Baby name consultation: Advent name for a surprise baby?

I’ve had the great privilege to do two previous consultations for today’s family — one which was supposed to post here but I got to post a birth announcement instead because the baby came sooner than expected!, and this one and subsequent birth announcement, and I’m honored to post this consultation for them today! They’re expecting their fifth baby on earth, a little green bean who joins big sibs:

Lea writes,

We are 15 weeks along with a (surprise) baby #5! We are due August 14, 2020. We have 4 other children on Earth and 4 in heaven. Here are our other children’s names. You helped us name 2 of them!

James Pershing
Paul Raymond
Luke Gordon
Felicity Victoria Kathleen

And in heaven: Agnes, Eli, Isaac, and Nicholas

I just love these names! The boys’ names are so handsome and straightforward (and Luke was specifically with Our Lady in mind!), and Felicity is such a beautiful name for the little sister of all those brothers!

We are stumped on boy names in particular but I’d like to hear your suggestions for girls too. I have a strong intuition that it is a boy, though! 

Names we have considered for a girl are mostly Advent themed as we discovered baby was coming during the first week of Advent.

Marian Elizabeth
Marian Violet
Marian Rose
Lucy Rose Marie

And boys we have considered are:
Maximilian Victor (since we’re due on St Maximilian Kolbe’s feast day)
Samuel Victor (like the name and the way it fits with other boys)

We don’t really like Kolbe (husband doesn’t anyway) and Victor would probably be the middle name because it’s the last grandfather to be used by us. Each of our other boys has a grandfather in their middle name.

We love Rose and Marie for girls but not really for first names because they feel a little too common.  

So, suggestions for names that are either Advent/saint themed would be appreciated! As I mentioned this baby was a total surprise to us, we’ve not faced this circumstance before so maybe a name reflecting that would be neat if that exists??

I totally get that they’re stumped on boy names, since I had a harder time coming up with new ideas for boys than for girls! I did my usual research first in the Baby Name Wizard, looking for style matches for the names they’ve already used and those they like/are considering, then found all my old posts on Advent and Christmas names (they’re all listed here), and between the two of them, I made my list of ideas for this baby. That’s when I went back and reread my previous conversations with Lea, and had to cross a few of my ideas off my list, as I’d previously suggested them! I’ll list them here again, though, just in case:

Girl
(1) Annabel
I suggested this for them when they were expecting Felicity, saying: “The Anna family of names were big for you in my research — Anna is a style match for James and Jude, Anita for Paul, and Hannah for Isaac. While I love Anna names (and St. Anne!), I didn’t think the ones I mentioned would fit your “unique” designation, but I thought Annabel/Annabelle might. It’s not technically an Anna name, arising in the Middle Ages in Scotland as a variant of Amabel, which is a variant of Amabilis, which is contained in the Marian title Mater Amabilis (Mother Most Amiable), but of course the fact that Anna is contained in it can definitely be a nod to St. Anne. In fact, you could think of it as Anna + belle, where belle means “beautiful” in French. How lovely! I love that it’s also a Marian name. I don’t feel like I have a good sense of your taste in girl names, so I don’t know if you’ll love it, but I really like it for you.” Now that they have Felicity, I actually think Annabel(le) goes really well as her sister! I also included Annabel in an article about Christmas names that I did for CatholicMom, saying that it “is fitting for the holy day on which we celebrate Mother Mary giving birth to her Baby.” (I know Lea asked about Advent names, but I looked through my Christmas names posts because the names can often be Advent-y as well.)

(2) Anna, Hannah
I mentioned these in the Annabel bit above, but an added reason that I love Hannah or Anna for Lea and her hubs this time, especially, is because of their baby being a surprise. Hannah prayed for Samuel for so long, and St. Anne and St. Joachim prayed for Mary for so long, that I think their stories are great for anyone who’s surprised by a baby-on-the-way! Anne is lovely, but I think Anna is a better fit for them.

(3) Faith, Hope, Nadine
When Lea was expecting Felicity, she said she’d love a name with a good meaning, and I had Faith, Hope, and Nadine (which means “hope”) listed as suggestions for her back then. This time, I had them on my list because of their Advent meaning!

Boy
(1) Joseph
I was digging Joseph for this baby, because of the Advent/Christmas connection, but then I discovered that I suggested it for them when they were expecting Luke and interested in Marian names. Maybe they’d like to consider it again?

(2) Gabriel
Similar to Joseph, I’d suggested Gabriel when they were expecting Luke because of its Marian meaning; I love it now for them because of its connection to Advent and Christmas.

(3) Martin
Martin was one I considered suggesting to them for Felicity, but then decided not to –which I noted in Felicity’s consultation, so I really already threw it out there! I had it on my list again for them now because it’s a style match for Paul, and I was really trying to find new boy names to suggest to them. It’s a great saintly name, but unfortunately I don’t think it has any Advent or Christmas connection.

(4) Henry
I suggested Henry for Luke almost solely because I have a friend who has a James and a Paul, as well as a Henry! Haha! This time, I had it on my list because it’s a match for Lucy and Samuel, though, like Martin, it doesn’t have any Advent/Christmas connection, as far as I know.

Alright, so those are the names I’d previously suggested that would have been on my list today otherwise. But don’t worry! I can always come up with more ideas! 😜 First though, I just want to offer some thoughts on the names they’re considering, in case they’re helpful:

  • Marian Elizabeth/Violet/Rose: I think Marian as a first name is unexpected and lovely, and certainly *ahem* Marian! 😂 I love each of the middle names Lea and her hubs are considering with it: with Elizabeth, it’s so “The Visitation,” which is awesome; Violet and Rose can both nod to the Advent candles, which is great for what they’re looking for.
  • Lucy Rose Marie: Gorgeous! I like that St. Lucy’s feast day is Dec. 13, which is both during Advent and close to when they found out this baby was on his/her way! Rose and Marie as middle names are just beautiful. If it’s helpful, I have a friend named Rosemarie. (Actually … I wonder if Rosemary or Rosemarie might interest them in the first name spot? I like them both for this family and as Felicity’s sister!)
  • Maximilian Victor: Awesome, I love St. Max and I love that Lea’s due on his feast day! Maximilian has more of a “Felicity” feel to me than their older boys, and helped me when trying to come up with boy ideas for them.
  • Samuel Victor: I agree, I like how it sounds with the older boys. I also love the story of Hannah and Samuel, and as I mentioned above with Hannah, I think Samuel could be a nice nod to the surprise! of this baby.

Speaking of the surprise factor, when I read that Lea might like a name that nods to that, my first thought was Isaac! I excitedly scribbled it down for them … and then remembered they already have an Isaac! But I quite like the Hannah/St. Anne/Anna idea for them in that vein. Another surprise baby was John the Baptist, though Lea had previously said John has been used a lot in their family.

Okay! On to my suggestions for this baby:

Girl
(1) Lydia
As soon as I saw Lydia in the post on Advent names I did for CatholicMom, I thought yes!! The biblical Lydia was a seller of purple cloth, which could be a nice nod to the purple candles of the Advent wreath. Additionally, it’s a style match for Samuel! I love it as a sister to Felicity.

(2) Stella
Stella might be too Christmassy and not Adventy enough? But I love it for this family! It means “star,” and so can refer to the Christmas star, but it can also refer to Our Lady, Star of the Sea (Stella Maris), and it’s a style match for Lucy.

(3) Holly, Ivy
Of course both Holly and Ivy have an unmistakable Christmas feel (and I know I’m referring Christmas a lot, instead of Advent, but it’s hard to separate out the two! And most people have holly and ivy up during Advent, so I think they work!), but they’re also both entries in my book of Marian names! I wrote: “Christmas holly (Ilex opaca et al.) has been known as St. Mary’s Holly and represents the perpetual virginity of Our Lady” and “Kenilworth ivy (Cymbalaria muralis) has also been known as Tears of Mary.” Ivy is also a style match for Eli.

(4) Natalie/a
Speaking of Christmas names that also work for Advent, Natalie is a style match for Nicholas and I thought they might really like it! Its variant Natalia is gorgeous too. St. Natalia’s feast is July 27, so if the baby comes that early, Natalia or Natalie might be perfect!

(5) Susanna (Zuzu)
Susanna might be my favorite idea for this baby — it means both “rose” and “lily” in Hebrew, which gives Lea and her hubs Rose without the “common” feeling (and is also why it’s in my Marian names book); it can be Advent-y through its nickname Zuzu (Zuzu’s petals in It’s a Wonderful Life!); AND St. Susanna’s feast day is August 11! Felicity and Susanna sound like amazing sisters!

(6) Immaculata
Finally, I have Immaculata here more as a middle name idea, inspired by St. Maximilian Kolbe, since he founded the Militia of the Immaculata and often referred to Our Lady as “the Immaculata.” I know a little Faith Immaculata and I’ve always thought her name was just stunning; for this family, I’m loving the idea of Rose Immaculata — Marian and Kolbe-ian in one name! I know Lea said Rose feels too common, but as a first name it isn’t really. It was no. 123 in 2018; it was a top 100 name — often in the top 20 — from 1900 to 1960 before dropping down as far as 392 in 1997. It is on the upswing — it broke into the top 300 in 2011 and since then has increased each year — but Lucy is no. 51, for reference. Of course, if they just can’t shake that “too common” feel, then that matters! But giving the name an unexpected middle can give the whole combo a real sparkle.

Boy
(1) Andrew
I loooove Andrew for this baby, it’s hands down my favorite idea!! I think it’s amazing as a brother to James, Paul, and Luke (and Felicity of course), but even better, did you know that Advent is set in reference to the feast of St. Andrew? His feast is Nov. 30, and the First Sunday of Advent is always the Sunday nearest his feast. How cool! Andrew Victor is very handsome.

(2) David
I also quite like David for them — as with Andrew, I love it with brothers James, Paul, and Luke, and its Advent connection is fantastic, being that we wait for the birth of King David’s descendant. David Victor sounds fine together.

(3) Nathan(iel)
Another name from Jesus’ genealogy is Nathan, and since Nathan is a style match for both Luke and Samuel, I thought it would be a good suggestion for this baby! Nathan’s place in the genealogy is pretty cool, as I wrote about in this post. The longer Nathaniel is a match for Nicholas, and Nate and even Nathan can certainly be nicknames for it. Nathan Victor and Nathaniel Victor both work nicely.

(4) Dominic
Dominic is a match for Maximilian, and I love that it means “of the Lord,” so they can definitely assign it an Advent meaning if they want to! St. Dominic’s feast day is August 8, which could be great for a boy born a few days early! Dominic Victor has a pretty heavy-duty meaning: “victory of the Lord”!

(5) Charles
Charles is based solely on style — it’s a match for James; Charlie is a match for Lucy; and its variant Carl is a match for Paul. Since they’re having a hard time with boy names, I felt like I couldn’t not include a name that seems to match their taste! Charles and Charlie are great names and have such great patrons: Sts. Charles Borromeo and Charles Garnier; St. John Paul II (birth name: Karol); and Bl. Karl of Austria (for whom JP2 was named!), among others. (If you read the article at that link, you’ll be left thinking there’s no better name for a Catholic boy than Charles!) I like Charles Victor.

(6) Sebastian
Originally, I had Oliver here, also for style reasons: it’s a match for both Felicity and Lucy, and a sweet brother for James, Paul, and Luke. But then I said Oliver Victor out loud and thought that didn’t work too well! So I’m changing my last idea to Sebastian, which is also a match for Felicity, as well as Maximilian. I actually love Sebastian Victor together, since St. Sebastian is the patron of athletes!

And those are all my ideas for this family! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother or sister of James, Paul, Luke, and Felicity?


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!

14 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Advent name for a surprise baby?

  1. My favorite of their girl-ideas is Marian Rose! It’s gorgeous!
    A little Marie would be very sweet, too, though. So if popularity is the only thing holding them back on Marie, yes it’s a VERY popular middle name, but as a first name it actually ranked substantially lower than Felicity last year! (M was 576, F was 354.) I get that it feels more familiar, though.
    For boys, I LOVE Maximilian (and you can’t do much better for a patron saint!). I personally wouldn’t worry too much about the sib-set mesh sounding wrong. It’s certainly not terrible, especially if they use nn Max, and people will know their kids mostly as indiviuduals anyway.
    I agree with Kate that Susanna and Andrew are my favorites of her suggestions!
    For girls, I have to throw out Annalise: it’s Anne+Elizabeth (the latter making it fitting for Advent), and it just seems SO much like a sister for Felicity to me.
    For boys, I will add John! I know it’s like ‘the’ boy name, but if popularity doesn’t bother them for boys like it does for girls, I really love it for them. It has the Advent connection/great patron saint, John the Baptist, and they could even call him John Victor all the time to spice things up a bit!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Marian Violet and Maximilian Victor are my favorites from their list. Have they considered having Felicity’s middle name honor both grandma Victoria AND grandpa Victor? That way if this child is a son maybe his MN could honor dad?
    Lucy is a very sweet name, but perhaps they could use it as a two part first name so that is more uncommon? (Plus super Catholic.) Lucy-Rose or Lucy-Anne?

    I love your suggestion of Andrew; we always do a little tea party to celebrate St. Andrew’s Day so I agree it is a perfect tie-in to Advent. Drew is such a cool nickname for it.

    Suggesting Beatrix for a surprise baby since some believe its meaning to be “bringer of joy.” I’m also going to suggest Maranatha for a girl name. I was introduced to this word in a Mass song this past Advent. It means “Come, Oh Lord.” With the -a ending and the option for Mara as a diminutive it seemed like a fresh idea for those looking for uncommon Advent baby names.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Lucy Rose Marie most of their ideas for girls, and the fact that st. Lucia’s feast is during Advent. I think Lucia would be a good option too if they like it. Rosemarie is fantastic!
    Samuel made me think of the similar sounding Emmanuel, which I find very Advent-y. Or perhaps Emmanuelle for a girl? I realise most people would find it a bit too frilly. 😀 But I think it goes well with Felicity, and it also has quite a nickname potential if they are into nicknaming at all.
    Annabel would go brilliantly with the siblings, and Anna is such a universal, feminine and classic name that could work in all sorts of sibling sets.
    I love your idea of Nadine! I like Hope too and it’s definitely very Advent-y, but Nadine is more unexpected I think. Plus personally I’d rather use Hope in the middle name spot. Also, if they woould decide to have Hope, and then happen to have another girl, they might feel pressured to come up with another virtue name to fit in. If that’s not an issue though, and they like a lot of virtue names, whether in the first or middle spot, I think Joy could be nice and Advent-y too. And if not Nadine, maybe Nadia.
    Since you’d suggested Gabriel, which is a fabulous idea, how about Gabrielle or Gabriella? Speaking of angelic-ish names, Evangeline means “good news” and to me is very closely related to Advent. Could be nicknamed to Eve, as in Christmas Eve, which is still during Advent.
    It’s a very loose connection between Martin and Advent that I’ve come up with, but there’s Martinmas and it used to be celebrated quite festively around Europe, and still is in some countries, and it was seen as a bit of a fun time before the start of Advent, with a lot of food, festivities, bonfires and all, sort of like carnival is before Lent.
    Lydia makes a fantastic sister set with Felicity, as does Stella.
    If they would like Stella, maybe go a step further to the even more Marian Maristella?
    There’s st. Natalia of Nicomedia whose feast day is December 1. Or they could go for Natalia’s more Christmassy-sounding cousin – Noelle or Noelia – though I guess Natalia is a little bit more in line with Advent than Noelle, even just because it doesn’t scream Christmas in such an obvious way as Noelle does.
    Andrew is such a cool idea, I thought of it immediately because of st. Andrew’s Day, and it goes so well with the other boys’ names. So do David and Dominic.
    I like Nathaniel a lot and I like it for them too.
    Also I just loooved Mia’s suggestion of Lupita! This name is so cute and has really grown on me lately.

    Like

    • Emmanuel/Emmanuelle are great ideas, I love them! And Eve as a nickname for Evangeline that also points to Christmas Eve is brilliant! As is Martinmas — I didn’t know that! That’s a great connection!

      Like

  4. Within our family we have a Nadia, and she is friends with a Felicity, and I always think they sound nice together. The name Gloria also jumps to mind (again possibly a little on the Christmassy side rather than Adventy)–maybe Gloria Violet/Violet Gloria?

    Liked by 1 person

      • In addition to tying into Christmas, Gloria is a great name for an August baby. In ancient times, people referred to the feast of the Assumption of Our Lady as the feast of Our Lady of Glory.

        I love your suggestion of Annabel for a girl.

        For a boy Andrew and David are both fantastic choices. It fits with his brother’s names and they are both very Advent themed names, Gabriel could be the best choice though as it not only makes me think of Christmas and it seems like it could work with both the boys names and Felicity’s name.

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