Reading round-up (including a birth announcement!)

Happy Saturday! There a few things I’ve been wanting to share with you, so I’m putting them all here in this post!

First up, Blythe (whose consultation posted back in October and whose baby was born in March — check out her Instagram @blythefike! [which I can’t link to here for some reason, darn computer]), posted yesterday all about her little guy’s name! I loved the first+middle combo ever since I first saw her announcement on IG, and I love the story of how they chose it! It’s a great example of a great nickname being the tipping point in favor of a name.

This post on the Blessed Is She blog was fun to read: Not-So-Typical Unique Catholic Baby Names. I jumped right to the boy list (for obvious reasons) and was pleasantly surprised by Drexel — I don’t think I’ve ever once thought of Drexel as a first name for a boy or a girl! I also loved the idea of Sully as a nickname for Solanus (Sonny had been my previous go-to, and I’d thought of Solly, but I like Sully even better), and in the comments, someone shared that she knows a little Charlotte, named in honor of JP2, whose nickname is Lola as a nod to Lolek! LOVE IT!

I just read this morning that the Schwandt family, who had thirteen boys and was expecting again, had their baby — another boy!! Congratulations to them!! And the name story is pretty funny!

Adding to our posts on literary names, this article on famous novelists deeply influenced by their Catholic faith is a good resource.

I hope you enjoy reading these as much as I did! Have a blessed day! (My 11yo has been saying that to everyone, every day, at home and at school, he’s the sweetest.)


My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady, is now available to order from ShopMercy.org, and should be available on Amazon soon!

Advertisements

Birth announcement: Boniface Emrys Joseph!

One of our longtime readers, Shelby, has let me know that she and her husband have welcomed their sixth child and fourth son! They gave him the amazing name … Boniface Emrys Joseph!

Shelby writes,

Well, our baby decided to arrive a bit early, per the usual for me, and was born on April 3rd! It’s a baby boy! We did stick with Boniface Emrys Joseph and we are calling him Boniface, Bon and Baby Bon Bon. We are both doing well and were able to come the next day.”

Can you believe what a heavy-hitting name that is?! I love it! Such a bold Catholic name!

He joins his equally awesomely named big sibs:

Aaron Terry Patrick
Catherine Vesper Lissette (called Vesper)
Alastair Edward Ignatius
Isabelle Victoria Bernadette (“called Ivy for her first 2 initials and as a reminder that she was our fourth child whom I miscarried and was born into heaven“)
Edmund Augustine Benedict

What a family! Congratulations to them all, and happy birthday Baby Boniface!!

Boniface Emrys Joseph

Baby name consultation: Middle name for baby boy

My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady, is now available to order from ShopMercy.org, and should be available on Amazon soon!


Gabrielle and her husband are expecting their third born baby and second boy! This little guy joins big sibs:

Catherine Immaculee (“I favored Catherine for our Loo (her nonsense nickname!), because it is strong (regal, feminine, dignified), I really admire and feel some shared attributes with Kate Middleton, and Catherine of Siena is such a bad-ass saint we would love to see our daughter imitate in any ways she can. The name is understandable in our culture and several others, and nicknameable in several directions as she chooses. When I think of her name, I think “power and grace”. Immaculee is because we love Mary and want all of Mary’s blessings and graces to fill her life, plus I got to have a bath in the Lourdes spring while I was pregnant with her, so she is marked with a Lourdes blessing.”)

John Francis (“[My husband] has had a call on his life from John the Baptist ever since I’ve known him. John the Baptist so clearly has his number (and his back), that we had to dedicate our first son to him. [Hubby’s] elderly friend, Johnny’s godfather, foretold Johnny’s full name before [hubby] even knew he was marrying me. The Francis part was a little random, except that’s what the godfather picked, and it sounds good. We love St. Francis of Assisi and Francis Xavier, and our allegiance to the Church inspires us to honor the Pope. I also like John for the fact that it’s traditional, also regal, and sounds strong.”)

Don’t you just love both of those names?! I love Catherine Immaculee (love love love that they used Immaculee!) and John Francis—such strong, handsome, saintly names!

Gabrielle continues,

So, baby #3. We lost two in early pregnancy just before #3, and now this guy is healthy and due in April! Ever since I read about Maximilian Kolbe 3 or 4 years ago, I’ve been so moved by his testimony and martyrdom, and have loved learning more about his life. He has prayed for me, and taught me so much about who Mary is and how to relate to her (so important cause we’re pretty recent converts!). So the baby’s name is going to be Maximilian, cause I just love St. Maximilian so much, [hubby] likes him too, and likes the name a lot anyway (especially the X!). I regret that we probably can’t use his full name in everyday use (we’d use Max, but welcome your suggestions for other derivations and nicknames!), but I’m still super excited about it. 

FWIW, we named our miscarriage babies Jude and Kolbe. We didn’t know their genders.

For middle names, we most want to have a name in Maximilian’s spirit (overtly, effusively Marian), or Polish-y, or in some other way matching the first name. Maria/Marie seems like the most obvious choice … Our name-interested friend has suggested Josemaria, Reginald (for a Regina derivation), Rex (which is hilarious: Catherine, now 4, heard us bouncing these ideas around and came up with Max Reximilian!) I like Faustus (kind of Faustina-ish). I just love Marius, but it doesn’t get us out of [problematic initials] territory. Right now [hubby] is favoring Perpetua (he just likes St. Perpetua, and her name, and she’s another martyr), Raphael, who has often been a patron for our marriage, very appropriate, and John Paul, because we love him, and he and Maximilian are like brothers. I like Karol better, for honoring St. JPII. John Paul makes too many names, and we already have our John, but still, it’s a good idea. We’d probably use Immaculee, or Immaculate, or Immaculata, if we hadn’t already blown it on Catherine, but God knows what need she’ll have of it in her life. [We’ve also considered Benedict], and it now occurs to me that we could use Benedicta, turning it super Marian, [and helping with flow with last name]. Benedict is good too. We could use just straight Kolbe too, but it would be kind of wasting an opportunity.

So you see we have plenty of ideas, we just can’t figure out which is best, which one to really believe in, and agree on, and, for myself at least, want to ease any awkwardness in the flow of his name, and also compensate for leaving him out of the “British Royals” trend of our first two kids, which I’ve enjoyed while it lasted. We welcome all new suggestions from you or an evaluation of some of our own ideas. Thanks for taking the time!

I really enjoyed muddling through all of this! Okay, so first off, Gabrielle wondered about possible alternative nicknames for Maximilian. I’ve often suggested Miles or Milo as nickname possibilities for it, which I’d seen somewhere ages ago and I loved so much. That idea actually ties in quite nicely with their desire to have a middle name “in Maximilian’s spirit (overtly, effusively Marian)” (I love that!), since Miles/Myles and Milo have traditional usage in Ireland as anglicizations for the old Irish name Maolmhuire, which means “devotee of the Virgin Mary.”

They could also possibly use Ian as a nickname, though I don’t know if they would want people hearing John and Ian on an everyday basis, since Ian is a variant of John (even though technically for them it wouldn’t be a variant of John, but rather a truncation of Maximilian).

As for middles, of course Maria was my first thought! Maximilian Maria is St. Max through and through. I also think Marie, Marius (which Gabrielle already said she “just love[s]”), and even just Mary are great ideas.

I admit I was really surprised that they’re considering Perpetua and Benedicta, and would have considered Immaculee/Immaculate/Immaculata if they hadn’t already used it — using girl names on boys is just so unusual, and though we have strong precedence with the Mary variants, other girl names on boys are very rare indeed! Although I did see a religious brother take Therese as part of his religious name, which I thought was pretty amazing. Despite the fact that I really wish the tradition of giving Mary names to boys would come back, and I love every example I see of it, I admit that I’d be hesitant to do so with my boys—I’d feel much more comfortable with them making that decision for themselves at Confirmation, for example, or when taking a religious name. So I like the idea of Benedictus rather than Benedicta, if they wanted to do something more than Benedict. Maybe Perpetuus instead of Perpetua; Immaculatus instead of Immaculata. But at the same time, I really love that we have the grounding of our faith and the tradition of using boy names on girls and girl names on boys with the appropriate mindset. So if they ended up using Perpetua/Benedicta/Immaculata, I’d be pretty impressed with their faith and boldness.

Josemaria’s a neat idea, so heavy hitting. Reginald with Regina in mind is great; Rex is cool though I agree maybe a little X heavy with Maximilian (Max Reximilian is hilarious!), and also it makes me think of Jesus rather than Mary (which is certainly not problematic at all! Only, if they want a very Marian name, I’m not sure Rex is quite right). Faustus made me think of Faustinus, which is closer to Faustina.

I love Raphael and his connection to their marriage. I’d actually had Karol in mind for them when I started reading Gabrielle’s email, before I even got to the John Paul/Karol part — I think Maximilian Karol would be amazing. BUT they might like even better the idea of Maximilian Charles! Karol is the Polish version of Charles, and Charles is a British Royal name, so in my mind, Maximilian Charles would fall in nicely with Catherine Immaculee and John Francis in the sense that all of them would have one super Catholic name and one British Royal name (with even the British Royal name being super saintly). I also like how the MIL from Maximilian paired with the ES of Charles makes Miles—it makes the idea of Miles as a nickname even more understandable, if they decided they liked the idea of Miles as a nickname.

So out of the ideas already discussed, I think Maximilian Charles is my favorite, followed by Maximilian Karol, Maximilian Maria/Marius, and Maximilian Raphael, and I love both Max and Miles as nicknames. But all of their ideas are so beautifully faith-filled that their boy will have an incredible name, no matter which of these they choose.

I did do some research for Gabrielle and her hubs to see if I could come up with some more ideas that would fit their hopes for a Marian or Polish-y middle in Maximilian’s spirit. At first I was gung-ho on Franciszek—the Polish form of Francis, and the name of the man whose place St. Max took in Auschwitz; the fact that St. Max was a Conventual Franciscan made the name seem extra perfect to me. But then I remember that John’s middle name is Francis! Ah well. But I have several more ideas that they might like:

(1) Raymond
Raymond was St. Max’s birth name, and in his bio as presented on this site was a letter he wrote to his mom from the concentration camp, which he signed “Raymond,” even though he was known as Maximilian to everyone else.

(2) Assunto/Assundo
St. Maximilian died on August 14, and was cremated on the 15th — the Feast of the Assumption. Assunto and Assundo are both male variants of Assumpta/Assunta, which is of course in honor of the Assumption of Our Lady.

(3) Clement
St. Faustina always makes me think of Divine Mercy, as does St. John Paul II, and Clement means “merciful.” Additionally, it’s a Marian name, as Our Lady is described as “clement” in the Hail Holy Queen.

(4) Gilmary
I think this might be one of the closest non-M Marian names — like Miles-for-Maolmhuire I mentioned above, Gilmary (and its more common variant Gilmore) is an anglicization of the old Irish name Gillamhuire, which means “servant of the Virgin Mary.” Other variants include Kilmary and Kilmurray. This is an interesting and unusual way to get an explicitly Marian name; it also gets closer (though of course not totally) to the British Royals feel of Catherine and John — Ireland is closer to England than Poland, after all! 😀

(5) Lolek
Lolek was the nickname St. JP went by as a boy — it’s a diminutive of Karol — and I’ve seen some families use it as a first name and a middle name for their boys.

(6) Louis
What about Louis? St. Louis de Monfort is known for his Marian devotion, and his writings had a significant influence on St. JP2 — he even took his motto from St. Louis’ Consecration to Our Lady (Totus tuus=Totally yours). It’s also a British Royal name!

(7) Pio
Pio is the masculine version of pia, which is also an adjective given to Our Lady in the Latin version of the Hail Holy Queen (Salve Regina) — “o clemens, o pia, o dulcis, Virgo Maria.” Of course, it also calls St. Pio to mind as well. I really like the rhythm of a long first name with a short middle; Maximilian Pio has a nice flow I think.

(8) Leo
Speaking of short, three-letter middles that rhyme with Pio, they might also like to consider Leo! Pope Leo XIII was called the Pope of the Rosary because of his love for it and Our Lady, and his promotion of the rosary. I definitely think that fits in with Maximilian’s spirit. Like with Pio, I think Maximilian Leo sounds quite nice. Since they like the idea of something Polish-y, they might also like to consider the Polish variant Lew, which I believe is said like LEF.

(9) Royce
Finally, speaking of the rosary, Royce derives from the name Rose, which is the origin of “rosary” (a crown of roses). It’s an unusual choice for sure, and isn’t obviously faithy, but the Rose connection makes it Marian. Maximilian Royce is pretty handsome.

And those are all my ideas for Gabrielle and her husband! What do you all think? What middle name(s) would you suggest for Catherine and John’s little brother Maximilian?

My book is available to order!!

You guys!! You can order my book!! Here’s the link at Shop Mercy — it will ship the week of April 23 — and though it’s not up on Amazon yet it will be soon!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

book_for_sale-04.13.18

Birth announcement: Azelie Patrice!

Last summer I posted a consultation for Robyn and her husband for the baby girl they hoped to adopt, whose name they wanted to go well with her big brother Ezra, who is less than a year older than her. I’m thrilled to share the news of the baby’s birth and the finalization of her adoption! Robyn and her hubs gave her the gorgeous name … Azelie Patrice!

Robyn writes,

As you may remember, we adopted a baby girl who arrived on Sept.14th! She was incredibly tiny at only 4 lbs but completely healthy. (Thank you, dearest Lord and Blessed Mother) We just finalized her adoption this past Monday so it is all official and legal, SHE IS OURS FOREVER!!!!!

We decided on AZELIE PATRICE for her name. We call her Zelie and Zelie Patt and her big 4 year old sis calls her Pumpkin Flower;) I think the names Zelie and Ezra go so perfectly together.

I loved the name Zelie right from the start. When I first came across the name I immediately put it with Patrice after my beautiful mother who passed away in 2010. I got chills right away but when I ran it by hubby, he wasn’t so sure. He thought it might not age well. He was certain that the name had to be Italian. So, we put Zelie on the back burner and played around with many, many other names and eventually settled on one. Then hubby, totally out of the blue, brought up Zelie again. He was learning more about the Saint and that her given name was Azelie. He liked that Azelie gave our daughter more options as she grew up. He still wanted an Italian middle name so we thought Lucia or even Catherine. Isn’t it amazing how the Holy Spirit works!!!!!

We were privileged to be at Zelie’s birth. One of the nurses who helped us and birth mom was just so sweet and considerate (as the situation was a little unique). As we talked we found out that she adopted her 3 children as well. We felt an immediate connection and her name was Patricia, my mom’s name!!!!!! We felt it was as if my mom was there is some way. When my husband asked what her name was as I was holding Zelie for the first time, with tears streaming down my face I pronounced, Azelie Patrice and he whole heartily agreed. It was the perfect way to honor my mother and in a special way for us to honor the Blessed Mother, because it was my mother’s very deep devotion to Mary that led me have a close affection for her myself. I can’t wait to tell Zelie Patt (that is how my mom shorten her name with two t’s) all about her Grammy and how much she loved Mary.

Azelie is 6 months old now, rolling over, cooing and babbling, sleeping through the night and absolutely has all of our hearts! All the children adore but especially Ezra, who at 16 months says “baby” and smothers her with kisses! 😉 She is a amazing gift to us and we are so grateful to her courageous birth mother and to our loving and generous Heavenly Father!

Were you all as moved as I was at this story! How wonderful!!

Congratulations to Robyn and her husband and big siblings Noah, Elijah, Aaron, Gianna, and Ezra, and happy birthday Baby Azelie!!

 

Clockwise from top left: Azelie Patrice; “Sister Snuggles”; “Our Three Adopted Blessings”

IMG_6069

The whole family at Zelie’s baptism ❤

“Meaning” nicknames

I don’t have a consultation to post today, but I was wondering: What “meaning” nicknames can you think of?

In the name consultation Abby did for me, she suggested the name Arthur with the nickname Bear, since Arthur is generally considered to include an element meaning “bear” and since I had Benedict nicknamed Bear as a possibility on my list (in fact, I came to really love Bear as a nickname after reading Regina Doman’s The Shadow of the Bear, in which the male lead’s given name is Arthur, but he goes by Bear, so I loved seeing Arthur on Abby’s list of suggestions!).

My boys and I were watching the movie Home the other day, and I was reminded of how cool I thought it was that the main character Tip’s given name is Gratuity. Gratuity nicknamed Tip!

A recent post by Swistle was for a family looking for a sibling for an Aurelia who goes by Goldie, since Aurelia comes from the Latin for “golden.” I love that! Her commenters had loads of great suggestions along these lines — some of my favorites were:

Alethea nn True
Amabel nn Love
Aurora nn Sunny
Carys nn Love
Clementine nn Mercy
Felicity nn Bliss
Ignatius nn Blaze
Jemima nn Dovie, Birdie
Lucia nn Lux
Margaret, Marguerite nn Daisy, Pearl
Melisande nicknamed Honey
Paloma nn Birdie
Roxanna nn Sunny
Vera, Verity nn True

I tried to think of other such examples — for a while, I really liked the idea of Boone as a nickname for Benedict, with Boon(e) meaning “good” and Benedict meaning “blessed” — close enough I think!

Going off of the Vera/Verity nn True idea above, Veronica (“true image”) could possibly be nicknamed True or even Truly (like in the film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!). I’m kind of loving Truly for Veronica! The “ard” part of Gerard means “brave, hardy,” so maybe Gerard nicked Hardy?

This all reminded me of the Cakies family, who have kids True, Brave, Soul, and Glow — the strategy discussed here of choosing a more traditional given name and using a meaning nickname could satisfy the itch for a True/Brave/Soul/Glow name, while having a “safer” name on the birth certificate. Do you agree?

Anyway, I’d love to hear other ideas you have! And definitely check out the comments on that Swistle post, I was amazed by how many ideas her readers came up with!