of the most important characters in the Old Testament. Struggling to find language to describe his greatness, Deuteronomy 34:10 says, “Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”

Born to a couple from the Tribe of Levi and raised as an Egyptian by Pharaoh’s daughter, Moses was perfectly suited to negotiate Israel’s freedom from slavery in Egypt. In event after event, the author of Exodus shows us Moses’ wonder-working power, his prophetic skill, and his intimacy with God.

Despite all Moses was able to accomplish through the power of God, he never lost his humanness. He lacked confidence in his ability to speak (see Exodus 4:10), he felt angry and frustrated with his people (see 17:4), and he bargained with God out of love for his people (see 32:11–14). Moses, noble but also knowing sadness, is elegantly portrayed in the passage where he dies within sight of the Promised Land (see Deuteronomy, chapter 34). These qualities paint a picture of someone whose perseverance and trust allowed God to work through him.

A prophet is literally God’s voice, and Moses was indeed God’s voice, which shaped Israel to be a people of the Covenant. Most other leaders and figures in the Old Testament are compared with Moses. In the New Testament, Jesus is revealed as the fulfillment of the Mosaic Law, completing the work God began through Moses. Jesus is called "the New Moses" because he gave us the New Law of love. (From The Catholic Faith Handbook for Youth, Third Edition [Saint Mary’s Press]) 

(Image ©Natalia Svistunova /