Fun Friday Question: Did your devotion to your children’s name saints come first or second?

I’ve often had parents tell me that they like such-and-such a name, but they don’t really have a devotion to the saint who bears the name, so it feels a little weird to them to choose it.

On the other hand, I’ve also heard from parents who have allowed their preference for a name to introduce them to a new saint, and they’ve cultivated a devotion from there.

I’ve experienced both: Some of my boys’ names were chosen because we had a specific devotion to a specific saint, while others have names chosen more because they’re important family names or simply names we liked, and we “backed into” a patron saint — and a new devotion — from there.

What about you? What has your experience been in this regard? Have a great Friday and a great weekend, and Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms and all the moms in your lives!


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!

11 thoughts on “Fun Friday Question: Did your devotion to your children’s name saints come first or second?

  1. It definitely happened afterwards for us! We chose both our boys’ names because we liked the name, then throughout the pregnancy as we used the name more and later when the baby was born, a devotion grew. We have loved using their names to get to know new beloved friends in heaven.

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  2. My devotion came first with some for example, Karol for St. Pope John Paul II our first born, and Fulton for Ven. Fulton Sheen, and Emilie for Blessed Emilie Gamelin. For our Benedict, and Jianna I’ve found my devotion has grown more since. Also we have a middle name Gabriel which has increased my devotion to the Annunciation.

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  3. Not a child’s name, just two that I like together, but I learned about St. Jane Frances just because I thought Jane and Frances were pretty together and then happened to see her feast day listed on a calendar. I didn’t even know there was a Saint! I was so surprised. Now I pray for her intercession because it seems like God directed me to her.

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  4. Maria – devotion to Mary came first.
    Leo – name first, devotion after
    Therese – devotion first, name after
    Thomas – devotion first for hubby, name first for me.
    New baby…. Will prob be name first as we don’t have have any other strong devotions

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  5. As a convert, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the communion of saints and especially developing those connections. It isn’t first nature for me to call for intercession vs. plead to God. With my first child, we chose a name we loved (Hermione), and learning about the early saint made me love the name more. Our daughter was even born the day after her feast day! With my boys, I was more intentional about choosing names with faith connections, but still the names came first. We chose Hawthorn for my first son’s middle name (first name Evander) for Our Lady and Peregrine for our second son’s first, after Tolkien’s Took and St. Peregrine Laziosi. I’ve loved learning more about this rich faith through my children’s names, even if I can’t quite claim a devotion to anyone in particular. Unfortunately, my fascination with the saints is more intellectual than spiritual at this time. My hope is that my kids will feel the connections to their namesakes better than I can.

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    • Your struggle is totally understandable! Having an intellectual fascination with the saints is a fine first step, and you know I love the names you’ve chosen!!

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  6. Hi Kate! You’re loved, you’re appreciated, and you’re remembered. Wishing you a world of happiness because nobody deserves it more than you do! Happy Mother’s Day!

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  7. Clara was chosen before I had a true relationship with St. Clare (back when I was but a wee lass of eleven). However, getting to go to Assisi and see where Santa Chiara lived was a very powerful experience for me. She ended up becoming my confirmation saint, and when I started dating my husband, I dedicated our relationship to the intercessions of Clare and Francis.
    Rosalie came up randomly (literally, through a name generator), but it felt so appropriate. We are in Santa Rosa diocese, and my Nana sent us some special roses from heaven a week before her birth, so I really felt that had to be her name. However, St. Rose of Lima is not her patron. It’s officially Bl. Rosalie Rendu, whose story just fascinated me (I have a intense interest in all things French Revolution).
    Elizabeth/Liesel was our toughest choice. I love so many Elizabeth saints, but really wanted something that would honor my German heritage.
    It’s a different story with our boy names, which I love almost ubiquitously for the names themselves, with the exception of all iterations of Thomas. I hope I get to assign those someday! ❤

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  8. First baby–both names, combination of devotion and family names (more emphasis on devotion though)
    Second–devotion first for both first and middle
    Third–name first, devotion after for first name; devotion for middle

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