I posted a request for prayers for a family in the wake of the stillbirth of their beautiful baby, Zita Marie-Catherine, a while ago, and I was so very happy for them when the mama, Kara, let me know this past fall that they were expecting another baby! Now I’m thrilled to share that their baby girl has arrived and been given the amazing name … Marigold Azélie!
“Well, our newest baby GIRL arrived at 7:49am on November 8th. She weighed 8 lbs 14oz. And we named her. . .
(We’re using the ah-ZAY-lee pronunciation.)
As you know, I was sort of set on using an Italian first name, but your consultation made me realize I cared more about the story behind the name than the nationality. So here’s the story:
[Hubby] and I were pretty settled on a boy name, but struggled with one if the baby was a girl. After three girls, I felt like we had used up our most-favorite options. Sometime in late August I had tossed out the name “Marigold” (which I was reminded of in your book!) as a name we could use in honor of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, not thinking he would go for it. I was right, he wasn’t keen on it. So I moved on. Then in mid-September a friend threw me a shower and one of the cards I received was a vintage print of the marigold flower. I went home and jokingly told [hubby] it was a sign that if we had a girl we should name her Marigold. Of course, he rolled his eyes. Fast forward a week or two and one night I was complaining about something pregnancy related and he responded with, “Well, would it make you feel better to know that Marigold is now in my top three names for girls?” Um, what?? His change of heart was due to the fact that the Diocese of Des Moines’ feast day is August 22nd, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Due to his job and it being a big year for the diocese with the ordination of a new bishop, he thought it was very fitting. We also liked that a nickname is Mary because it’s a family name (his grandma Mary turned 90 two days before Marigold was born). By early October it became a slight frontrunner for us, but it also felt very “different” given the fact that all the other kids’ names are straight saint names. Then when I was 38 weeks pregnant I came across more info on the marigold, its meaning and its relation to Mary [in an article by Br. John M. Samaha, S.M., on the University of Dayton’s web site] … I also discovered that the marigold is the flower for October, making me convinced that if we had a girl she was going to be born in October. Ha!“
One bit that particularly moved this mama in that article linked to above was the following:
“Sometimes described as ‘the flower of grief’, the marigold actually weeps on occasion. Droplets gather in the flower during the night and drip off like tears when it opens in the morning. This characteristic moved Shakespeare to write in A Winter’s Tale:
“The Marygold that goes to bed with the sun, / And with him rises weeping.”
These flowers primarily convey the message “I will comfort your grieving heart”.
Grief mixed with joy, poverty linked with abundance of good gifts — that is the marigold’s reflection of the lady for whom she is named.”
How beautiful!! Kara continues,
“For me personally, besides the grief aspect, Marigold’s name also is connected to Zita in that although Zita was due Aug. 24th, I had hoped she would be born on Aug. 22nd. I had thought it would be fitting that since Zita was named after an Empress/Queen, she’d share a feast day with the Queen of Heaven. So this is a way for me to honor Zita without making it feel so heavy.
Azélie is obviously for St. Marie-Azélie, but kind of surprised me in that it only came to us right before baby’s due date. For the past 18 months I was SET on using Clairvaux for a middle name, but [hubby] kind of liked it better for a boy middle name. One day I was thinking about Marie-Azélie, her own child losses and her motherhood, realizing that in the past year I’ve understood more fully what it means to be a mother and have worked harder than ever before at becoming a better one. A few days later my sis-in-law sent me a quote from a book she was reading on Marie-Azélie’s life and that’s what sealed the deal …
So many people have commented on the beauty of Marigold’s name, young and old alike! Many have added that they’ve never heard of it, but my favorite was a little old retired priest who said, “Lady Edith has a Marigold!” Haha.
Of course my Gabriel was hoping for a boy, so when he came to the hospital and discovered he had yet another sister he immediately asked, “What’s her name?” in a way that was holding out hope it was something he liked. When we said it was Marigold he crinkled his nose with an “ugh.” He admits he likes it now, though! The kids call her “Mare,” “Marigoldie” and “Marigoldilocks.” 🙂 [Hubby] and I use Mary from time to time, but I’m careful because I never want the full Marigold to get lost — it’s too beautiful!“
Isn’t this such a wonderful story?? I love that they were able to find a name that connects to their little Zita without, as Kara said, “making it feel so heavy.” This is just so lovely, all around!
Congratulations to Kara and her husband and big siblings Gabriel Gerard, Cecilia Immaculée, Gemma Thérèse (and Zita Marie-Catherine in heaven), and happy birthday Baby Marigold!!
Marigold Azélie with her family ❤ (Photo credit: Laura Wills Photography)
(In the top left picture, she’s laying on the Sacred Heart blanket from Be A Heart)
My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!