Catholic baby naming strategy: Consider the birth names of Saints (CatholicMom)

(I started this last night fully intending to post before I went to bed … and here we are, the next morning! So today is not the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. But it is the feast of the Humility of Mary — how beautiful!)

Happy feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel!! 🤎💙🤎

My July CatholicMom column posted yesterday! In it, I discuss a strategy we all here have often considered when naming our babies: taking a look at the birth names of Venerables/Blesseds/Saints who might otherwise be known by their religious or papal names (which might not work for us, for whatever reason). E.g., Karol/Carl/Charles/Caroline/Karoline in honor of St. John Paul, after his birth name Karol. I’d love it if any of you who have used this strategy would post your child(ren)’s name(s) in the comments!

Happy Friday!


My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from and Amazon — perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!


8 thoughts on “Catholic baby naming strategy: Consider the birth names of Saints (CatholicMom)

  1. Our seventh daughter is Josephine Karol (Karol Jozef was JP2’s birth name) and also Joseph for Benedict XVI (though he’s not a saint…yet). Also daughter #6 is Mary Agnes Elizabeth, nn “Maggie”…Agnes as part of her double first name was a hard sell for hubby until he realized it was St. mother Teresa’s birth name!

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  2. I love this! I just love looking into what saints’ original names were too! So much inspiration! 🙂

    Around here, we have a boy middle-named “Joseph,” both as a St Joseph reference, and also for Karol Jozef Wojtyla as the JPII reference we intend to try to keep tucking into each of our kids’ names. 🙂 Our other son has “GianCarlo” as one of his middles, a double wammy for JPII (but also a nod to Venerable Carlo Acutis).

    If God so wills, I hope to reference St Therese (Marie Francois Therese) in a girl’s name someday, but the Theresa names are simply not for me, so my current thought is that pairing a Mary name and a form of Frances–with the intention of honoring St Therese–would do a lovely job instead. 🙂

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  3. We have Edith for Edith Stein and before we had decided on her name I started feeling funny about it because although I really wanted Edith, wouldn’t Theresa be a more accurate/fitting namesake since that was her religious name?? Would it be disrespectful to pick Edith or just based on my own preferences and not actual tribute to the saint?! Luckily my husband talked some sense into me.

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