Baby name consultation: non-M Marian middle name for a baby girl

Happy Memorial Day everyone! It’s so fitting that we have a day to remember and pray for all those who have died in service to our country. Today has also been declared a Day of Prayer for Permanent Peace — imagine what all our rosaries could do for this intention! I was so struck by the realization that this year — the 100th anniversary of Fatima — is also the 100th anniversary of the beginning of WWI. What a century it’s been. God bless and protect our troops, and God bless and protect America! 🦅🗽🙏

I had the great pleasure of posting a birth announcement for Shannon and her husband’s first baby, and I’m delighted now to post a consultation for their second baby on earth — a little green bean (=gender unknown)! 🌱 This little one joins:

Caroline Mary
Therese (with Jesus)

I remember being so blown away by the simple elegance of Caroline Mary’s name when Shannon shared her birth announcement, just lovely!

For this baby, they’re set with a boy’s name, but wanted help with a middle name for a girl. Shannon writes,

For girl names, we’re really thinking of Catherine (after Catherine of Siena of course), and our first choice for middle name right now is Marie. But we wanted to see if you had any other middle name suggestions that go with Catherine. You may remember we have Caroline Mary, who you helped us name (we LOVE her name and its significance). One potential hesitation with Catherine Marie is that it is somewhat similar (and shares the same initials) as Caroline Mary.  We named our second baby, who I miscarried in August, Therese (I was so comforted thinking about the baby going straight into Jesus’ arms, like St. Therese wanting to go straight up to Jesus on an elevator).  We would consider using Therese as a middle name.

If we go with Catherine Marie, it seems like we’re setting a precedent with Marian middle names (or perhaps we can just have a Marian influence in each name a la John Paul, etc.) — we’re definitely okay with this! As you may recall from our earlier emails, we like classic, traditional names. (Catholic, obviously!) We are trying to avoid nicknames, as much as we can, but for a middle name, that’s not really an issue.  Our last name is Lynch, so we’re also a little wary of “L” names.”

So you all have to know how much I loved working on this! I’m always excited to come up with Marian names! Like Shannon, I love the idea of a Marian name being part of her daughters’ names—it’s a great precedent to set! And a very traditional one! In my own family, my parents made a point to give each of their daughters (four of us) a Marian name (we each have a different one). It’s also very traditional for all the girls in a family to have the *same* Marian name—we see this in St. Therese’s family, where her and all of her sisters’ first names were Marie. I love too that Shannon and her hubs have a sense of including a Marian connection in their boy names as well!

When I was coming up with new middle name ideas for them, I focused a lot on trying to come up with non-M Marian names (especially shorter ones, since Catherine is so long, so I didn’t include Immaculata, for example), and I also came up with a couple others that they might find intriguing:

(1) Catherine Rose
I think this is my favorite idea for this little lady. Rose is a Marian name for lots of different reasons: she’s the Mystical Rose (Rosa Mystica); the rosary is so named because it’s meant to represent a crown of roses for Our Lady; and she’s appeared with roses, as at Lourdes and Guadalupe. But—and I was so excited to realize this!—it can also be a nod to St. Therese and therefore their little one in heaven! Double whammy! And Catherine Rose is a really lovely name, with a similar elegant simplicity as Caroline Mary.

(2) Catherine Grace
Catherine Grace also has that elegance and simplicity I get from Caroline Mary and Catherine Rose. Our Lady of Grace would be the Marian reference of course.

(3) Catherine Eve (or Eva, Ava, or Ave)
Mary is the New Eve, so Eve can be considered a Marian name, and Catherine Eve is really pretty. Eva and Ava are both variants of Eve, and I quite like how Catherine Eva/Ava sound (I say them the same, but you could also say EE-va for Eva). A more unusual choice that’s similar is Ave, said AH-vay, like Ave Maria (Hail Mary). Catherine Ave would be really unusual but still simple and sweet. There’s a stanza in the Ave Stella Maris (Hail Star of the Sea) hymn that says, “O! By Gabriel’s Ave, Uttered long ago, Eva’s name reversing, Established peace below.” So that’s a cool connection too between Ave, Eve, and Mary (and Stella Maris, for a bonus Marian connection).

(4) Catherine Pieta
This would certainly be an unusual choice, but the image of the Pieta seems a fitting one for a mom who’s suffered the loss of a child, and could make an intriguing middle name, especially since they’re already thinking of perhaps using their miscarried baby’s name for this baby’s middle.

(5) Catherine Dolores
Along that same way of thinking, Dolores is from Our Lady’s title Our Lady of Sorrows (Nuestra Señora de los Dolores in Spanish)—Catherine Dolores sounds sort of retro and chic, and I don’t think the L of Dolores sounds problematic with Lynch.

(6) Catherine Zelie (or Catherine Azelie) (or Catherine Tess)
This was inspired by their little Therese. Another way of linking to her in Catherine’s name could be by using her mom’s name. They could use the name she goes by—Zelie—or the longer version that was part of her given name, Azelie. Either way, I think Catherine Zelie and Catherine Azelie are lovely.

I actually had another idea when I was writing out the explanation for Catherine Zelie/Azelie, which was Tess—it’s a diminutive of the Therese/T(h)eresa names, but it can also stand on its own, so though Shannon said they’re trying to avoid nicknames, I thought maybe Tess squeaked in just under the wire. Really though, I was just so taken with the sweetness of Catherine Tess that I had to include it!

(7) Names from their last consultation
Finally, I looked back at Shannon’s first email to me for Caroline’s consultation, and found several names in there that she’d said she liked, that I thought could make great middle names for Catherine, specifically Catherine Joan and Catherine Sophia/Sophie. Joan also made me think of its variant Jane, and I like how Catherine Jane sounds as well. And I like that Sophie/Sophie can be Marian names, since they can refer to Our Lady’s title Seat of Wisdom.

And those are my ideas! What do you all think? What Marian name(s) would you suggest for Catherine’s middle?

30 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: non-M Marian middle name for a baby girl

  1. I’m a Catherine Rose, so I may be biased! But I always liked the fact that my parents used a longer first name with a short last name. And I’ve never had a nickname, always Catherine, which sounded more elegant to me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. My oldest daughter is named Grace Catherine, for Our Lady of Grace on the Miraculous Medal given to St. Catherine Laboure. Just thought I’d offer another aspect! Love your suggestions!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Catherine Rose.
    And, I know it goes against what you were feeling in terms of a long mn with a long fn, Kate, but I think Catherine Victoria sounds beautiful! So depending on the family last name, it may flow beautifully start to finish, or just be over the top.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Catherine Regina ‘regina’ means ‘queen’. One of Mary’s titles is ‘Queen of Heaven’

    Catherine Violet ‘violet’ symbol of Mary’s humility
    Catherine Daisy ‘daisy’ Mary’s Flower of God (= Jesus)
    Catherine Pansy ‘pansy’ symbol of the Trinity, first revealed to Mary.

    Catherine Sophie / Sophia Sophie / Sophia means ‘wisdom’. One of Mary’s titles is ‘Throne of Wisdom’
    Catherine Celeste / Celesta Celeste / Celesta means ‘heavenly’. One of Mary’s titles is ‘Gate of Heaven’ or ‘Queen of Heaven’
    Catherine Stella / Estelle / Estella Stella / Estelle / Estella means ‘star’. One of Mary’s titles is ‘Morning Star’ or ‘Star of the Sea”
    Catherine Victoria Our Lady of Victory

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I was wondering if the letter writer might welcome a suggestion for the first name? This is completely a personal preference, but I find Catheine and Caroline share so many letters that I wonder if spelling it with a K would work better? Katherine Marie and Caroline Mary.

    Liked by 1 person

      • This was going to be my recommendation as well. We opted for the Katharine spelling as it honors the American St. Katharine Drexel. Katharine certainly enjoys having her own initial – her sister is Clare.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have two J boys and don’t feel boxed in to using J names for any future boys. As someone who has used the name Catherine, I think people have definite preferences of either K or C. If they go with Caroline, Catherine, and then add Charlotte for a third girl, I think they’ll have boxed themselves in. But not with just Caroline & Catherine.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ah love this!! Caroline and Catherine make darling sister names!! I love a lot of the suggestions, too, especially Catherine Azelie. I actually don’t mind length in a name – slightly biased as my name is never-ending haha – so your mention of Catherine Immaculata made me smile! I adore it! I also like the idea of Catherine Evangeline going off of your suggestion of Eve/Eva/Ava/Ave. I thought Catherine Maristella might be nice, too. But again, length. And it still gives them the same initials. Maybe Catherine Stellamaris. I also love Caroline’s name so I’m sure whatever they choose will be perfect! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love all the suggestions from the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary. And Our Lady of Victory.

    These ideas don’t really apply to this situation, but the consultation made me take a look at the litany and I realized that David and Ivory could both be ways to name a baby after Mary- from her titles Tower of David and Tower of Ivory.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for all of the thoughts and suggestions! We are focused on Catherine with a C because of St. Catherine of Siena (though I know some debate her spelling). We have lots to think about before baby comes!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I LOVE Catherine Rose and someone else beat me to suggesting Catherine Stella or Catherine Estelle…all of which I think roll nicely into Lynch.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I was thinking that if they go with the catherine spelling (which is indeed more similar to the Italian caterina), maybe they should avoid rose? That way the middle names will be different lenghts and less “matchy”, opening up for future children. Caroline Mary and Catherine Stella have a different vibe from each other, I think. I like that! And I agree about Catherine Stella Lynch.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Sooo… I am a Catherine, whose older sister is a Carolyn! So similar here. We are 15 months apart. Carolyn Ruth and Catherine Ann (and I have always considered St. Catherine of Siena to be my patroness, even though I wasn’t specifically named after her). We did not go by nns as kids (I started going by Cat around age 12 but a lot of schoolmates still know me as Catherine). We’re in our 30’s family members STILL can’t keep us straight! But Carolyn and Catherine has a nice ring to it, and I actually think the long “i” in Caroline helps differentiate a bit more than we had, since our names both started and ended similarly.

    As for middle names, I really liked the suggestion of Catherine Rose. I also like Catherine Victoria, and it seems our generation is not as scared as two long names as my parents were. My mom said they came close to naming me Catherine Elizabeth, but decided it was too many letters with 2 9-letter names. (Apparently Princess Kate Middleton’s parents didn’t think the same way – that is her given name!). We ended up using Elizabeth as a middle name for our first daughter (Cora Elizabeth).

    Another note: if you’re not planning on doing a nn from birth, run through a few nn’s with your last name and see how they sound. My parents never in a million years thought I’d end up “Cat” to the point where it’s on my business card. It sounds good with my married last name, but it really didn’t sound that great with my maiden name, which was one syllable and just didn’t flow right (and there was a comedy bit from the Chapelle show popular in my college days that did not help — my maiden name was James). My friends gave me the nickname and it stuck, so you never know with the long names. That’s my cautionary tale on my name!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with those above who said Catherine Victoria sounds great and goes just fine with their one-syllable last name. For that matter, I even think Immaculata would be ok! Since they have a one-syllable last name and Catherine usually sounds like 2 syllables when spoken (but no more than three with careful pronunciation), so a long middle name seems just fine!

    But I also like Catherine Grace for the Miraculous Medal connection and Catherine Rose is beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

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