Baby name consultation: Marian name needed for Nico’s brother

Happy Monday everyone! I’m happy to share another wonderful consultation by Theresa Zoe Williams. Enjoy!

Mama Whitney writes in asking for help with baby #3’s name, if baby is a boy (they already have their girl names picked out!). This baby will join big siblings:

Nicholas James “Nico”

Josephine “Josie” (in heaven)

Whitney writes,

After the miscarriage, we did not get pregnant next cycle (never had a cycle like that before), so I began a 54 day rosary novena. The positive pregnancy test lined up after the third novena, and the confirmation ultrasound is going to line up with the end of the novena next week. Because of this, I want to honor Mary in the baby name … I have read the Marian baby name book, but a lot of them seem … unique and creative. That’s great, but I think you can tell from our list of names that we really want some hard hitting classics. We’re willing to go a little more unusual for the middle name or have a more fun nick name, but we don’t want to go too far. Honestly, my name (Whitney) is a decent example of as far unique as we’d want to go — Whitney isn’t common, but it isn’t so uncommon that anyone gets tripped up by it or anything. We’re both also just general American Caucasian mutts and would feel uncomfortable with a name with a strong cultural association (like Mario or Guadalupe). It would just feel wrong to us, like a cultural appropriation thing.”

Names they like but aren’t excited about include:

  • Maximilian
  • Kolbe
  • Maximin (from the apparition of Our Lady at La Salette)
  • Fulton

They cannot use Dominic.

First, some thoughts on the names they like but don’t feel like are “the one”:

Maximilian: Great, strong name. I love the association with St. Maximilian Kolbe and the Militia Immaculata. I love that they could also get to Maximin with this name and also tie in the apparition of Our Lady of La Salette. Max and Nico make great brothers.

Kolbe: Another tie to St. Maximilian Kolbe and growing in popularity in Catholic circles. I like that this opens up their style a little bit more.

Maximin: This one might get some odd looks are be mispronounced and misspelled often but it is cute and I like its Marian connection.

Fulton: This opens their style, too, and of course, is a great Marian-connected name.

On to new suggestions!

(1) Gabriel

He was the angel at the Annunciation, giving this a strong Marian tie. I love that this name means “God is my strong man,” too, such a great name for a little boy. Nickname Gabe makes this name extra cute. There’s also St. Gabriel Possenti of Our Lady of Sorrows, giving it a double Marian punch.

(2) Lucas

Luke wrote the most Marian Gospel, making this a Marian name, but I thought they might like this form of the name better. It can shorten to Luke or Luca and I thought Nico and Luca would be such cute brothers.

(3) Sebastian

Honestly, I just thought they would like this name. It’s a little more popular at #18 but it’s such a great name. It can also shorten to Seb or Bash which are adorable. I love the nickname Bash on little boys, it just seems so fitting! Nicholas and Sebastian make great brothers.

(4) Raphael

Another archangel name, this one means “God heals.” I thought that was so touching after losing a baby. I like that this name is not common but is still familiar. It can shorten to the super cute Rafe or even to the diminutive Ralph. Nicholas and Raphael are great brother names, as are Nico and Rafe.

(5) John

This name means “Yahweh is gracious” which, again, I thought was a great meaning for a rainbow baby. St. John the Apostle took Mary into his home after the Resurrection, giving this a great Marian connection. St. John Paul II was also an incredibly Marian pope, giving it a double Marian punch. There’s not much nickname potential here, though, but I’m not sure how much that matters to them.

(6) Philip

I thought of this name because of Mary’s title as Queen of the Apostles. Out of the rest of the Apostles’ names, I thought they might like this one the best. It means “friend of horses” and can shorten to Phil, Philly, Flip, or Pip. Lots of great potential with this name! They might also like Nathaniel or Peter, so I’m including them here.

(7) Isaiah

This is probably my most “out there” suggestion and may seem so to them but it actually ranks at #51 making it pretty common and not very “out there”! It’s common and familiar. I love this name for them because Isaiah is the prophet who prophesied the Virgin Birth, giving it a really cool Marian connection! It means “Yahweh is my salvation,” too, which is awesome. I really feel like this is such a powerhouse name for them It can shorten to Isa or Zay, too, giving it some more flexibility. Nico and Zay are awesome brothers and Nicholas and Isaiah are really cool, modern brothers.

Those are my thoughts! What do you think?

I’m currently on hiatus from doing consultations, but Theresa Zoe Williams is available to help you! Email her at to set up your own consultation! (Payment methods remain the same.)

During my hiatus, please don’t forget about 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 (not affiliate links) — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!


5 thoughts on “Baby name consultation: Marian name needed for Nico’s brother

  1. Gabriel is a good option for a classic name that’s obviously Marian.Another option, which might be too out there for you, is Magnus for the Magnificat. I like Nicholas and Magnus, or Nico and Gus!


  2. Whitney wants a Marian name that is not too “unique” and says the most unique would be comparable to her own name. It seems like Whitney is equating “unique” with the current popular usage. I looked up Whitney and it is currently ranked 934 out of the 1000 most popular names. Kolbe and Fulton are both ranked outside the top 1000 baby names. I think there may be considerable latitude in Whitney’s definition of unique. Perhaps she also wants the name to have some history.

    Trent. At the Council of Trent, the veneration of the Virgin Mary was strongly reaffirmed. This seems like a very Marian name. Trent is currently ranked 938/1000. It seems comparable to Whitney’s popularity so I thought it might be worth mentioning. I like that Tre harkens to the number 3 which may be a subtle (very subtle) nod to the baby in heaven.


  3. In 2018, Pope Francis declared Whit Monday to be a new feast day officially known as the “Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church.” I love Whit for this family to honor Mary and the letter writer.

    Some of my favorite combos:
    Isaiah Whitney
    John Whitney
    Trent Maximilian


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