Baby name predictions: Patton Baby No. 8!

Happy Lundi Gras (Mardi Gras’ little-known sister)! 😂 Of course by the time you read this it probably *will* be Mardi Gras, since it’s taken me allll dayyyy to get this up due to my little stinker Luke who refused to nap.

I’m super excited to share my predictions for our buddy Grace Patton’s new baby, due in June!! I’m calling them predictions rather than suggestions since I’ve previously done two consultations for Grace (here and here), and been so surprised by the names she and her hubby ended up giving the babies (which is something I LOVE – being surprised by names never ceases to thrill me!) … so I feel like I don’t really have anything to offer the Pattons! They are Baby Naming Royalty, as far as I’m concerned, and I can’t wait to hear what they name this little green bean! (=gender unknown 🌱) (I posted birth announcements for babies five, six, and seven as well.)

But of course I can’t stop my namey head from trying to get in their headspace and predict what names, or kinds of names?, they might choose! So first off, as a refresher, Baby’s big brothers and sisters are:

Julia Grace
Sebastian Xavier (Bash)
Theodore Augustine (Theo)
Phoebe Anika
Bosco Ignatius
Abraham James (Abe)
Clement Joseph
+Felipé (with Jesus)

Amazing names, each one! ❤ ❤ ❤ I did chat with Grace a little bit recently about names for this baby-on-the-way, and she said,

We really are kind of coming up empty-handed, honestly! We feel like we are completely out of boy names (of course we aren’t — just will take some digging/thinking — and Simon prefers to chat about names on the way to the hospital, ha!) and understand why my mom used one of my brother’s middle names as a first name (Daniel Peter and then Peter Joseph when she had her fourth boy). So, I’d love suggestions or predictions! Phoebe (at the mature age of 5) is really concerned that any potential girl names, “sound nice with Phoebe and Julia” and so far all she has approved is, “Catherine” — ha! I do love that name but I wouldn’t consider it a frontrunner at the moment.

Because Julia’s middle name is Grace and Phoebe’s middle name is Anika (which means grace) — Simon loves the idea of carrying the tradition on with another middle girl name that also means grace — which I feel less strongly about but am not at all opposed to the sentiment!

If Clement wasn’t Clement I think he would’ve been a Dominic but again, not a frontrunner this time around — funny how that works! Sebastian would’ve been a Vivienne had he been a girl and I think Abe was going to be Iris if he was a girl and I still love those names but I don’t know — we still have months to discuss, I suppose!

Such good info here! I love that Phoebe is concerned that a sister’s name “sound nice with Phoebe and Julia” — I definitely took that to heart when coming up with my list of predictions! (For the record, one of the things I love about her idea of Catherine is that it ends in a different sound than Julia and Phoebe — not so easy to do with girl names, since ends-in-a and ends-in-the-ee-sound are pretty common! You’ll see I included some other differently-ending-names below.)

So we know that Vivienne and Iris were previous frontrunners for a girl, as well as Dominic for a boy. I remember from my previous Patton posts that Caroline and Felicity were also previously discussed, as well as Damian and Simon Jr. (yes, even for a non-firstborn); also no more ends-in-o names for boys either (because of Theo and Bosco).

Since I did two previous consultations, there are a lottttt of names that I’ve already suggested, like:

  • Various ideas for backing into the nickname Lola (Violet, Caroline, Lourdes, Louisa, Lucia)
  • Elisabeth
  • Felicity
  • Stella
  • Emmeline
  • Magdalene
  • Verity
  • Audrey
  • A bunch of Mary/Maria/Marie+ ideas (any of those paired with Olivia or Olive, Ophelia, Simone, Tess, Elliott, Emmett, Bennett)
  • Maximilian nicked Miles
  • Francis nicked Finn
  • Gregory nicked Rory or Gus [Gregory Simon=Gus so perfectly!]
  • Oliver
  • Isaac
  • Gabriel
  • Alexander
  • Nathaniel

(As you can see, there were a couple instances of overlap between names I’d suggested and names they considered! SO exciting!)

There were several that I’d considered that didn’t end up making my final cut, but I think a lot of these still potentially have merit (Grace’s previous idea of Iris is on here! Woo!):

  • Penelope
  • Imogen(e)
  • Genevieve
  • Iris or Ivy
  • Lydia (in BOTH previous consultations)
  • Corinne
  • Liv
  • Alice
  • Zara
  • Natalia
  • Tobias (too much long O probably)
  • Tristan
  • Benedict/Bennett and Benjamin
  • Matthias
  • Samuel
  • Henry
  • Elliott
  • Emmett
  • Jude

Whew! This post is a study in New Evangelization Catholic Baby Naming! 💃 💃 💃 What names are left??

I was actually chuckling as I was pulling this post together, because when I do repeat consultations (or “predictions posts,” as I’m calling this one), I always start from scratch, without looking back at my previous ideas. Then I’ll go back and cross off any repeats. When I did so here, it was hilarious to discover that there were SO MANY names I had to cross off of my ideas below! So many that I thought were spot on, but I’d already suggested them previously! (As usual, I looked up the names they’ve already used in the Baby Name Wizard, and I looked through my book of Marian baby names; I also used the Name Matchmaker tool on babynamewizard.com, and spent a bit of time looking for names that mean “grace.” I also looked through a bunch of recent Appellation Mountain posts that list the names that are big on the site that week — I’ve always thought Grace has her finger on “the pulse,” and up-and-coming names would be right in her wheelhouse I think.) After whittling my list down to just new ideas, these are the names that I think Grace and Simon might consider (with, okay, an actual suggestion or two thrown in here and there, I just can’t help myself):

Girl
(1) Charis
I love this idea, it might be my favorite. Charis, which is said like Karis and Carys and is contained within the word Eucharist, means “grace”! In fact, that’s what it means within the word Eucharist! (From Merriam-Webster: “from eucharistos grateful, from eu- + charizesthai to show favor, from charis favor, grace, gratitude; akin to Greek chairein to rejoice.”) I know of a family who named their daughter Charis because of the Eucharist connection, and I really love it for a sister for Julia and Phoebe (it’s got that different ending!). Both Julia and Phoebe have middle names that mean “grace,” but I really like Charis as a first name for this baby. It can certainly work as a middle too, though I found it sort of difficult to work with rhythm-wise. If they prefer it in the middle, I think something with the rhythm of Felicity Charis would sound lovely.

(2) Margo(t)
Margaret didn’t seem quite right to me, but I love its variant Margo(t)! It can take any of the Sts. Margaret as patron, and of course means the same as Margaret — “pearl,” which happens to be June’s birthstone! Kind of a cool connection for a baby due in June!

(3) Maud(e)
When I saw Maud(e) in one of the recent Appellation Mountain posts, I was immediately struck by it. I’ve never, not once, considered or thought of the name Maud(e) for anyone, but for some reason, it really seemed like one Grace might like! It’s a variant of Matilda (in fact, it’s Matilda’s “usual medieval form,” like Austin for Augustine and Bennett for Benedict), which provides a patron saint.

(4) Edith, Esther
Both Edith and Esther have a similar feel to me — names that were too old lady-ish for a baby not that long ago, but that I’m starting to see on little girls more and more. St. Edith Stein is a huge inspiration behind the little Catholic girls I see with the name (she’s amazing), and I love that Esther is biblical like Julia and Phoebe. Edie and Essie are both adorable nicknames too.

(5) Eliza
I’m not sure what to say about Eliza except that it feels like it might be right! I like it on its own for the Pattons (so far they’ve done shorter girl names [letter-wise] while tending toward longer boy names), but I also like it as a nickname for Elizabeth, if they preferred that.

(6) Bernadette, Colette
Grace and her girls recently took an amazing trip to France, so French names were on my mind when I was working on this. I decided that I really like Bernadette for them! It’s definitely an up-and-coming name vintage-y name, as we discussed recently on the blog, and it was also in my recent saintly nicknames post (which I submitted as my February CatholicMom article after incorporating your ideas from the comments). The spotlight I did on it a few years ago has a few nickname options too. I also love (LOVE) Colette … but maybe it’s not quite right coming right after Clement? If that’s not a bother though, it’s such a pretty name, and St. Colette is a great patron.

Before moving onto boy names, I want to discuss more fully Simon’s hope that they’ll give a name that means “grace” to a girl. I searched on behindthename.com and also a general google search for names meaning “grace,” and the results are almost all variants of Grace or contain Grace (like Graciela, Altagracia, and Engracia), or are variants of Anne (since Anne means “grace”). Julia’s middle name nods to the former (being Grace), and Phoebe’s to the latter (being Anika), which is another reason I was psyched to find Charis — it’s in a third category altogether! Another that’s neither Grace nor Anne is Amara, which is Igbo (the language of the Igbo people of Nigeria) for “grace,” and is quite pretty. Otherwise, I think an Anne name is the best bet, since there are a few that are different enough from Anika I think. Like:

Anja or Anya
Anna or Anne
Annabel(le)
Annette
Anouk
Hannah
Nan, Nancy, Nanette
(many others listed here)

If Grace and Simon like the idea of an Anne name, they might like to choose one based on how their chosen first name sounds. Margo Annabelle sounds gorgeous to me, for example, as does Charis Anne and Charis Annette, Maude Annette, Bernadette Anne, Edith Annabelle, Eliza Nanette … so many beautiful ways to put these names together!

Boy
(1) Oscar
Moving onto boy names, I’m seeing Oscar here and there a bit more these days — I’m thinking of it as a recent addition to the Owen, Oliver group (along with Otto). St. Oscar Romero is a great patron, and the inspiration behind the choice of name for this sweet boy.

(2) Vincent, Victor
Vincent and Victor are old school Catholicky Catholic names that I think always wear well. The full Vincent is so handsome, and Vince and Vinny are easy nicknames. Victor is a particular favorite of mine — I tried to convince my hubby of it many times, and I wrote a whole CatholicMom article about it. “Nicknames for Victor” also continues to be one of the most frequent search terms that lead people to my blog, because of this post I did. So fascinating!

(3) Raphael, Ralph
I’d previously suggested Gabriel for them, but since having Abe, Gabe is no longer an option. Raphael’s rarer anyway, and has the cool nickname Rafe. Speaking of Rafe, what do we think about Ralph? I don’t hugely love the “ralf” pronunciation, but I’ve long loved that Rafe is a traditional pronunciation of it (and the one actor Ralph Fiennes uses). Cool? Or too high maintenance? (I remembered that I thought Design Mom has a Ralph, so I looked it up to be sure and hoooooly cow, check out Ralph’s siblings: Maude, Olive, Oscar, Betty, and Flora June. !!! I’ve included Maude, Olive, and Oscar somewhere in this post [either as today’s predictions or previous consultation ideas]; Betty can totally be a nickname for Bernadette; and I’m not joking that I considered the Flora/Fleur/Florence idea before deciding not to include it here. Wow. Spot.On.) I’ve recently come to love St. Ralph Sherwin, which is another plus in Ralph’s favor.

(4) Bear
This is another backing-into-a-name-from-a-nickname idea. Animal names — like Fox and Bear — are big right now, and I considered Bear myself as a nickname for Benedict Gerard — I thought that was so cute! And I already liked Benedict as an idea for another Patton boy. Arthur is another that I’ve seen people using Bear as a nickname for, since Arthur is said to have “bear” as part of its meaning — Arthur has a very Design Mom feel to me, so maybe?

(5) Joaquín
Grace has a little Spanish flair to her style, as seen in sweet Felipé’s name. Joaquín takes its cue from that, being the Spanish form of (my beloved) Joachim, and also the fact that it’s not as unfamiliar as Joachim — Joaquin Phoenix and Kelly Ripa’s son Joaquin are two examples of Joaquins that people might know (especially the former). (If they want to consider Joachim though, you know I’m all over that!!)

Those are all my predictions for boy names, but I couldn’t resist offering this list of long, saintly names that Grace and Simon might consider for middle names (they’ve already used Xavier, Augustine, and Ignatius): Emmanuel, Thaddeus, Ambrose (ooh this might make a great first name for them?), Maximilian, Chrysostom, Athanasius, Matthias, and the once-considered Dominic and Damian.

And those are all the names that I think Patton Baby No. 8 might end up being given! What do you all think? Do you have any predictions or suggestions for the little brother or sister of Julia, Sebastian, Theodore, Phoebe, Bosco, Abraham, and Clement?


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!

Birth announcement: Felicity Colette!

A mama and I had messaged each other a bit last year about her baby girl on the way, and she’s let me know that her sweet baby has been given the so-beautiful name … Felicity Colette!

She writes,

I just wanted to let you know that we named our rainbow baby Felicity Colette. Felicity because one of our quints was named Felix, and Colette just because I liked the name and I knew it was a Saint’s name. After her birth, we learned that both Saints Felicity and Colette are patron Saints of expectant mothers 💕🥰 She’s a very happy and sweet baby, so the name fits her well.”

What a gorgeous combo!! Both Felicity and Colette are fantastic names!! Also, you might have caught that she said “one of our quints” — this mama lost quintuplets late in pregnancy before this baby, so little Felicity is certainly as much of a happy blessing as her name suggests. ❤ ❤ ❤ The quints were named Felix Joseph, Damien Anthony, Dominic Alfonso, Sophia Therese, and Gabriel Francis.

Congratulations to the parents and big sister Cecilia Giselle, and happy birthday Baby Felicity!


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!

Baby name consultant: Baby boy needs a name with great faith connections that also has sci-fi/science/literary ties

Krista and her husband are expecting their second baby, a little brother to:

Elizabeth Marie

Such a fantastic name — a beautiful, timeless combo that’s biblical, saintly, and Marian — a perfect trifecta! You can even add in the Visitation for a rosary connection! Love it.

Krista writes,

I had the hardest time with names the first time around and seem to be continuing the tradition this time. Part of the issue is my husband will only suggest one name and then become upset if that is not something I agree to. He did give in to Elizabeth with the first (which was one of my first names) but only after she was born and after I had tried to give him MANY options. [He enjoys the connection to Pride and Prejudice.]

He seems to be stuck on naming children after Sci-Fi movies which is a turn off to me (he likes Star Wars and Firefly) … as a recent convert, having a strong Catholic name with a good meaning is important to me. When I looked up Elizabeth it meant “God is my oath” or “sworn to God” … I wanted Marie to honor Our Lady.

His family has a tradition of using John as a middle name for the oldest son which I am okay with but he wants the first name Malcolm (after the lead in Firefly) which I don’t approve of due to the Mal- beginning.

I enjoy Augustine and Luke … but he doesn’t seem open to any of my suggestions that aren’t his ideas (or rather idea) … my husband also studied paleontology (dino paleo) and loves science. Maybe common ground could be found in a famous scientist name that is also a good Catholic name?

I was so happy that Krista allowed me to post this consultation, as I know some of you have been in similar situations! As I told Krista, I have often seen God use our interests and inclinations for His purposes, whether we realize it or not, so maybe her hubby’s affinity for sci-fi and literature will end up drawing him closer to Him! I really wanted to find names that might appeal to his sensibilities while also having great, holy connections that will please Krista. In fact, one of the reasons I started Sancta Nomina was to show that names of all kinds can have saintly connections or other connections to the faith, no matter if parents originally like a name because of it being in a movie/book/video game, etc. I think that the fact Krista’s hubs likes Elizabeth because of the P&P connection is a great start! How wonderful that this name that caught his attention through a work of literature is ALSO a great saintly name! 

So I think trying to find a name that appeals to Krista’s hubby through his human interests, that’s also got some great faith connections, is the perfect way to go! Just like she said about his love for paleontology/science: “Maybe common ground could be found in a famous scientist name that is also a good Catholic name?” And with that in mind, my first goal is to try to convince Krista of Malcolm! It’s actually an awesome Catholic name!! She said she doesn’t approve of the name because of the Mal- beginning, but in this instance the Mal actually doesn’t refer to “bad”! Mal in Latin does, but Malcolm doesn’t derive from Latin; rather, it’s an Irish name meaning “servant [or disciple] of St. Columcille” (also known as St. Columba) — the “mal” refers to “servant/disciple” and comes from/is an anglicization of the Irish maol (Maolcholm). I’ve written before about patron saints finding us through our interests/talents/hobbies/jobs, etc. — perhaps St. Columba/Columcille is pulling Krista’s husband close through his love of the name Malcolm! (As an amazing side note, Columcille means “dove of the Church”! I love that! Columba is a shortened form — it means “dove.” He’s credited with the conversion of Scotland to Christianity; you can read more about him here.) Malcolm was also the name of the husband of St. Margaret of Scotland, who was pretty great. Malcolm John is a really handsome combo.

Even if Krista can come around on the idea of Malcolm, I can see how using Mal as a nickname might continue to feel problematic. The Firefly character goes by Mal, but that doesn’t mean her Malcolm has to (and perhaps this can be a point of compromise for her husband — he gets Malcolm as the given name, but Krista gets to choose the nickname). Mac can work as a nickname, as can Max (which can also allow her to think of St. Maximilian Kolbe as a secondary patron). Colm itself has usage as a given name, as an even further shortening of Columcille (–>Columba–>Colum–>Colm), so they could use Colm as an everyday nickname, which further highlights the saintly connection. Going off of Colm, perhaps Cole can also work as a nickname.

Krista’s ideas of Augustine and Luke are both ones I love as well — Luke in particular seems like one that would be a good compromise for them both, since it’s such a huge Star Wars name!

I also did quite a bit of research trying to find other names that might interest Krista’s husband from his sci-fi perspective while also appealing to Krista from a faith perspective, and I’m pretty happy with what I found! My research included looking up the names of the Firefly characters and their stories (to be sure I wasn’t suggesting names of bad guys), as well as the Star Wars characters (I’m much more familiar with them, we love Star Wars in my house!), and I also looked up notable names in paleontology (I love that connection!). Additionally, I’d done consultations in the past for a family who wanted nature and/or scientific names, and a couple who referred to themselves as “HYUUUUUGE geeks” and had found their children’s names in sci-fi literature first before backfitting them into patron saints (both those consultations contain links to other resources I used, which might be helpful to Krista and her hubs, and some of you) — I found both consultations helpful in coming up with ideas here. (You all know that I usually start with the Baby Name Wizard when doing a consultation, but it didn’t seem appropriate here.)

Okay! Without further ado, these are my additional suggestions for Krista and her husband’s baby boy:

(1) Benjamin or Benedict nicknamed Ben
Star Wars fans know Ben Kenobi as an alternate name for Obi-Wan Kenobi, so Ben can have a nice Star Wars connection without it being too in your face (similar to Luke). Also, Kylo Ren’s good-guy name is Ben Solo! Paleontologist B.F. Mudge, who discovered the Ichthyomis, was Benjamin Franklin Mudge, and I love that Benjamin is biblical like Elizabeth; there are also some Sts. Benjamin that Krista might like to consider as patron. Its definition isn’t that inspiring (“son of the right hand”), but its overall meaning includes all these other wonderful things! (I’ve written before about “definition” vs. “meaning” of names.) Or Krista might be able to convince her hubby of Benedict, which has more of the same feel as Augustine (heavy duty Catholicky Catholic), but was also included on a Nameberry list of Geek Chic Names for Boys because of one of its variants being used by Shakespeare in Much Ado About Nothing and also actor Benedict Cumberbatch. Benedict means “blessed” and is an entry in my book of Marian names because of it! And of course it’s super saintly. I definitely think one of the Ben names would be great for this family!

(2) Stephen
Another notable paleontologist was Stephen Jay Gould, who was described in his New York Times obituary as “one of the most influential evolutionary biologists of the 20th century and perhaps the best known since Charles Darwin.” I thought Krista’s husband might really appreciate that a little Stephen John would initial to Stephen J., which mirrors Stephen Jay Gould. And of course, for Krista, there’s St. Stephen, the first martyr, and many others.

(3) Charles
Speaking of Charles Darwin, his name has impeccable faith credentials! Many people have named boys Charles in honor of St. John Paul II, whose birth name was Karol (the Polish form of Charles). He was actually named for Bl. Karl of Austria (who is also referred to as Emperor Charles), who is awesome, and provides another great patron. St. Charles Borromeo is also a favorite of mine, and there are many others. I could see Krista’s hubby really liking the Charles Darwin connection, and there’s also Charles Wallace from A Wrinkle in Time and Charles Xavier from X-Men (I bet he’ll love that connection! So cool!). Another great literary figure is Charles Ryder from Brideshead Revisited, which is considered a great Catholic work!

(4) George nn Geo or Geordie
Fr. George LeMaitre was the priest who came up with the Big Bang Theory and was the president of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences for six years until his death in 1966 (yay for priest scientists!), which makes this name both faithy and science-y! (There are a lot of Sts. George as well.) The nickname Geo can also strengthen the tie to science (as in its meaning of “earth,” like geology), and Geordie (said like Jordy) is a traditional Scottish nickname for George, and also a character on Star Trek! (Geordie LaForge.)

(5) Simon
Okay, moving onto other Firefly names — I haven’t watched it, but I know it’s got some pretty rabid fans, so I’m not surprised Krista’s hubby has latched onto one of the characters as inspiration for a baby’s name. One that I thought would work is Simon, as in character Simon Tam. It doesn’t have the potentially problematic Mal beginning, and he’s a main character as far as I can tell, so the connection to the show should be pretty solid for her husband. As for Saints, there’s Simon Peter and St. Simon Stock (of the brown scapular) and others.

(6) Montford nn Monty
Monty’s a good character in Firefly — friend of Mal’s — which made me think of the name Montford, which I have as an entry in my Marian names book for this reason:

Montford is the surname of St. Louis de Montfort, whose first name is also included in this volume, by virtue of his deep devotion to Our Lady and his classic Marian works True Devotion to Mary, The Secret of Mary, and The Secret of the Rosary. One of my blog readers recently suggested Montfort as a first name with the nickname Monty, which I thought was brilliant.”

Maybe Montfort with the nickname Monty is just the kind of name Krista’s hubby might go for?

(7) Shepherd
Another Firefly character whose name caught my attention is Shepherd Book. If I understand correctly from reading his description on Wikipedia, Shepherd is actually his title (religious ties!) rather than his name, but the fact that he’s called Shepherd makes the name really connected to him. I did a spotlight post on the name Shepherd a while ago, in which I draw some pretty great connections to Jesus. I also did a consultation for a family who has a son named Shepherd, named for a few faith reasons. Could be a great option for this family! Shep is a really cute nickname.

(8) Francis nn Finn
Moving back to Star Wars, Finn has risen in popularity over the last few years, in good part because of the character of Finn in the new Star Wars movies. I’ve suggested it on the blog to a few families as a fresher, more unexpected nickname for the super Catholic name Francis — maybe something like would appeal to Krista and her husband? Her hubby might also appreciate that Renaissance scholar Francis Bacon was “best known for his promotion of the scientific method.”

(9) Cassian
My last suggestion for them is probably a bit more offbeat than the others, but I was kind of amazed that Cassian showed up in my Star Wars research — Cassian Andor was in the movie Rogue One, and was on the rebel side (the good guys), though I don’t think he was a huge character (I haven’t seen Rogue One yet). But Cassian is also the surname of St. John Cassian, so Cassian John would be an amazing nod to him! There are two families I know through the blog who have sons named Cassian: here and here. Cash is a great nickname too.

Those are my “official” suggestions for Krista and her hubby, but others that I considered and ultimately left off my final list for various reasons include: Owen (for Uncle Owen on Star Wars and the amazing St. Nicholas Owen; some take it as a variant of John, so that wouldn’t work too well), Pascal (for Blaise Pascal and the many Sts. Pascal, including St. Pascal Baylon; also Pascal means “Easter”), Caspian (from Narnia), Thomas (for Thomas Edison, and any of the great Sts. Thomas [Aquinas, More, the Apostle]), and Tycho (for astronomer Tycho Brahe, and there’s also St. Tycho of Amathus).

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What names would you suggest for the little brother of Elizabeth Marie, son of a sci-fi/science/literature fan and a recent convert on fire for the faith?


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!

Birth announcement: Lolek Augustine!

A couple of years ago, a mama messaged me asking about the name Lolek — the nickname St. John Paul II had gone by as a child. She and her hubby had almost decided to use it for their baby-on-the-way, if they had a boy, and just needed a little encouragement, which I was happy to give!

After last week’s post about saintly nickname names, I got this message from her:

Your post today reminded I forgot to tell you we did indeed name our son Lolek Augustine. He’s 2 now!

Ahhhh how fun to get this update, and about such a great name!! I asked about it a little more and she said,

We love the ‘aha’ moment when people realize who his name is a nod to. The people who get it right away are few and far between, and it feels kind of like an underground code name. We love it!

An “underground code name”!! That’s so fantastic!! I’m so glad for you all to see a real-life Lolek — maybe he will “encourage a surge of Loleks,” as his mama put it!

Congratulations to this little guy’s parents and big brothers Jude Maximilian and Eli Sebastian, and happy (belated!) birthday Lolek!!

lolek_augustine

Lolek Augustine


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!

Birth announcement: Marigold Azélie!

I posted a request for prayers for a family in the wake of the stillbirth of their beautiful baby, Zita Marie-Catherine, a while ago, and I was so very happy for them when the mama, Kara, let me know this past fall that they were expecting another baby! Now I’m thrilled to share that their baby girl has arrived and been given the amazing name … Marigold Azélie!

Kara writes,

Well, our newest baby GIRL arrived at 7:49am on November 8th. She weighed 8 lbs 14oz. And we named her. . .

Marigold Azélie!
(We’re using the ah-ZAY-lee pronunciation.)

As you know, I was sort of set on using an Italian first name, but your consultation made me realize I cared more about the story behind the name than the nationality. So here’s the story:

[Hubby] and I were pretty settled on a boy name, but struggled with one if the baby was a girl. After three girls, I felt like we had used up our most-favorite options. Sometime in late August I had tossed out the name “Marigold” (which I was reminded of in your book!) as a name we could use in honor of Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, not thinking he would go for it. I was right, he wasn’t keen on it. So I moved on. Then in mid-September a friend threw me a shower and one of the cards I received was a vintage print of the marigold flower. I went home and jokingly told [hubby] it was a sign that if we had a girl we should name her Marigold. Of course, he rolled his eyes. Fast forward a week or two and one night I was complaining about something pregnancy related and he responded with, “Well, would it make you feel better to know that Marigold is now in my top three names for girls?” Um, what?? His change of heart was due to the fact that the Diocese of Des Moines’ feast day is August 22nd, the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. Due to his job and it being a big year for the diocese with the ordination of a new bishop, he thought it was very fitting. We also liked that a nickname is Mary because it’s a family name (his grandma Mary turned 90 two days before Marigold was born). By early October it became a slight frontrunner for us, but it also felt very “different” given the fact that all the other kids’ names are straight saint names. Then when I was 38 weeks pregnant I came across more info on the marigold, its meaning and its relation to Mary [in an article by Br. John M. Samaha, S.M., on the University of Dayton’s web site] … I also discovered that the marigold is the flower for October, making me convinced that if we had a girl she was going to be born in October. Ha!

One bit that particularly moved this mama in that article linked to above was the following:

Sometimes described as ‘the flower of grief’, the marigold actually weeps on occasion. Droplets gather in the flower during the night and drip off like tears when it opens in the morning. This characteristic moved Shakespeare to write in A Winter’s Tale:

“The Marygold that goes to bed with the sun, / And with him rises weeping.”

These flowers primarily convey the message “I will comfort your grieving heart”.

Grief mixed with joy, poverty linked with abundance of good gifts — that is the marigold’s reflection of the lady for whom she is named.”

How beautiful!! Kara continues,

For me personally, besides the grief aspect, Marigold’s name also is connected to Zita in that although Zita was due Aug. 24th, I had hoped she would be born on Aug. 22nd. I had thought it would be fitting that since Zita was named after an Empress/Queen, she’d share a feast day with the Queen of Heaven. So this is a way for me to honor Zita without making it feel so heavy.

Azélie is obviously for St. Marie-Azélie, but kind of surprised me in that it only came to us right before baby’s due date. For the past 18 months I was SET on using Clairvaux for a middle name, but [hubby] kind of liked it better for a boy middle name. One day I was thinking about Marie-Azélie, her own child losses and her motherhood, realizing that in the past year I’ve understood more fully what it means to be a mother and have worked harder than ever before at becoming a better one. A few days later my sis-in-law sent me a quote from a book she was reading on Marie-Azélie’s life and that’s what sealed the deal …

So many people have commented on the beauty of Marigold’s name, young and old alike! Many have added that they’ve never heard of it, but my favorite was a little old retired priest who said, “Lady Edith has a Marigold!” Haha.

Of course my Gabriel was hoping for a boy, so when he came to the hospital and discovered he had yet another sister he immediately asked, “What’s her name?” in a way that was holding out hope it was something he liked. When we said it was Marigold he crinkled his nose with an “ugh.” He admits he likes it now, though! The kids call her “Mare,” “Marigoldie” and “Marigoldilocks.” 🙂 [Hubby] and I use Mary from time to time, but I’m careful because I never want the full Marigold to get lost — it’s too beautiful!

Isn’t this such a wonderful story?? I love that they were able to find a name that connects to their little Zita without, as Kara said, “making it feel so heavy.” This is just so lovely, all around!

Congratulations to Kara and her husband and big siblings Gabriel Gerard, Cecilia Immaculée, Gemma Thérèse (and Zita Marie-Catherine in heaven), and happy birthday Baby Marigold!!

Marigold Azélie with her family ❤ (Photo credit: Laura Wills Photography)

(In the top left picture, she’s laying on the Sacred Heart blanket from Be A Heart)


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!

Birth announcement: Magnus Craig!

I posted a consultation for Amy’s fourth baby back in October — the third consultation I had the privilege of doing for her and her hubby, after having done one for their second baby (and his birth announcement) and their third baby (and her birth announcement). Now I’m delighted to share that her baby BOY has arrived and been given the handsome name … Magnus Craig!

Amy writes,

No overly complex name story or meaning for this one, like the others. We just liked it best.

We still didn’t really have any solid name ideas when we arrived at the hospital (I was induced). After he was born I couldn’t shake the Magnus idea. I stayed quiet about it and asked my husband his ideas. He replied that one had come to mind and had a look like — I think you know what it is and I bet it’s what you are thinking too, even though I think he said something like “You might not like this”. But yep, we acknowledged that we were both thinking Magnus. We still tried to think of others, testing them to see if anything else fit but quickly discarded that. We were too drawn to/ stuck on Magnus. We had almost used it for Kane and it was just still with us.

So then came the task of the middle/second name. I liked the flow of James Magus best and I would love to honor my wonderful father, as we did my mom in Molly and I felt we already honored his dad in Kane. But … we decided that we really wanted to call him Magnus and thus it really should be in the first name slot to do so — instead of going by the middle again like Kane does, because that can be a pain, although works for his situation as ‘the second’. Marty had kept throwing out the idea of Craig as a middle the whole pregnancy and was pretty stuck on it. So Magnus James or Magnus Craig or Magnus __? <– probably another one syllable name, we tried like every one on a one syllable boy name list … Magnus Craig won out because it just flowed the best of all and Marty had wanted it all along. I gave it to him, as I felt I got the first name I wanted. So I ended up I feeling like we both Named him and I named the last 2 while he named the first 2.

He might have nick name potential with Mag or maybe Mack from the initials MC — I think of like last names McIntosh. Kristy has taken to calling him Maggie, one of your girl suggestions haha, which always makes us cringe and correct her because it’s a girl name, sigh.

I like the uniqueness of his name and reactions we get with it. I suddenly notice it around now and love it. It really does fit him and our family well. ♥️”

I loved reading all of this!! I love that Amy said they just liked Magnus Craig best — that’s perfect!! I’m so interested in the nicknames too — Mag and Mack
are both great (the Maggie bit made me laugh! I can totally see that! It’s so hard not to add an -ee sound onto the end of babies’ names!).

Congratulations to Amy and her hubby and big sibs Kristy, Kane, and Molly, and happy birthday Baby Magnus!!

Magnus Craig with his family ❤


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!