My reader/friend Grace asked me a while ago (how long? A month or even two?) if I would spotlight the name Aurora — please all take solace from knowing that I do eventually do what I say I will, even if it takes a while!
As Grace pointed out to me, she was inspired in regards to the name Aurora by this passage from the Canticle of Zechariah:
“In the tender compassion of our God, the dawn from on high shall break upon us, and shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Luke 1:78-79)
It’s the “dawn” bit that pointed toward Aurora, as Aurora is Latin for “dawn.” What a great way to name a baby after a favorite Bible passage! And here of course the dawn refers to Jesus, which is so awesome.
“[The] most poor and insignificant hut or cave, to which most holy Mary and Joseph betook themselves … was the first temple of light (Malachi 4, 2, Psalm III, 4) and … the house of the true Sun of justice, which was to arise for the upright of heart from the resplendent Aurora Mary, turning the night of sin into the daylight of grace.” (no. 468)
The “resplendent Aurora Mary” — lovely! A quick Google search also resulted in the Mirror of the Blessed Virgin Mary by St. Bonaventure, which has as Chapter XI, “Mary for her sake and ours is fitly compared to the Aurora.” (“Aurora” in reference to Mary is mentioned thirty five times!) And in the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary, this is the closing prayer for Vespers:
“Hail, wonderful dial Ezechias of old
Beheld when the prophet His destiny told;
The Word, That incarnate in you did become,
Receded, descending to man’s lowly home.
Nine choirs He passed of superior powers,
To take up the tenth in this nature of ours.
The beams of this sun Are the light of your face,
And you the aurora Preceding his race.
The serpent that lurks In night’s desperate gloom .
You crushed, and caused, All beauties
I have caused a never-fading light to rise in heaven;
And like a luminous veil have spread it over the earth“
(The name Dawn could be used also, of course, but I think today’s naming sensibilities are more in line with Aurora.)
Aurora’s one of those great names that’s used in lots of different languages — a pan-European name, really (usage: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English, German, Romanian, Finnish, Roman Mythology). The French Aurore is stunning as well, and while I didn’t find anything when I searched for “St. Aurora,” I did find this (Google translated into English) about St. Aurore (aka Aure and Aurea), “Abbess of Paris and spiritual daughter of St. Eloi and St. Columba.”
Secularly, you may know it from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, as Aurora was her given name, or the aurora borealis (the northern lights), which is a lovely reference. Really, there are loads of gorgeous reasons to consider Aurora.
And the nicknames! Lots of good nicknames for Aurora, which is good, as it seems (from the comments on Behind the Name anyway) that a lot of people find it hard to say: Rory or Ro, Aura and Aurie and Aurea. (I once heard of a set of twins named Aurora and Therese nicked Rory and Reece. Cute!)
What do you all think of Aurora? Do you know anyone with this name? Does she go by the full Aurora, or a nickname?