Birth announcement: Beatrice Lucia Marie!

I posted a consultation back in February for Elizabeth and her husband, and she’s just let me know her baby girl has arrived and been given the gorgeous name … Beatrice Lucia Marie!

Elizabeth writes,

I feel like proclaiming “Habemus Nomen!” Baby Beatrice is 1 month old today, and we just finalized her name! I’m notoriously bad at decisions, and this was a particularly tough one.

Beatrice Lucia Marie arrived on April 13 at 5:27am (after an amazing but whirlwind less-than-5-hour labor in which we made it to the birth center just 13 minutes before she was born). She was a perfect 6 pounds, 12 ounces and 19 inches long.

Here’s basically how it went:

We had pretty much narrowed first names down to Mary or Beatrice in the last few weeks of pregnancy. I was almost certain her name would be Mary, so I was surprised that when we saw her, we were both knew immediately that she was not a “Mary.” It still took us a good 48 hours to commit to “Beatrice.” But we were at a total loss on her middle name. We had too many great options and none that filled every criteria we had. We narrowed it down to Lucia, Chiara, Vittoria, Maria and Caterina and then down to Lucia, Chiara, or Caterina. We love St. Catherine of Siena. She’s such a powerhouse saint and one of the 2 patrons of Italy (along with St. Francis of Assisi). The fact that I lived in Siena for 6 months in college and Brian has visited there with me a couple of times was a big draw, too. And I just love her quote about setting the world on fire…But I felt like I just couldn’t come to terms with the potential mispronunciation, and I actually prefer Catherine, so maybe we’ll keep that in mind for a future daughter! 🙂 We went back and forth on Chiara and Lucia. I really liked that there is so much more documented about Chiara and the connection to Francesco (George’s middle name, as I’m sure you recall), and now there’s also Bl. Chiara “Luce” Badano. In the end, though, we decided that Lucia just fit her best. And we like the way it flows. And neither of us wanted to let it go since we’d loved the name from the start. And George called her Lucy for weeks during my pregnancy. We still struggled with the fact that so little is known about St. Lucia… but the essence of her story is so relevant to a Catholic growing up today. Lucia is such a strong example of standing up for your faith in a society that is (sometimes/often) hostile to it. Plus we love that it means light. And Beatrice could also claim Bl. Chiara Badano as a patron with the Luce-Lucia link.

As I said before, I was really hoping for a Marian name for baby Bea, and maybe they’re a stretch, but I came up with a few connections that I like (and I thought you’d appreciate). First, St. Beatrice founded the Order of the Immaculate Conception. Also, Beatrice in Italian is simply blessed (“beata” — or “beatus” in Latin) + ending indicating a female (“trice”). So, even though it’s usually said to mean “bringer of joy” or “she who brings joy” (which I love), to my Italian-centric ear it’s more accurately “she who is blessed,” which immediately makes me think of the Blessed Virgin Mary and “blessed are you among women…” Also the initials B.L.M. make me think of “Blessed Mother.” (Not quite so obvious as B.V.M. but it’s still reminiscent of Our Lady.) Then there’s Lucia of Fatima. And did you know there’s a Madonna della Luce/Our Lady of Light? So… Marian connections! Finally, at 2 weeks, we had the birth center send in her official documents with the name Beatrice Lucia!

But I still felt like something was missing and wasn’t totally at peace about her name. I even called our state’s department of health to see what the rules were for changing middle names on the birth certificate. (You have until the baby is a year old to change the name! I think that includes first and middle names.) I really wanted her to have a form of Mary in her name, and we talked about adding Marie as a second middle. I liked the idea of carrying on the tradition of “Marie” (both my mom’s and my middle name), but both Brian and I had mixed feelings about a double middle name (for a few reasons, mostly logistics though). We’d been praying about it, and stumbled across the solution when we were finalizing the info for her baptismal certificate. (She’ll be baptized this Sunday!) When I mentioned our middle name dilemma to the office manager at church and asked if it might be an issue if we changed her middle name later, she said the name on her baptismal certificate did not have to match her legal name. Total lightbulb moment! I called Brian immediately, and we decided that the perfect solution would be to have her baptized as Beatrice Lucia Marie and keep her legal name as Beatrice Lucia! (For now… we have 11 months to change our minds about that. ;)) I immediately felt a flood of peace about the whole thing, which had been weighing on me heavily since she was born. I’m so glad that she’ll have Marie as an official, even if not legal, part of her name! Bonus, I think my mom is pretty happy about it. 🙂 It’s great that she has connections to all sides of our family, too: Beatrice (mother-in-law’s suggestion and, inexplicably, her nickname in Jr. High(!)), Bea (my paternal grandmother’s nickname), Lucia (husband’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Lucas), and Marie (my mom’s middle name and mine)….

We’ll mostly call her Beatrice but also use the nickname “Bea.” (She ended up being born the day before my grandmother’s birthday (Albina a.k.a “Bea”)!)

We’ve also gotten a bit creative with other nicknames. I’m not sure if any of these will stick, but I thought you’d appreciate them.

Bertie/Birdie
BettyLu
Beats
Bea (“bay-ah”; nn for Italian pronunciation of “bay-ah-tree-chay)
Bella (first and last letters of her first and middle names)

I’m all a-swoon over all these details!! What a beautiful, thoughtful, meaningful name Elizabeth and her husband have chosen for their little girl!!

Baby Beatrice joins equally well-named big brother:

George Francesco

Nice job, Mom and Dad! Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Beatrice!!

Beatrice Lucia Marie with her big brother and parents

18 thoughts on “Birth announcement: Beatrice Lucia Marie!

  1. Oh goodness! I just love this. Beatrice is such a powerful name; I’m glad to see a surge of old-fashioned names coming back into popularity, with Beatrice being among them. And Beatrice Lucia Marie is lovely. What a beautiful baby girl.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. oh so lovely!!! Beatrice and George go perfectly together!!

    And oh my gosh those pictures! She’s so gorgeous, George is so cute and just a beautiful family overall!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Also, I’m curious if they’re using the Italian or English pronunciation of Beatrice? I’m assuming English, but I do love the Italian pronunciation!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Primarily the English, but I do like to speak Italian to the kids sometimes (George gets called Giorgio not infrequently), and sometimes I might just be in the mood to use the Italian pronunciation. I love it too! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • ooo, yay! My Italian professor this past semester has a daughter named Beatrice with the Italian pronunciation and hearing it in his accent made me so happy sometimes, lol

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Lovely name and such a beautiful story! It’s a great idea to name your daughter a name that is written the same way in both languages, and can be pronounced in two different ways. And Beatrice is such a sweet little girl!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I was thinking more about the meaning of “Beatrice” a couple days after this post, and I realized that everywhere the “trice” ending occurs in Italian (at least everywhere I can think of off the top of my head), it doesn’t just indicate a female, it indicates a female who DOES something (“she who [does something]”). For example, attrice=actress/she who acts; direttrice=female director/she who directs; imperatrice=she who rules; lavatrice=machine that washes, etc…. So Beatrice is, in fact, most accurately “she who blesses” (and I guess it’s an easy leap from there to “she who brings joy”). You MIGHT say that in order to bless you have to be blessed, so I still think that the “blessing”-Beatrice connection can be Marian, but it doesn’t really mean “she who is blessed,” like I was thinking before….
    The grammarian/wannabe linguist in me was not going to have peace until I got that out there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am looking for names for our yet to be born little one and happened across this site because my wife wanted to know more about St. Lucia. Because of Elizabeth’s explanation here, I was hoping to clarify something. Is the name Lucia, simply an Italian pronunciation of St. Lucy, the martyr and patroness of the blind? Or is there another St. Lucia that I just don’t know about? By the way, I love the name Elizabeth and her husband have decided on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes and no! The St. Lucy I think we all mostly think of — the one with the eyes on the platter — is St. Lucy of Syracuse, the St. Lucy listed in the Canon of the Mass, and most of the little Lucys and Lucias I know of are named for her. BUT, there are loads of others — see a list here: http://catholicsaints.info/name-lucy/ — and though they’re listed as either Lucy or Lucia, any Lucy can be honored by Lucia and vice versa, since they’re the same name.

      All that said, I do know of some families naming their little girls after Lucia of Fatima, one of the children who saw Our Lady when she appeared there in 1917. That Lucia died in 2005 and her cause for canonization is open, but as far as I know she hasn’t moved past the Servant of God stage.

      I hope that helps!

      Liked by 1 person

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