Baby name consultant: Warrior Saints

I hope you all got to see the three (three!) birth announcements I posted yesterday — three beautiful little ladies with three gorgeous names! Be sure to check them out if you haven’t yet seen them: one, two, three. (I have a couple more coming this week, wheeee!! 😀 )

Today’s consultation is a bit more private than usual, and a whole lotta awesome: Parents with a military background recently asked for ideas for names for the warrior saints theme they’ve already started with their kiddos and hope to continue for both boys and girls. I love that!! I mean really. How cool.

I came up with a bunch of ideas (there are a lot of saints who were soldiers!), and I’m really hoping you all can round out these lists with your own ideas!

Girls

First off, there’s St. Joan of Arc, the girl soldier who helped bring victory to France and died for her faith. Such a great patron for a little girl! I did a spotlight of her name not too long ago.

Then there are three biblical women who I see routinely referred to as “warriors”: Deborah, Jael, and Judith. In the intro to the book Women Warriors in Romantic Drama by Wendy C. Nielsen is this sentence (the link takes you right to it): “Women warriors such as Joan of Arc, and Judith, Deborah, and Jael in the Bible, fight openly with honor for justice and freedom,” which is pretty awesome. You can read more about Deborah and Jael here (their story is linked), and Judith here; I also spotlighted Judith recently here, including a Marian link to the name.

Then there’s St. Quiteria, who has a pretty amazing story. I actually posted a birth announcement recently for a little girl named after St. Quiteria (her parents decided to go with the spelling Kyteria).

Otherwise, there are loads and loads of Saints who were soldiers—all men as far as I can tell, except St. Joan, but some pretty great female variants include:

Adrianne or Adrienne, for St. Adrian of Nicomedia (you could even use Adrian for a girl)

Alexandra et al., for the Sts. Alexander

Andrea, for Bl. Andrea Bordino or Bl. Andrea Gallerani (a pretty great option, since you’d use the Saint’s exact name)

Caroline or Charlotte or Carla for any of the Sts. Charles that were soldiers (lots!)

Irene for St. Irenaeus

Hyacinth or Jacinta, for St. Hyacinth (Jacinta is the Spanish and Portuguese feminine version of Hyacinth, and Hyacinth on its own can be a girl’s name as well)

Lucy for St. Lucius

Marian, for Bl. Marian Górecki (this Bl. Marian was a man, but how great is it that you could use his exact name of Marian?!)

Kostka, for Bl. Stanislaw Kostka Starowieyski (Kostka struck me as really do-able for a girl; I’ve seen a priest take it as part of his religious name but in his case, and in the Bl. Stanislaw who was a soldier, it was in honor of St. Stanislaus Kostka, who’s a different guy and not a soldier)

Victoria, for the several Sts. Victor who were soldiers (I also love the tie-in to Our Lady of Victory and Jesus Himself as The Victor)

Boys

There are loads on that list I linked to above, but I just picked a few of my favorites to include here:

Adrian (Bl. Adrian Fortescue and St. Adrian of Nicomedia)

Alexander (there are a bunch of Sts. Alexander on the list of soldiers, and Alexander the Great is a common enough warrior reference)

Andrew (Bl. Andrew Dotti and St. Andrew the Tribune)

Bruno (Bl. Bruno of Rommersdorf and St. Bruno of Ebsdorf; doesn’t Bruno just seem like a warrior name?!)

Charles (several)

David (Bl. David Carlos-Marañon, St. David of Scotland, and King David himself)

Dominic (Bl. Dominic Collins and Bl. Dominic Dosso)

Edward (Bl. Edward Joannes Maria Poppe)

Gerard (Bl. Gerard of Clairvaux)

Ignatius (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

Leo (several)

Marco (Bl. Marco of Jativa)

Peter (several)

Raymond (Bl. Raymond de Blanes and St. Raymond of Fitero)

Simon (Bl. Simon Ballachi)

William (Bl. William of Andleby, Bl. William of Maleval, St. William of Gellone)

There are several whose names are actually given as “St. So-and-So the Soldier,” which is really cool:

St. Andreas the Soldier (Andrew)
St. Lucius the Soldier (Luke could work for this one, or Lucas)
St. Mark the Soldier
St. Maximianus the Soldier (Max)
St. Peter the Soldier

(There are others but I thought these were the most user friendly.)

Finally, the patron saints of soldiers include:

St. Adrian of Nicomedia
St. Faith
St. George
St. Ignatius of Loyola
St. James the Greater
St. Louis IX
St. Martin of Tours
St. Nicholas

(Full list of patron saints of soldiers here.)

So there are a lot to choose from! What others can you all add?

32 thoughts on “Baby name consultant: Warrior Saints

  1. This is very interesting!!

    The first two that came to mind for girls are Judith and Joan which you mentioned! Those two are very mid-century so I could see them not appealing to many people right now, but I think that if they don’t appeal, the variations of Joan (which is a female form of John) are super wonderful! Especially Joanna (which has Joan in it!). Joanna Judith could be an awesome warrior name for a little girl!!

    I don’t think I can think of any other’s for girls. Girls are a little tough for this theme. Louisa does me renowned warrior, and Louise is a saint, so maybe that could work!

    For boys, there’s Gideon in the bible, who was a great warrior!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When I think soldier saints, I instantly think of St. Martin of Tours!!! He’s awesome!

    I think of St. Sebastian second.

    Also St. Longinus is the name used for the soldier who pierced the side of Christ with his spear and said, “Surely this man was the son of God.”

    I think you’ve got the girls covered!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They may already be aware but I would add the American military chaplain Servants of God, Emil Kaupan and Vincent Capodanno.

    St. Maximilian Kolbe – not an actual soldier/warrior but a strong spiritual warrior founded the Militia of the Immaculata – very warrior-y to me, so I would include him.

    And then there is this one I just learned of this past week – Takayama Ukon or Dom Justo Takayama, a samurai warrior from 14th century Japan. His Christian name Justo was given for St. Justin Martyr. (He is on the list you linked as Venerable Iustus Takayama Ukon.) Pope Francis just a few months ago approved his martyrdom clearing the way for sainthood in the near future.
    http://ucatholic.com/blog/japanese-samurai-may-soon-declared-catholic-saint/

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I found this website: http://catholicsaints.info/patron-saints-of-military-topics/
    I can’t speak to how accurate or “official” it is, but it lists St. Maurice as the patron saint of armies, including the US army, which I have seen before. There are dozens of military categories that apparently have patrons, including paratroopers, gunsmiths, POWs, etc. Maybe they would be able to find a patron/patroness that was really specific to their circumstances? Then there’s the patroness of the US, the Immaculate Conception. I don’t know how adventurous they are with naming, but I’m thinking things like Immaculata/Immaculee or Concepcion (I’m missing accent marks here, I know.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes, this is my fave web site for saint info!! This is the one I linked to for “patron saints of soldiers” — I didn’t even think to look up “patron saints of armies” — nice!!

      Like

  5. My son’s favorite book is one that is in front of me now called “My Warrior Saints.” It is a beautiful book, and perhaps the parents would be interested in it. It’s from an Orthodox author/publisher (Greek), but they are all very early saints so I’m sure they are also Catholic saints. Here is the table of contents:
    St. Mercurius
    St. Theodore (the General)
    St. Artemius
    St. Evstathios (Eustathius)
    St. Callistratus
    St. George (of course!)
    St. Procopius
    St. Constantine
    St. Menas (I have a friend who named her girl Mina after St. Menas, who is dearly beloved in our church.
    St. Nikitas
    St. Sergius
    St. Bacchus

    Many of these seem a little unusual for today’s ears, but I bet there are ways to either translate or feminize them – Georgia comes to mind. A common nickname for Evstathios is Stathi, which is cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. How can you not mention Anselm, a la St Anselm of Canterbury? Born to a military family and receiving military training before moving to the clerical life, Anselm routinely uses warlike terminology in his philosophical writings, and has very nuanced views about notions of “just war” (a friend of mine is writing a paper on these aspects of Anselm’s philosophy so I’ve been getting an earful about it lately). And then look at the etymological elements of the name — ans ‘god, deity’ + helm ‘helmet’. Pretty warriorlike there.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Also, Gertrude means “spear” or similar, so even though St. Gertrude herself isn’t a warrior, her name meaning ties into it. Also, I’m kind of liking Gertrude lately. The full name, not Trudy or Gertie.

    Going with name meanings, Edith means something like “blessed in war” and St. Edith Stein is a powerful patron along the same lines as St. Maximilian Kolbe, mentioned by skimac above. She also died in Auschwitz.

    And I’m so glad that skimac mentioned Servants of God Emil Kapaun and Vincent Capodanno! Love this video about Fr. Kapaun that Chris Stefanick did! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AZuPrQBSDCs

    Liked by 2 people

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