Happy feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary!!

I love Our Lady and I love her name (and all names relating to her) and I love all of you (!! ❤ ) and so for today’s feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary I’m delighted to do a giveaway of my book of Marian names!!

To enter, just comment on this post with the Marian names you’ve given your kiddos or — as some did on the Instagram post I did for this giveaway — with your own Marian name or the coolest Marian name you’ve heard in real life. Guaranteed I’ll love them all! I’ll choose one winner from the commenters here, and one from those on Instagram — it’ll close tomorrow (Friday) night at midnight eastern time, and I’ll randomly choose the winners on Saturday. Mother Mary for the win!! ❤ ❤ ❤


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!

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Birth announcement: Sunday Josephine!

Don’t forget to enter The Catholic Working Mom’s Guide to Life giveaway if you haven’t already! You have until Sunday at midnight!

A mama I did a private consultation for has let me know her little girl has arrived and been given the a-MAZ-ing name … Sunday Josephine!

She writes,

When we went to the hospital, our top choice was Sunny — it was a name we both liked early on, and our both of our kids liked it, too — but it honestly did not feel like “the one” to me. My reservation was that it felt very nickname-y.

The middle name, Josephine, just came to me one day. We wanted something on the serious side to balance out Sunny, that would flow well, and that was not a noun (“Sunny Clementine”). As you know, Joseph was a top choice on our boy list. The name is really special to me since it honors my dad, who passed away on the Feast of St. Joseph, and my surrogate grandfather, whose name was Joseph. I noticed that Joseph is listed in your book as a Marian name, so I feel like Josephine can be Marian also. My husband agreed that we both love the name, and we have plenty of other boy names if we have a son in the future, so we decided to use it.

As I mentioned, I did not feel like Sunny was THE name. So we were sitting in the hospital room on the day she was born, and my husband was reassuring me that Sunny was the name. He said something like, “We have to name her Sunny, it’s such a sunny Sunday.” I had a light bulb moment and asked him, “What if we name her Sunday and use Sunny as a nickname?” He did not jump on it, which did not surprise me. What did surprise me was when he brought it up again a few hours later because he liked it too!

So that’s the story — Sunday Josephine, but we usually call her Sunny. It’s completely different than where I thought we would end up, but we love it.”

How great is this story and this NAME?!! Sunday Josephine called Sunny?? I die! As I told the mama, it’s not often that I’m surprised by a name choice, I LOVE being surprised! And Sunny is just the best, sweetest nickname, I love everything about this. Kudos to these parents for a bold yet traditional, faith-filled choice with such a great, friendly nickname! (Fun fact: Notre Dame du Dimanche means “Our Lady of Sunday” in French [feast day June 8], and as a result Dimanche and Sunday are included in my book of Marian names. ❤ )

Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Sunday!!


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!

Birth announcement: Clement Joseph!

Grace from Camp Patton has been a great friend of Sancta Nomina — I’ve had the great privilege of doing two consultations for her (here and here) and posting two birth announcements (here and here), and Grace also graciously (!) gave my book an amazing endorsement, all of which still blows me away since I was fangirling over Grace before she ever knew I existed. I’m so happy to share that she’s had another baby! (You know I would have been all over doing yet another consultation for her if it hadn’t been for my own plunge into reclusion after giving birth.) I’m happy to share that she and her hubby welcomed their fifth boy and named him the incredible … Clement Joseph!

Grace wrote in the birth story she posted to her blog:

We had pretty much agreed that if we had a boy we’d name him Clement in honor of Simon’s mom (you might remember the [excerpt from the Prayer of St. Clement] she scripted that was handed out at her funeral last December) … but had a tough time coming up with a middle name. Finally toward the end of my pregnancy “Joseph” just sort of clicked although don’t think I didn’t try to throw some wild and crazy middle name contenders Simon’s way. Simon was pulling for Clementine if we had a girl and I wasn’t completely sold despite the fact that I love the name (I just love a lot of girl names). So Clement Joseph he was!

Clement! I love it! It’s a sophisticated, saintly, handsome virtue name (clement means “merciful”) and Marian (!) (e.g., “O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary” from the Hail Holy Queen — Clement’s in my book!). And such a perfect and creative way to honor Simon’s mom. ❤ All in all, a great pick! (I’m also loving how Grace said, “don’t think I didn’t try to throw some wild and crazy middle name contender’s Simon’s way” — a girl after my own heart!)

Congratulations to Grace and Simon and big sibs Julia, Sebastian (Bash), Theodore (Theo), Phoebe, Bosco, and Abraham (Abe), and happy birthday Baby Clement! Go check out his sweet face on Grace’s Instagram (including the Clement Clips stories!)!


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!

Birth announcement: Reina Grace!

I’m still working through my backlog of birth announcements — several of which are from the end of my own pregnancy when I was burrowing into my nest. I’m so sorry not to have posted them sooner!

Just a couple weeks before my little guy was born, Sharon from Baby My Love had her sweet little girl! I shared about Sharon’s beautiful family before, and I had the great privilege of doing a consultation for her Little Miss, which I posted back in April, and I absolutely love the name she and her hubby settled on — the magnificent and Marian … Reina Grace!

Reina is the Spanish variant of Regina, meaning “queen,” and it’s been so fun to see Sharon’s Instagram posts playing on the “queen bee” theme! Never mind the fact that Reina herself is absolutely delicious!

Congratulations to Sharon and her hubby Zeb and big sibs (on earth) Gemma, Felicity, Nicodemus, Maximus, Quintus, Francis, and Evangeline, and happy birthday Baby Reina!! Check out both Sharon’s personal Instagram and business Instagram to see her sweet face!


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!

Birth announcement: Bridget Marie!

Thank you to all who entered the lottery for a baby name consultation! As long as it’s okay with the mama, I’ll post it here in a few weeks! Stay tuned for another “flash sale” next month or so. 

I’ve finished posting all the birth announcements that were emailed to me over the last few months — thank you to all the parents who did so! I’m now starting to work through the list of new babies I’ve seen in my Instagram feed over the fall and winter, and will be sharing their names and name stories as their mamas allow.

First up: the newest baby in a family whose names I’ve long loved! Kelsi’s older children are the swoony Finnian Doyle and Gemma Ruth, and when I saw she was expecting again, I couldn’t wait to see what she and her hubby chose! I wasn’t disappointed! Little Bridget Marie “Bridey” joined the family recently, and I just feel like sighing with contentment over these beautifully named children.

Kelsi writes,

1. Finnian Doyle — Doyle is my dad and my brother’s middle name. I wish I could ask my grandma where she got it, but we have no idea! I wanted to pass it on to my son and wanted a saint name as a first name. So after lots of suggestions from me and lots of vetoes from my husband, we landed on Finnian after St Finnian of Clonard. My husband’s grandmother has a strong connection to her Irish roots and the name seemed to honor that as well. We also liked the nickname “Finn” for its literary nod to Huckleberry Finn.

2. Gemma Ruth — When we were naming Gemma we decided we’d stick to the “formula” we had used for Finn: a saint first name and a family middle name. When I was pregnant with Finn, I was having terrible terrible headaches. Frustrated that I couldn’t take anything stronger than Tylenol and rubbing peppermint oil, I looked up Saints I could petition to pray for relief from my headache. St. Gemma Galgani came up. In truth, it was the first I had heard of her, but I loved her story and her name!! I asked her often to intercede for me. So when we found out I was pregnant with a girl, we decided to use Gemma. Ruth is my husband’s grandma’s name and just one of my biblical women.

3. Bridget Marie — We really like St. Brigid of Ireland and had heard the traditional nickname of “Bridey.” The nickname gave a literary nod to one of my husband’s and my favorite novels, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. But we decided we really liked the “-get” pronunciation better than “Brigid.” Marie is for my maternal grandmother and Mother Mary.”

How awesome is all of this?? I love it! I love each name, and the reason behind each one as well. How great is Kelsi’ love of Ruth: she’s “just one of my biblical women”?! Love it!

Congratulations to Kelsi and her husband and big sibs Finnian and Gemma, and happy birthday Baby Bridget!! Kelsi said it was okay to link to her Instagram — hope on over to see her beautiful babies!


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!

Birth announcement: Christian Gabriel!

You might remember Josh and Mari’s family, as I’ve posted three consultations and two birth announcements for them since I started the blog! I absolutely LOVE seeing the Sancta Nomina families grow!! I’m thrilled to share that the baby boy I posted name ideas for this past summer has been born and given the awesome, handsome name … Christian Gabriel!

Josh writes,

He’s finally here! We decided to go with Christian Gabriel and he looks just like his older brother Charlie did at that age. Born 12-8-18 and everyone is doing well.

Thanks again for the naming help — lots of good ideas and Cassian was a close second!

Christian Gabriel was the name his older siblings favored from the beginning — how sweet that that ended up being the chosen name! And since the baby was born in December, Josh and Mari expressed interest in having his name have a connection to the season — I’d say Christian Gabriel is a slam dunk. And born on the feast of the Immaculate Conception! So many wonderful details of this baby boy’s birth and naming!

Congratulations to Josh and Mari and big sibs Ariana, Audrey, Caleb, Amelia, Anne-Catherine, Charles, and Anessa, and happy birthday Baby Christian!!

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Christian Gabriel


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!

Advent and Christmas names

Christmas Eve is just a week away and my boys are EXCITED! Seeing their wonder and awe is the absolute best. ❤

I’ve done several posts in the past with ideas for Advent and Christmas names, which I wanted to be sure to share here again, in case you have a little one coming any time! Check these out:

Names for a Christmas Baby here on the blog

Names for an Advent Baby at CatholicMom

Holy Family Names for Christmastime Babies at CatholicMom

Names for a Yuletide Babe: The O Antiphons at Nameberry

There’s also this tag for “Christmas names” here on the blog, which brings up birth announcements and name spotlights for names that I think can be Christmas-y, and for generally getting your mind focused on the birth of Jesus, there’s this piece I wrote last year for CatholicMom that I’ve been thinking about recently, regarding His naming.

If it’s helpful for naming a boy, I’ve always loved the combo Luke Emmanuel for a Christmas baby — if my Luke had been born around now, it would have been a strong contender.


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 — a perfect Christmas present for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!