Happy feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe!! 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹
Before I jump into today’s post, could I just ask you to keep my oldest son in your prayers? (And thank you to all of you who have been praying!) I posted a couple pics explaining the situation on Instagram this weekend — he and I have been in the hospital all weekend for a mysterious swelling on one side of his face that turned out to be an abscessed tooth. Lots of strong antibiotics have really done the trick — last night his face was finally starting to look normal-ish, 48 hours after it started, and this morning he looks wonderful. The doctor will be calling the dentist today and hopefully we can go home in a few hours!
Also, one of you readers emailed me with this very important prayer request:
“My acquaintance/new friend Anne Marie, unbeknownst to me, has a mental/spiritual imbalance that has caused her to be certain that Jesus has asked her to fast to her death. Apparently she has several times fled to distant 24-hr Adoration chapels to pray and await death.
A week ago she again fled the Portland area with nothing but cash, as I understand, leaving behind her new husband of just 15-ish months, and their small son Joseph, 4 months, whom she had been exclusively breastfeeding.
Anyway, since you have many devout readers around the nation, I thought perhaps someone would spot her. She is 5’8″, very thin, conservatively dressed, with long, somewhat greying wavy hair. She has a soft, deep voice, an intelligent demeanor and dry sense of humor. It is best to contact the authorities, rather than acknowledging that you know of her. They suspect she will follow her pattern of fasting until collapse, be hospitalized, and refuse to identify herself.”
This is a news story that tells more about her. Thank you all for being such great prayer warriors! One of the loveliest parts of our little community is how we can ask each other to pray. 🙏
Okay! On to today’s consultation! Cait and her husband are expecting their seventh baby and third girl! She joins big siblings:
Aquinas John Paul (Quin)
Maksymilian Paul (“spelling due to husband’s bad association with a Max in grade school and finding a book written by St. Maksymilian Kolbe where they spelled his name that way — I think it’s the Polish way“)
Socorra Perpetua (often called Corra; named “after Our Lady of Perpetual Help (succour)“; my note: Nuestra Señora del Socorro is a Spanish title referring to Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succor)
Aren’t those amazing names?? I love the nicknames and the alternate yet totally legitimate spellings and the all-around creativity. Great job, Mom and Dad!
“I LOVE Penelope, but she seems to be a saint in the Eastern Church and not ours. I’m having my husband research that, as it seems, from her story there, that we should grab her as a saint too. I also had a dream the baby’s name should have something to do with peace… something we need in our family right now (who doesn’t?)! That’s one way we found Saint Penelope- when she became a Christian she changed her name to Irene, so we’d likely do Penelope Irene, if only I can internally justify not using a Roman Catholic Saint as a first name … [then later I received this update from Cait] As for Penelope, we just found out it’s one of the top 40 names for last year so, sadly, it’s off our list. While we do have a Gabriel, which is ever popular, we tend to shy away from top 100 (or minimally top 50) names.”
So I was shocked to discover that Penelope’s in the top 40! How did that happen! It had barely cracked the top 1000 in 2001, talk about a meteoric rise! I’m sorry that Cait and her hubs have to cross it off their list, I love it! (And there’s a new holy one to use as patron: Ven. Ersilia Penelope Frey!) In its place, I wonder what they’s think of Philomena — it’s similar to Penelope to me, being long and starting with a P, and it’s a really Catholicky Catholic name — it might make a good replacement?
I’m also really interested in Cait’s dream that the baby’s name should have something to do with peace — I did a quick search on behindthename for names that have “peace” in their meaning, and the only one I thought they might be interested besides Irene was Salome. It means “peace” (related to “shalom”) and I posted a really cool tidbit about the name a while ago, which connects the name to Christmas — nice for a baby born this time of year.
Otherwise, I took to my Baby Name Wizard as I always do, looking up the names Cait and her husband have used and those they like/are considering as you know it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. Based on that research and my own mental files, these are my ideas:
(1) Liesse, Lourdes
These are, of course, the names of two Marian apparition sites, and I love them both. Liesse is so pretty with such a feminine sound; it’s a bummer it’s not as well known but I really like how unexpected it is. Lourdes has more use (like Lindsay daughter from My Child I Love You), and has such lovely nickname options like Lulu and Lola.
Reader Lisa alerted me to Bl. Archangela Girlani a while ago as a way of having an authenticated saintly connection to Eleanor (because the Helen connection is problematic), and I immediately loved her religious name! Archangela has a familiar feel, because of the archangels and the name Angela, and yet I’d never heard of Archangela as a given name before finding out about Bl. Archangela — familiar yet uncommon is such a great combo!
One of the Sancta Nomina families has a little girl named Anne-Catherine after Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich — I love this idea for this family! Cait’s older kiddos have, on the whole, fairly unusual names, and double names have an immediate “more unusual” feel to them, even if the names themselves are fairly “normal.”
During one of the very first consultations I did, I came across the name Sidony/Sidonie and was blown away by what I read about it: “this name was formerly used by Roman Catholics for girls born about the date of the Feast of the Winding Sheet (i.e., of Christ), more formally alluded to as ‘the Sacred Sendon’. Sendon or Sindon (from Latin sindon … ‘fine cloth’, ‘linen’) was used in Middle English for a fine cloth, especially one used as a shroud. The Sacred Sendon is supposed to be preserved at Turn [Turin] … Sidonie is not uncommon in France, and the Irish Sidney is probably really Sidony” (from one of my favorite name books, The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names by EG Withycombe). The feast of the Winding Sheet is/was celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, and as Ash Wednesday this year is March 1, the Sidonie feast is Feb. 28, and since Cait’s little one is due in February, I thought it might be perfect.
There’s a section in the BNW called “Exotic Traditionals,” which I often like to peruse for families like Cait’s who have used names like Magdalena, Socorra, and Augustine, as they have a lot of old religious and/or saints’ names that aren’t used so much anymore. Charis is one of them — it means “grace, kindness” according to behindthename.com and “favor, grace, gratitude” according to Merriam Webster, and I actually read about a family who used the name because it’s contained within the word “Eucharist” (and that element of Eucharist is the “favor, grace, gratitude” meaning of Charis). So pretty!
This is another Exotic Traditional, and one I just love—Jacinta’s one of my favorite favorite names, I totally wish it had more play! I have it on my own list, and love the nickname Jess for it.
There wasn’t a huge amount of overlap in the names similar to the names Cait and her husband like, according to the BNW (which is likely just because the BNW doesn’t look at the world with Catholic-colored glasses like we do!), but Rafaela was listed as a style match for Benedict and Raphaela for Maximilian, so I felt like I definitely needed to suggest it! Such a pretty name, and not as matchy with Gabriel as if they used Raphael.
And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little sister of Aquinas, Gabriel, Magdalena, Maksymilian, Augustine, and Socorra?