A couple weeks ago our reader Isabelle, who blogs from England at A Piece of the Continent, left a comment on the Jude spotlight saying that her son is named Jude (“Jude René Marc, always a bit of English and a bit of French”) and that she was expecting another boy any day, and still contemplating names for him. I told her I’d love to know what name they ended up choosing, if she didn’t mind sharing, and yesterday she let me know that her littlest guy had been born and they’d named him Gabriel Nicolas Peter!
Isabelle emailed me some more details, which I just love:
“We chose our boys names mostly because of the saints associated with them, for Jude, we LOVED the association between Saint Simon and Saint Jude (my husband is Simon) and Gabriel felt just perfect for a Christmas baby, without being too obviously Christmassy. (A friend of ours pointed out the they were both heroes from Thomas Hardy novels, which was completely unintentional. She suggested “Angel” for the next boy, to follow the trend, but I had to point out that having an Angel and a Gabriel in one sibling set is just, no!)
Another thing we had to bear in mind is how the names translate between French and English (“Jude” was very strange for the French set, although easy enough to pronounce, and they were a bit thrown by it — my great-aunt, a dominican nun (!) point-blank refused to admit that it was the name of an apostle :). I think they are relieved with Gabriel!
The middle names however, strictly follow the French tradition. It’s very rare in France for parents to choose middle names simply because they like them, most of the time, they will be a nod to a family member/godparent (I have my grandmothers names — Chantal and Anne-Marie — as middle names, my little sister has her godmother and our great aunt’s religious name — Claire and Marie-Johannes).
So Jude is Jude René (after my grandfather) Marc (after my brother, his godfather), and Gabriel is Nicolas (after my father) and Peter (after my father-in-law).”
Isn’t that all wonderful?? Gabriel is SUCH a perfect name for a Christmas baby! I also love that this note references Thomas Hardy, a great-aunt who’s a Dominican nun, French traditions with middle names, and alllll of those gorgeous names! Jude, Simon, Gabriel, Chantal, Anne-Marie, Claire, Marie-Johannes, René, Marc, Nicolas, Peter … I love seeing beautiful names all together!
Congratulations to Isabelle, Simon, and Jude, and happy birthday Baby Gabriel!!
Gabriel Nicolas Peter