Gruesome Saint Stories: Off-putting for Parents?

My November CatholicMom article posted today! We’ve talked about this topic a few years ago, and I thought it was worth revisiting. I’d love to hear what you think! Gruesome Saint Stories: Off-Putting for Parents?


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 (not affiliate links) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

2 thoughts on “Gruesome Saint Stories: Off-putting for Parents?

  1. I don’t have a problem with names like that in general, but would prefer that the saint have more to the story- ie we know more about them than just their death or martyrdom, so the child can learn about his patron’s life, too. For example, our daughters are named for St Zelie, who died rather young from cancer, and St Joan of Arc, who was burned at the stake. But we focus on their holy lives when we learn about them! It might also help to balance with a middle name. Our new baby will have her middle name in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows, for example, so I’m really trying to find a first name with a connection to joy, a joyful saint, etc to sort of balance things out.

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  2. I dated a guy who had a great devotion to St. Oliver Plunkett after growing up visiting the shrine where his severed head rests. He always wanted to name his first son Oliver in honor of him. I think Oliver is a great name, and I also love naming after martyrs. But something about the devotion stemming from the severed head sitting in a display case always gave me the heebie jeebies. I thought I would picture that gruesome relic every time I said the name Oliver. I didn’t end up marrying him, so I don’t have to worry about it (thank goodness haha), but that was definitely something I wrestled with at the time!

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