The naming of Jesus, SN in Croatia, and Irish naming trends

Happy Wednesday! Less than ten days until Christmas, as my boys keep on (and keep on) reminding me!

When I was going through the posts and articles about Advent and Christmas names that I posted the other day, I realized that one I did about the naming of Jesus for CatholicMom a couple of years ago didn’t survive their site redesign, so I’m posting it below.

I also have the fun news that the article I wrote for CatholicMom in October — “Praying the Rosary with Children” — was reprinted (with permission) on a Croatian web site. How cool! Check it out!

Finally, Sara at the DMNES shared this article with me, it’s such a fun read!: Name that Child! at The Irish Times (Dec. 28, 1999).


Glory to the Newborn King

by Kate Towne for CatholicMom.com (December, 2017)

Our newly beatified Bl. Solanus Casey was known to have a great love for The Mystical City of God (affiliate link), a history of the life of Our Lady said to have been revealed by her to Ven. Mary of Agreda in the seventeenth century. Because of my mom’s great love for Bl. Solanus, she decided to read the book that was so dear to him, and she fell in love with it as well, and has talked about it ever since — well over thirty years. In fact, her tattered copy of it is a fixture in my memories of my childhood home.

(It’s important to note that the contents of The Mystical City of God consist of private revelation, and are therefore not required to be believed by the faithful. (see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 67) . )

I was looking through the book recently for the first time, and discovered a section regarding the naming of Jesus. Thanks to the St. Andrew Novena, I’d already been meditating frequently this Advent on “the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold,” and because my own experiences with giving birth have included the naming of the baby as soon as he’s born, I’d forgotten (or perhaps hadn’t fully realized) that Jesus wouldn’t have been named until His circumcision eight days later. But also, I’d never thought about His actual naming, beyond simply the acknowledgment that He would be known as Jesus per God’s instruction, and I loved reading this bit:

Then most holy Mary and Joseph took counsel concerning the name to be given to the divine Infant in the Circumcision [in which they both shared that the name Jesus had been revealed to them both, separately] … While the great Mistress of Heaven and St. Joseph thus conversed with each other, innumerable angels descended in human forms from on high, clothed in shining white garments, on which were woven red embroideries of wonderful beauty … The holy angels divided into two choirs in the cave, keeping their gaze fixed upon the King and Lord in the arms of His virginal Mother. The chiefs of these heavenly cohorts were the two princes, St. Michael and St. Gabriel, shining in greater splendor than the rest and bearing in their hands, as a special distinction, the most holy name JESUS, written in larger letters on something like cards of incomparable beauty and splendor.

The two princes presented themselves apart from the rest before their Queen and said: “Lady, this is the name of thy Son (Matt. 1:21), which was written in the mind of God from all eternity and which the Blessed Trinity has given to thy Only-begotten Son and Our Lord as the signal of salvation for the whole human race …” (pp. 243–244)

I’ve written before about the power of names, and specifically the power of the Name of Jesus, at which mention every “every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth” (Philippians 2:9-10), and in which “whatever you do, in word or in deed” should be done, “giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col 3:17), so I don’t have a hard time at all believing that the revelation of His Name would be accompanied by such heavenly fanfare and celebration!


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!

Fun reading for your Thanksgiving!

Be sure to check back in on Friday for the Sancta Nomina Black Friday deals!

I read two things recently that I know you’ll all enjoy! This is the more recent one: Reasons to celebrate your Name Day by Tom Hoopes on Aleteia. I love the Name Day tradition in many (all?) European countries!

And one of you wonderful readers alerted me to the fact that the Schwandt family — nationally famous for having fourteen boys — recently welcomed baby no. 15 — their first girl!! Wow!! Their little lady’s name is Maggie Jayne, which is sweet and lovely, but I’m dying to know the story behind it! I know in our case, the name we’d chosen for a girl started out honoring my mom and mother-in-law and by the time we got to our seventh boy I’d added in a bunch of other honorees into the ever-evolving girl’s name. I remember Rachel Balducci saying the same about her daughter — her only girl after five boys: “Isabel was born! And that was always on my girls name list (which was never touched) and her middle name is Anne-marie, which is from each of the grandmothers. It’s a lot of name but I had to cram a lot into this one girl!” If anyone’s read about Maggie Schwandt’s name, please let me know! Her big brothers are Tyler, Zach, Drew, Brandon, Tommy, Vinny, Calvan, Gabe, Wesley, Charlie, Luke, Tucker, Francisco and Finley (I copied and pasted so if any of the spellings are incorrect [I’m looking at Calvan, which I’ve seen as Calvin in previous stories], it’s CNN’s fault). The Schwandts are Catholic, so if anyone knows how to get in touch with them, I’d LOVE to interview them about how they chose their children’s names!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! I’m so grateful for you all!!


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!

Reading roundup: CatholicMom, Simcha, Swistle, St. Bernardine

Happy feast of the Ascension!!

One of you sweet readers asked for more posts and I want to apologize for not being more regular with my posting! I have such good intentions and so many ideas for posts, and some days the blog fits into my schedule easily (those are the days I post!) and other days I go to bed wondering where the day went. Be assured you’re all always on my mind and in my prayers!

I do have some namey things for you today! First up, my May CatholicMom column posted yesterday: Babynaming in the time of coronavirus.

catholicmom_screen_shot-05.20.2020

You know I posted about this topic on the blog last month, as part of the post where I shared the article I’d written for Nameberry on the same subject. This CatholicMom piece includes some more Catholic-specific info. I’ll be interested to hear what you think!

Longtime friend of Sancta Nomina, Simcha Fisher, wrote about names in her piece this week for The Catholic Weekly: On unusual names. She speaks from experience! I loved this especially:

I think of my parents welcoming a new baby girl into the family and deciding that her name would be joy,* and that baby was me! That’s not a bad thing to know. It’s a good thing to know that someone thought your arrival in the world was something other than business as usual!

* Simcha is “Hebrew for “celebration” or, more broadly, “joy” or “rejoicing””

Swistle’s been posting quite a bit during quarantine, which I’ve been loving (so when your friendly Catholic name blogger is falling short of her very good intentions to post more to help keep everyone’s spirits up and provide a nice diversion from the heaviness of these times, check out Swistle! Or Abby at Appellation Mountain, of course, who’s the mama of frequent, meaty posts), and yesterday’s post has me a little riled up (the mama’s question/quandary, not Swistle’s answer). I’d be interested to see if any of you feel similarly!

Finally, yesterday was the feast of the *other* Saint of Siena — St. Bernardine! Not only is he the patron of my alma mater, Siena College, and THE promoter of the Holy Name of Jesus (woot!), but he also spent several years ministering to the sick and dying during a plague — work that rendered him weak and ill as well. What a saint for our time! St. Bernardine, pray for us!

Have a great Thursday!!


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!

Reading round-up, birth announcement edition

I have a backlog of birth announcements from public figures in the Catholic online/social media world that I’ve been wanting to share, so here they are! Happy Friday! (If I’ve forgotten anyone, please let me know! There are also a couple that I’m not totally sure are okay to post publicly — if you’re one of them, please let me know!)

I posted a consultation for Kendra from Catholic All Year back in May, and you’ve probably all seen that her baby was born in September — a gorgeous baby girl named … Barbara Josephine!

I did a private consultation for Lindsay from Just Love Prints late last year, and was delighted when she shared the birth of her baby just after Christmas — a lovely little lady named … Lillian Joy “Lilly”!

I posted a birth announcement for the fourth baby of Katrina from Rose Harrington Art a couple years ago, and she recently shared the birth of her fifth baby on Instagram — a beautiful baby girl named … Liliane Cruz “Lily”!

I posted about the naming of the children of my favorite football player, Philip Rivers, a few years ago (thanks to his lovely wife!), and then a birth announcement for their eighth baby not that long after; they’ve since had another baby — a darling daughter named … Anna! (Beautiful story and picture of the whole family [minus the baby] here.)

The Hanson (MMMBop) middle brother Taylor’s wife Natalie is a name lover like us, and has written about naming their babies on Nameberry here (first four) and here (no. 5); she had baby no. 6 a year ago — a handsome little dude named … Claude Indiana Emmanuel “Indy”! She shared the name story on Nameberry here. (Note: I know they’re not Catholic. I hope Natalie doesn’t mind me including her here!)

I love following Anna and Gabe Liesemeyer from In Honor of Design on Instagram, and couldn’t wait to see what they named their sixth baby! I wasn’t disappointed! They welcomed a sweet little Miss who they named … Chiara Maris!

Leah Darrow was a contestant on America’s Next Top Model and is now an amazing Catholic evangelist! She shared an amazing video on Instagram FROM HER HOSPITAL BED AS SHE LABORED that she’d made in response to Michelle Williams’ recent Golden Globes speech about how she wouldn’t have been able to have the life she has without having had an abortion; like an hour later Leah posted the picture of her brand new baby (!!!), a bouncing baby boy named … Valor Joseph!

Congratulations to all the parents and siblings, and happy birthday Barbara, Lilly, Lily, Anna, Indy, Chiara, and Valor!! Have a great weekend everyone!!


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!

A few fun things

Haappppyyy Thursday!!

I know you’ll love this: I was telling my eight-year-old about someone we know whose name is Emmanuel. “His name is ‘God with us’?!” he exclaimed in amazement. 😂😂😂 (Someone’s paying attention at Mass! 💃💃💃)

I loved these two recent posts at Swistle:

Baby Girl Vansanover: Is the Name Bernadette Too Catholic?
I was surprised at the number of people that felt Bernadette was not as Catholic as might have been thought, and instead comes across as a vintage up-and-coming name. I was even more surprised at the number of commenters who didn’t know why anyone would think it was a Catholic name! Even commenters who identified as Catholic in some way (currently practicing or lapsed)!

Baby Girl Carrot-with-an-M, Sister to Avila and Rose
This family is Catholic, and there was a fun discussion about the name Zelie, including a poll on pronunciation.

Abby at Appellation Mountain spotlighted the name St. John (Sinjin) recently, which always makes me think of Haley from Carrots for Michaelmas because it was on her list of names for Baby Hildi if she’d been a boy. And a few days before St. John, Abby also spotlighted Jacinta!!


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 the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!

Reading round-up: Naming twins, celebrity babies, and correct pronunciation(s) of Elisha

A few things to share with you all:

My CatholicMom column posted today, which was the result of two readers telling me that they had a hard time finding good resources for naming their twins. So I compiled all the resources and advice I’ve come across when doing consultations for parents expecting twins (except for one thing, which I only remembered after I’d already submitted the article, and which I’ve found helpful: Name the babies as if they were singletons. That is, name Baby B what you would have named him/her if born two years after Baby A): Naming Catholic Twins and Multiples.

catholicmom_screen_shot-10.16.19

There’s also the following celebrity baby news:

— Mario Lopez and his wife had their third baby a few months ago and named him … Santino Rafael, nicknamed Sonny! I loooove Santino nn Sonny!!

— I’ve written about Rachel Campos-Duffy’s family before (here and here), and she recently had their ninth baby! A beautiful baby girl named … Valentina StellaMaris! She has Down Syndrome and a heart condition, which will require surgery in the near future, so extra prayers are needed for her family in this time of adjusting to life with a newborn and one with special needs. I’ve been so moved by their love for her, even before she was born — dad Sean resigned from his job representing Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District when they found out the baby would need open heart surgery after birth, and mom Rachel reports that, now that Valentina’s here, “When we visit with her at the hospital, the kids [who range in age from 3 to 20!] fight over who can hold her.” ❤ ❤ ❤

— I posted this about the Alec and Hilaria Baldwin family on Instagram a couple of years ago, when they had three children together:

baldwin

They’ve since had another baby (in 2018), and sadly suffered a miscarriage this past spring, and just announced they’re expecting another baby — a little girl! (I think people are going to continue to think that they’re Catholic! 😂)

Finally, I kind of loved this article by Jimmy Akin on the proper pronunciation of Elisha — lots of good info here about Standard English pronunciations and Hebrew pronunciations, all done in the kind of ranty way only someone who loves language would rant. I learned a lot! One pronunciation he didn’t mention, though, is the one I usually hear at church: eh-LEE-sha (like Alicia) — I didn’t even know of the ee-LIE-shah pronunciation until I was an adult! How about the rest of you?

That’s all for now! It’s almost the weekend! Hang in there!


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!

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!

Reading round-up: Birth/name announcement edition

I know (or I hope) you all know how much I love your contributions to our wonderful little community here, right? 💕💕💕 Over the past couple of weeks I’ve received notes from several of you sharing birth and name announcements you’d come across that you thought I’d like to see, and of course you’re so right — I loved them all! And I wanted to post them here for all of you lovers of the names of our faith.

First up, I hope you all know Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director-turned-amazing advocate for the unborn, as well as for those who work at abortion clinics and who want to get out of the industry (she provides all kinds of resources and support, including finding jobs for them and helping them financially, through her wonderful organization And Then There Were None). She’s absolutely tireless in her efforts, even with being mama to five beautiful little ones AND expecting twins!! She and her husband recently solicited name ideas for their twin baby girls (and shared their older kiddos’ names), and her husband shared on FB last week that they’ve decided! Go check out the beeaauutiful names they chose! 👯 (Thanks to Mary and Jen for sharing this info!)

I always love hearing about the European royal names and how Catholic they often are, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out the names of a British politician’s children! Check out Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg has given his fifth child an amazing name and North Somerset MP Jacob Rees-Mogg welcomes fifth child but his name causes a stir. (Thanks to Jilana!)

Check out this little guy’s name! And Clive makes five: a birth story. I really loved reading how perfectly his name fit the naming rules his parents had — like, perfectly! And of course C.S. Lewis. Great naming story. (He’s also got some gorgeously named big sisters!) (Thanks to proud auntie Francine!)

Finally, Amy tagged me on a photo of her twin girls she’d posted on IG to illustrate her announcement that she’d posted about how she’d chosen their names and said, “@santanomina how did I do? They’re both French, places and saints!” I’m still so tickled that anyone cares what I think! Haha! Of course I 🏃 (or more like 💃) over to her blog to read all about these sweet girls’ names in “Are They Family Names?” – Behind the Names Special and can say with authority that she and her husband did a marvelous job. Beautiful times two! 👯 (Thanks also to Mary, who also shared the link with me!)

What a fun round-up! I hope you all have as much fun reading about these babies as I did!

Reading roundup et al.

Thank you all for your prayers for the mama I wrote about earlier! I don’t have any update — I will let you all know when/if she lets me know.

Otherwise today has been wonderful — autumn cool and sunny and I’m wearing green, which always makes me happy. 🙂

I have some fun things to share from here and there:

I was mentioned by Catholic Hipster Tommy Tighe recently in his The Chimney podcast (Episode 047)! I publish under Katherine Morna Towne because I love my full name, but I always go by Kate (or Sancta Nomina sometimes, which I also love 🙂 ), so it was funny to hear myself mentioned as Katherine Morna Towne. But so cool too! (And really, Grace deserves the kudos, because she was the one who told me the particular factoid that Tommy referenced!)

Ireland’s annual Rose of Tralee International Festival, which seeks to connect “the global Irish Diaspora in an international celebration of Irish culture in Co Kerry, Ireland,” finishes today. The highlight of it is the selection of the International Rose of Tralee — a girl chosen from among those representing all the parts of the world that have a concentration of those with Irish ancestry (tonight on live TV!). The names are always amazing — this year there’s:

Dearbhladh (the Abu Dhabi Rose)
Meabh (Armagh) and Meabhdh (Kildare)
Eimear (Derry)
Fainche (Down)
Mairead (Fermanagh)
Sile (Luxembourg)
Fionna (Mayo) and Fiona (Tipperary)
Treasa (Meath)
Aisling (Newcastle/Gateshead) and (Roscommon)
Blathnaid (Scotland)
Niamh (West Meath)

As well as the more manageable Ciara (Arizona), Sheena (Florida), Shannon (New Orleans), Kathleen (Ohio), Brigid (Philadelphia), Erin (South Carolina), and Molly (Western Canada). I also loved seeing Zoe (Donegal), Lorna (Dublin), Caroline (Longford), Petra (Toronto), Genevieve (Tyrone), and all the Marys and Annes: Annmarie (Leitrim), Marie (Limerick), Hannah (New Zealand), Anna (Newfoundland & Labrador), and Anne-Marie (Yorkshire). And all the Kates/Katherines 🙂 : Kate (Laois), Kathleen (Ohio — mentioned previously),  Katie (Sligo), Katherine (Texas). And I haven’t even mentioned everyone! Head on over and check them all out! (And as I’m writing this, the 2016 Rose has been selected: Maggie McEldowney from Chicago! A big congratulations to her!!)

Anyway, I’ve mentioned before that I had the great privilege of being the 2001 New York Rose (and one of you readers let me know that you, too, are a former Rose! So fun! 🌹), and my mom’s been posting pics of my time there on her Instagram (which follows the adventures of Finney the Leprechaun) this past week, so if you want to catch a glimpse of what the festival and I looked like fifteen years ago, see here (a Tralee street [Denny Street?] strung with lights for the parade), here (me signing autographs for the little girls), here (different day, different girls, more autographs), here (me and the Dublin Rose on our parade float — I’m wearing black), here (a mama in the crowd handed me her baby for a photo, one of my favorite moments), here (another of me and Dublin with some lovely bagpipers), here (me onstage with former MC Marty Whelan live on TV), here (the bit from the song The Rose of Tralee that sums up a Rose), and here (today’s my birthday so Mom posted a collage 🎂 — the two in the middle on the bottom are Rose pictures). It was an amazing experience, for sure!

I’ve also been bustling around the blog recently — I set up a Nicknames page where I list all the unusual/offbeat nicknames I’ve heard of or thought of for various names, and I also started a Sancta Nomina Pinterest account for (so far) the consultation posts, birth announcement posts, and my CatholicMom and Nameberry articles — I’m working on pinning them all there. I’m also working on adding the T(h)eresa bit to the Sibling Project page — hopefully I’ll have that added soon.

I think that’s all I have for now — have a wonderful rest of today!! ❤

Reading round-up

Buckle up guys, I’ve been adding to my “reading round-up” list for months now — today’s the day! I’m getting it done!

Grace told me about a NYC gathering she’d gone to called Catholic Underground, which is totally the kind of thing I would have loved when I was in college, and the name of the director:

Of course, it was fabulous with an hour of adoration and getting to see one of the actual missionary images of Our Lady of Guadalupe. But the reason I’m emailing you is not just to tell you about a great experience but to share with you an awesome religious name I spotted. On the little flier we got walking in the door there was a nice little letter from the director of Catholic Underground, and his name is…….Br. Mark-Mary!!! How cool is that!? It’s so rare that you see men take feminine names, so it just makes me so happy to see it when it happens!

I love that!! #MenWhoLoveMary

Emma wanted to be sure I’d seen this post (from early December) over at Swistle’s blog, saying, “Oh boy, does Swistle ever need Sancta Nomina over at her blog today!!!!” Haha! The mom writing is expecting her third, and her older two are Harriet Paloma (“Hattie”), and Hugo Campion. Ohh my! In her dilemma letter she writes things like,

Their middle names feel (to my ears) more modern and have religious significance (“Paloma,” meaning “dove” which stands both for peace and for the Holy Spirit, “Campion,” after St. Edmund Campion)

and

[regarding the fact they’re considering Consuelo] I have always been fascinated by the French and Spanish-language tradition of naming children after the Virgin Mary, but using her many titles or apparition locations. English is pretty limited when it comes to honor names for the Blessed Mother. We have Mary, Marie, and some more unusual, but related, variants such as Mae, Mamie, Maren, Molly. But nothing compared with the range and diversity of the French/Spanish naming tradition: Lourdes, Carmel, Soledad, Guadalupe, Luz, Amparo, Araceli, Socorro, Belen, Pilar, Delores. And on and on! My daughter’s godmother is Monserrat after Our Lady of Monserrat (love!!).”

I would indeed have loved to get my hands on that dilemma! But this bit from Swistle sums up my feelings pretty exactly (the question was Margaret vs. Consuelo as a first name):

Margaret Consuelo is a pretty kick-butt name, and coordinates beautifully with Harriet Paloma and Hugo Campion. Paloma (peace) and Consuelo (solace) are particularly well-matched.”

Speaking of Swistle, I also loved the sib set in this post: Charles (Huck), Isaac, Katherine, and Seth. (I love Huck for Charles!!) One of the commenters (our very own eclare!) said she guessed the family might be Catholic, based on the size of the family, the kids’ names (which she accurately described as “saint/biblical”), and some on their list (including Xavier), and I agree. I was disappointed by Swistle’s reply though — she said, “I don’t think Seth or Charlotte are saint names,” which is misleading. Seth the Patriarch (from the Old Testament) appears in Book of Saints by the Monks of Ramsgate as well as Our Sunday Visitor’s Encyclopedia of Saints, and his feast day is March 1. There are also several Blesseds Charlotte, and, as eclare correctly pointed out, Charlotte can be and is often used as an honor name for any of the Sts. Charles/Karl/Carl/Carlo/Karol.

One more Swistle post: Baby Names to Consider: Classic/Traditional Names with Atypical/Non-Traditional Nicknames. I loved reading the ideas from her and the commenters!

Shelby told me about this article: The Saint behind the Jagermeister Logo is also one of the 14 Holy Helpers. I love finding out stuff like that! As Shelby put it, it “goes well with your post about Catholic things in plain sight like the Sophie the Giraffe.” “Catholic things in plain sight”! I love that!

It reminds me of something else I read recently: Nutella Founder Dies, Said Secret of Success Was Our Lady of Lourdes: Devout Catholic took employees to visit site of Marian apparitions. Yes, Nutella is now my new favorite food. 🙂

Then there was this: A 3yo boy named Diesel will only answer to Popcorn, and so his parents are going to legally change his name.

The Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources is one of my favorite resources, and I was so struck by one of its recent blog posts about the rise of certain names in Protestant records after the Reformation that I raised a question:

dmnes1-01.27.16

The Apocrypha in this context are the books (or parts of books, as in the case of Daniel) that are part of the Catholic bible but not part of the Protestant bible. (As opposed to books Catholics consider to be apocryphal, like the Protoevangelium of James.) It was so strange to me that Judith (the book of Judith is rejected by Protestants) and Susan (the English form of Susanna(h), from the part of the book of Daniel that’s considered apocryphal by Protestants) would receive an uptick in use by Protestants after the Reformation. So interesting! And even better — the DMNES team (including our own Sara) is on it!

dmnes2-01.27.16

I find stuff like this so fascinating. As I said to Sara, I learn so much about culture, religious, politics, history, and language through names. I can’t wait to read what she comes up with!

I was also interested by this bit in the DMNES post on New Testament names after the Reformation, about our dear St. Anne:

Anne: This name could be classified as either an Old Testament name or a New Testament name. In the OT, this was the name of the mother of Samuel (more often modernly transliterated as Hannah); in the apocrypha, Anne is usually identified as the mother of Mary, though she is not named explicitly in the NT. Whatever the origin and whatever the spelling, this name was always common; it was, in fact, one of the most common feminine names throughout all of Europe throughout the Middle Ages, due primarily to the early veneration of the mother of Mary. The name was so well entrenched that the Protestant turning away from the veneration of the saints did not cause any reduction in its popularity.” (emphasis mine)

How cool is that! It’s also particularly funny that its entrenchment was “due primarily to the early veneration of the mother of Mary” — not only a saint, despite “the Protestant turning away from the veneration of the saints,” but a saint who’s never named in the bible we all agree on, nor even in the apocrypha rejected by Protestantism — Mary’s mother’s name is only given in the Protoevangelium of James, so its use is totally due to Catholic tradition. She’s a great lady, that St. Anne. 🙂 ❤

Finally, I was enjoying these dilemmas on the Baby Name Wizard site recently:

Thoughts on Gemma

Bishop as a first name?

Religious or not religious? (this mom has since figured out a solution, but I really liked some of the ideas offered in this post)

(Also, I think the commenter Optatus Cleary would like it here. 🙂 )

Whew! I think that’s all I have for today!

ETA: Oh! Also this: Twitter Reveals That All Kids Hate Their Names (my takeaway: pray and do the best you can, and then don’t worry), and this: Are There Any More Z Names? Neither the author (Laura Wattenberg herself) nor any of the commenters mentioned Zelie/Azelie!