Names for the Joyful Mysteries

Yesterday was one of my very favorite feast days and the first of the Joyful Mysteries, which makes today the perfect Tuesday to post names associated with them! And also, Dwija’s little Helen was discharged from the NICU yesterday and is home with her family, happy and thriving. Joy all around!!

Today’s post is a continuation of my Mysteries of the Rosary series, having already done names for the Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries, and your comments have been invaluable — keep them coming!

These are the Joyful Mysteries (read more here) (and here’s how to pray the Rosary):

The Annunciation by Gabriel to Mary (yesterday’s feast!)
The Visitation of Mary to Her Cousin Elizabeth
The Nativity of Jesus
The Presentation of the Baby Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Names associated with the Joyful Mysteries might include:


Angela, Angeline, Angelica, Archangela, Angel — the angel names all point to St. Gabriel

Annunziata — an Italian name referring to the Annunciation

Annunciación — a Spanish name referring to the Annunciation

Christina, Christine, Christiane/a, Kristin, etc. — the Christ- names refer to Jesus in the last three Mysteries

Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elise, Elisa, Eliza, etc. — for St. Elizabeth, Our Lady’s cousin

Emmanuelle, Emmanuella — for Jesus, especially in the Nativity

Felicity, Felicitas — means “happiness,” for the Joyful Mysteries

Fiat — for Our Lady’s agreement to what Gabriel announced (“let it be done”); Amy suggested Fiat recently, and suggested the particular first name-middle name combo Marian Fiat

Gabrielle, Gabriela — for St. Gabriel

Jane, Joan, Jo(h)anna — for St. John the Baptist, who leapt in his mother’s womb for joy at being in the presence of his Unborn Savior

Josephine, Josefa — for good St. Joseph

Joy, Gioia — means “joy” in English and Italian, respectively

Joyce — behindthename says it originally came from a name meaning “lord,” and that its more recent popularity may be related to its similarity to the Middle English word for “to rejoice.” “Lord” or “rejoicing” — it’s all good for a Joyful Mysteries name!

Mary, Maria, Marie, etc. — for Our Lady, of course

Natalie, Natalia — literally refers to Christmas Day

Noel, Noelle — French for “Christmas”

Presentación — a Spanish name referring to the Presentation

Seraphina, Serafina, Seraphine — refers to the angels (specifically the seraphim, but I think the angelic meaning is what most people think of)




Angelo, Angel — see the Angel names above

Annunziato — see Annunziata above

Baptista, Baptiste, Battista, Bautista — alone or in combination with a John name, for St. John the Baptist (these are all listed as masculine by behindthename, but they could easily be used for girls as well, as I don’t think they come across as masculine [or at least not exclusively so] in America)

Christian, Christopher — see the Christ- names above

Emmanuel — see Emmanuelle above

Felix — see Felicity above

Gabriel — of course!

Jesús — it’s not considered reverent to use the name of Jesus in English, but it is in Spanish

John — for St. John the Baptist

Joseph — see Josephine above

Noel — see Noel above

Ryan — means “little king,” which especially calls to mind the Baby Jesus

Seraphim — see Seraphina above

What others can you add to this list? (There are lots more Christmas names, which I’ve posted about a few times — I just included the ones here that seemed particular to what I think of when I’m meditating on the Mystery of the Nativity.)

+ My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. +


82 thoughts on “Names for the Joyful Mysteries

  1. Under the boys names, how can we not have Gabriel? Speaking of Gabriel, did any one else see the update over the weekend on a Swistle post? The couple had their little boy a month early on March 25 and they ditched their original short list and used Gabriel in honor of the typical day of the Annunciation. So awesome.

    Liked by 3 people

      • Since I’d say we’re 95% sure this in utero guy is Gabriel, St. Gabriel is constantly on my mind. The more I learn about him the more in awe I am. I read up on Saturday all about him and Daniel in the Old Testament. My mom’s neighbors have little boys Gabriel and Daniel and now I’m dying to know if that story was part of their inspiration.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Yes, Laura, Gabriel is amazing! He promised Daniel he wouldn’t return until it was time for the Messiah, in 490 years. Then, 490 years later, Zechariah is assigned his week’s prayer in the inner sanctuary (they had SO MANY priests that they only had to serve one week a year and their duties were assigned by lot), and he was in there praying for what all the Jewish priests would’ve prayed in the inner sanctuary for: the Messiah. Suddenly, Gabriel appears and says, “Your prayer has been answered”?!?!?! No wonder Zechariah was like, “How do you know?” When Gabriel said, “Because I’m Gabriel,” that must’ve been like a HUGE mic drop. Zechariah would have understood exactly what was going on. AMAZING.

        Liked by 3 people

      • grace, that is my new favorite description of that story!! I love that “mic drop”. There are so many “mic drop” moments in the Bible!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. LOVE these names!!

    I thought about Beatrice, because it means “she who brings happiness”! Also, maybe Evangeline? Because it means “bearer of good news” and Gabriel was the bearer of good news to Mary 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m with Grace! Love these names!
    Was thinking more about Christiana and I love the spelling with the double n, too…brings Anna into the name and that seems so lovely, too…Christianna. Grand work…as usual!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Anna and Simeon for the forth mystery! And Beth for Bethlehem. And Gloria/Glory for the angels that praised the Lord when Jesus was born.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I am not at home so don’t have my “list” in front of me of all the names I had come up with. I will have to double check later tonight, but going with what I remember additionally.

    Another name for the Presentation feast day is the Purification or Candlemas. In Spanish there is Candelaria as girl’s name (and pet variations Cande, Candelas) named for that feast.

    Also in Spanish there is Encarnacion (variations Encarnita, Encarna) for the Incarnation, which we celebrate primarily with the Annunciation – though Nativity as well.

    I also think Grace is a fit. Gabriel’s greeting to Mary was “Hail, full of grace.” (Graciela, Gracia, Graciana, Hannah, Anna)

    And Lily, Lillian, Liliana, Lila as Gabriel &/or Mary at the Annunciation is typically shown holding a lily. Or one is being passed by Gabriel to Mary. So beautiful.

    For boys I also had Zachariah or Zachary, father of John the Baptist. Not directly mentioned in the Joyful Mysteries but I associate him with the Visitation as he must have been there also, with Elizabeth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have another link for Grace to the Joyful Mysteries. The Church celebrates the feast of Our Lady of Grace on May 31st which is of course the same day the Visitation is celebrated.

      Liked by 3 people

    • So these are other names that I had thought of, now that I can refer to the list I made.

      Other variations of the Spanish Encarnacion are Gezane or Gezana.

      Another Spanish name is Garabina/e or Garbina/e which is purification.

      The Basque nativity name is Jaione. Agurtzane is the Basque name for Annunciacion. It comes from the Basque for “greeting” – agurtza. Other Basque names that fit: Alaia – joy, Gotzone – angel,

      Because Shosanna was Hebrew for lily, I also had all the Susannah, Susan, Susana, Suzanne names.

      Jude could be used since the location of the Visitation is hill country of Judea.

      Another connection for finding Jesus in the temple: Any of the wisdom names (Sophia, Sofia, Sonia, Sonya, Sonja) for the priests were amazed at his wisdom and the verse says he returned home and was obedient to them and grew in wisdom and stature. So several wisdom references.

      That story also mentions how Mary treasured all these things in her heart – so I was trying to think of “treasure” names. Names like Immaculee which refer to her heart could work.

      Speaking of heart – Presentation mystery also is connected to Mary’s heart when Simeon prophesied that her heart would be pierced with sorrows. So any of the Dolores names from the Sorrowful mysteries could double here.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ohhhh yes yes yes, these are beautiful ideas!! I always love hearing the Basque names, I’m always so delighted you share them! Your suggestion of Jude because of Judea reminds me that I know a little girl named Judea, so that could work too. Great ideas!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Isn’t the last one “Finding Jesus in the Temple” a hard one? Temple itself is a name that could be used. Not common but there are a couple somewhat famous examples of Temple as a first name in Colorado. They were named from family names. Temple Buell was a prominent 20th century architect here. His name has continued to be passed down through the family as a first name. And there is Temple Grandin (born Mary Temple Grandin) world renowned Autism spokeswoman and professor.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I like Zechariah for a Joyful mystery name, simply because he is so central to the Infancy narratives, and has key associations with three other major figures in the Joyful mysteries (Gabriel, Elizabeth, and John).

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Mostly unrelated to this post, except because Elizabeth is part of the joyful mysteries:

    My Elisabeth (14) has scoliosis that she needs to have monitored 2-3 times a year (good news, it’s not progressing, and because of her age, growth plate status, and how far into puberty she is, she’s probably out of the woods). Today she had her ortho appointment and just before we left, the nurse, who is approximately 55-60 years old, came in to hand us our appointment summary, and she said, “I noticed you spelled her name with an ‘s’. Where did you come up with that? Just trying to make sure she’d be unique?”

    I stared at her for a few beats and then said, “It’s the usual spelling in most European languages.” Then she was like, “No, because I’ve only seen it with a ‘z’.”


    The only other person who’s ever given us grief for the spelling of her name was my MIL, who overall doesn’t care for the names we’ve chosen (the fact that several are family names on her side notwithstanding). She would’ve liked to have seen us using “normal” names like Bailey or Tyler, so Elisabeth seemed impossibly formal to her.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since when is Elisabeth not a normal name??? Elisabeth (love it) is one of the most normal (in the best way) names ever I feel like, lol.

      My mom got really confused by one of her students who was Elisabeth-with-an-S, not Elizabeth-with-a-Z. I don’t exactly know what was so confusing about it, but she was always like “I feel like it’s said differently, and I’m not hearing it right.” And I always had to be like “Nope, just like Elizabeth-with-a-Z.” I don’t know why the S seems so confusing 😛

      Liked by 2 people

      • I completely agree, ‘normal in the best way’! Elisabeth is a lovely, authentic, international spelling! I can’t believe the nurse said that, it doesn’t exactly sound like name nerd small talk, more like critical and rude!

        Maybe it is a pronunciation thing, I can see at a stretch that people might worry it’s pronounced differently.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Don’t understand people’s need to comment negatively on someone’s child’s name. Now if you really had an unusual spelling of it like the Basque form – Elixabete – maybe I could see some wondering…

      Elisabeth is so pretty. I recently thought more about it when I saw the announcement of approval of second miracle of Blessed Elisabeth of the Trinity so she will be canonized. In reading a short bio on her, I saw her nickname as a child was Sabeth. We know someone with a daughter Sabeth and he has a devotion to Elisabeth of the Trinity. I had never heard that as a nickname before them but see now they are connected. (grace, do you know who I am talking about?)

      Liked by 2 people

    • This is so crazy! Thank you Grace, for educating the world about names, one person at a time. ((thumbs up))

      (Also — “normal” like Bailey and Tyler! That’s like that story the other Grace told [I think it was her] about her grandmother (?) who wanted her mom use “cool” or “fashionable” names like Brenda! I still laugh about that! Not that there’s anything wrong with Brenda! Just that her grandmother was so out of the name-fashion loop that she thought Brenda was still the height of popularity.)

      Liked by 2 people

      • Yes!!!! That’s SO my MIL. She was also really disappointed when we used James, which was her grandfather’s name, her brother’s name, and her son’s middle name. She thought it was just so dated. She suggested Russell as an alternative to it. ??????

        Liked by 2 people

      • Oh! And this reminds me of another story. My mom used to work with this woman about 15 years ago whose MIL suggested that she name her firstborn Mackenzie. When she was like, “Well, we have some other names in mind,” the MIL said, “Well, it doesn’t matter what name you use, I will be calling her Mackenzie.” My mom brought this story up again recently because apparently the MIL really did call the child Mackenzie!

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s horrifying/hilarious! I know of a couple who’d decided on a certain name for their daughter, but when she was born the dad filled out the birth cert and put in his choice! Different from what they’d agreed upon! Of course the mom was livid and to this day the girl goes by the name they’d agreed upon pre-birth despite the fact that her birth cert says something totally different. Think Melanie vs. Elizabeth. Crazy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’m going to be really irritated when (I’m sure) I start getting grief for Elisabeth. Because I LOVE it spelled the European way. And it’s in the Vulgate that way. And it just looks like a different name to me. When I think of my Elisabeth, it really is very different than Elizabeth in my mind.

      Your kids’ names are unreproachable. Seriously, how can anyone argue with your beautiful, classic names?!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Orthodox children are often named Evangelia (E-VAHN-gel-EE-ah – hard ‘G’) in honor of the Annunciation. And of course, Evangeline/Evangelia pronounced the normal English way would be in the same category. Now I’m wondering what the male equivalent is and can’t think of one…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mary (or Marian names) as a temple or temple gate name?

    (From HOMILY OF ST. GREGORY THAUMATURGUS) The Holy Virgin is herself both an honourable temple of God and a shrine made pure, and a golden altar of whole burnt offerings. By reason of her surpassing purity [she is] the Divine incense of oblation ( = προθέσεως), and oil of the holy grace, and a precious vase bearing in itself the true nard; [yea and] the priestly diadem revealing the good pleasure of God, whom she alone approacheth holy in body and soul. [She is] the door which looks eastward, and by the comings in and goings forth the whole earth is illuminated. The fertile olive from which the Holy Spirit took the fleshly slip (or twig) of the Lord, and saved the suffering race of men. She is the boast of virgins, and the joy of mothers; the declaration of archangels, even as it was spoken: “Be thou glad and rejoice, the Lord with thee”; and again, “from thee”; in order that He may make new once more the dead through sin.

    And Mary as Temple Gate is reference to a specific part of Ezekiel’s prophesy (Ez.44:1-2).

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Sancta Nomina and commented:

    The sun is shining here today, and it’s warm-ish, and I’m feeling a bit better, so the Joyful Mysteries are perfect for today. Also since it’s Saturday, one of the days they’re actually said on! Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments.


  12. Reblogged this on My Inner MishMash and commented:
    I have reblogged posts from many baby naming blogs for you guys as I’m crazy about names, but it has just dawned on me that I’ve never shared any posts from my most favourite baby naming blogger – Kate of Sancta Nomina – with you. It is my most favourite baby naming blog because it is all about Catholic names, and I am Catholic myself.
    Kate re-shared this post yesterday, as it was the feast of Announciation, that she wrote a couple years ago so I thought I’d share it with you, my readers, as well, particularly that it is a difficult time for many of us so we need some more joy. Because, whether you are Catholic or not, there are lots of brilliant and joyful names here.
    My favourite mysteries of the Rosary are definitely the Sorrowful ones, but I think I like the Joyful names most.
    Which ones of these names are your favourites? Can you think of any more? If you’re not Catholic or maybe not a Christian in general, which names do you associate with joy or something joyful, or which names make you think of/feel joy?
    I really like angelic names on this list, including Gabrielle and Gabriel. I think Evangeline/Evangelina would fit here too, because, while it is not strictly angelic, it does share one of its roots with Angelina and the like, and as a whole means “bearer of good news”. I am also a big fan of Elizabeth and many of its variant forms from all around the world. Emmanuelle is so sweet and I love it, but I also like the masculine form. I also love Felicity and Felix so very much. I think Felicia could also make a great fit for this list! I’ve never heard of Fiat used as a name before but I love the sound of this word and the Marian connection so I’m all for it. Well… maybe not here, but in English it would work brilliantly as a middle name. I think Grace/Gracia/Graciela could make this list as well, as a reference to the mystery of Announciation. Also one of other possible options that I thought of is Lucy, or its variant forms like Lucia, Luz, Lucinda, Luce, Lux, or the male variants Lucius or Lucian or even Lucas or Luke… I know that it would fit better for the Light mysteries, but I also think that it could be a nice tie to the mystery of Presentation and Jesus who is “the Light to enlighten pagan nations”, so it would make a gorgeous fit for a baby born on Candlemas since Lucy & co mean light. Oh and this makes me think of Candelaria! I adore Noelle so very much, and I like Noel as well.
    I really like Christopher and its meaning. I also like John and especially the possibility to nickname it to Jack, YAY! 😀 Jesus sounds awkward as a normal human name outside of the Spanish-speaking world to me personally as a Pole, but I guess Joshua could be a cool alternative for English-speaking parents.
    So, what would you add? What names fill you with joy?


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