This Saint’s got some pretty cool names (and a cool title!)

One of you darling readers emailed me yesterday with this fabulous bit:

Today is the feast of Bl. Clemens August von Galen, “The Lion of Munster”. He might already be on your radar, but just in case, I thought I’d share it.

I’m thinking that there are lots of great naming possibilities here… Especially Galen. Sounds modern (short, long a sound, ends in a n) … If anyone is looking for a “fresh” Catholic name, this could be it. And imagine how fun it would be for a little boy to have a patron called “the lion of Munster”!!

First of all: Clemens. And August. And Galen! What amazing names this guy has! And to be called “The Lion of Munster”! Of course I had to look him up, and of course I loved what I found:

Born to one of the oldest German noble families. Ordained on 28 May 1904 at Münster, Germany. Chosen bishop of Münster on 5 September 1933. Fiercely anti-Communist, and an outspoken opponent of the Stalinist regime. A strong nationalist who loved his homeland, his was known for his opposition to the Nazis, their programs and policies. He was a key opponent in the fight to end the Nazi program of “euthanasia“, the murder of the old, the crippled, the ill. Created Cardinal–Priest of San Bernardo alle Terme on 18 February 1946.”

I love him already. ❤ There’s more great stuff at that link, including homilies against the Nazis and euthanasia, if you want to read more.

What do you all think? Would you consider Clemens/Clement or August in his honor? And I’m particularly interested in your thoughts on Galen — like the reader said in her email, “If anyone is looking for a ‘fresh’ Catholic name, this could be it.”

Also, “the Lion of Munster”! 🦁😍



Birth announcement: Milo Thomas!

I posted a consultation for Carrie and her husband back in January, and Carrie’s let me know her little guy has arrived and been given the swoony name … Milo Thomas!

She writes,

Hello Kate! You did a consult for us in January for baby boy #3, and he was born yesterday!  We actually ended up waiting until he was born to make the final name decision. Up until birth we were fairly sure we were going with Hugo Thomas, and had a couple other names we also liked just in case. Well, when we met him, we decided he just wasn’t a Hugo, and went with Milo Thomas instead! I am a little sad to not have used Hugo because it’s a great name that I love, but this baby is a Milo for sure 🙂

Thank you (and all who commented on my consult!) for all your help!!

I LOVE the name Milo!! I absolutely think it fulfills Carrie’s hope for an “artistic and worldly” name, and as for saintly connections — you all know how I go on and on about Miles’ Marian connection, and Milo shares it too! Congrats to worriedshoe who suggested Milo in the comments!

This little guy joins his handsomely named big brothers:

Owen Joseph
Julian Elias

A simply fantastic trio of brothers!

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

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Milo Thomas

Birth announcement: Winifred Esme!

A mama I did a private consultation for last year, for a baby yet to be conceived, has let me know that she has, indeed, had a new baby and given her the gooorgeous name … Winifred Esme!

She writes,

I consulted with you last year about a hypothetical honor name after my mother who passed away suddenly. We conceived soon after that consultation and we decided to name her the name that my mother loved, Winifred Esme. While it’s not an honor name in the sense that others hear it and know that it’s after my mother, I do think of her every time I say it, because she loved it so much! So, in that way, it honors her very much.

Thank you so much for your amazing suggestions, which started many a conversation between me and my husband, and also colored our list of future baby names as we go forward.”

Isn’t that such a wonderful name story? It’s such a great example of one of the many ways to honor someone through your child’s name, and the fact that this mama thinks of her mom every time she says her baby’s name is just perfect. ❤❤❤

Little Winifred joins big sibs (with equally amazing names!):

Clementine Eloise
Gilbert Henry
Beatrice Eulalie

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


Winifred Esme with her adoring siblings 💕

Birth announcement: Faustina Irene!

I posted a consultation for Cait and her husband on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and she’s let me know her little girl has arrived and been given the gorgeous name … Faustina Irene!

Cait writes,

Faustina Irene was born on Monday, Feb 13, at weighing 9 pounds, 8 ounces and 21.5 inches long.  She and I are doing wonderfully.

Thank you for all your name inspirations!  In the end God decided the name for us- on an anniversary trip I was reading the Diary of Saint Faustina out loud to my husband and after a particularly inspiring passage he suggested that we name our baby Faustina.  I wasn’t as sure, but we stopped in a used book store on our trip and while browsing I found one of those 2000 page baby naming books.  Almost jokingly I said a little prayer of, “Okay, God, show me what we should name this baby” and randomly opened the book.  On the very top of the page I opened to was “Faustina”.  So, at the end of the Year of Mercy, we decided to name our baby after the saint so dedicated to telling the world of the Lord’s Divine Mercy.  Irene was decided to bring in the them of “peace” and because Saint Irene is pretty great- being a sister of a pope, maybe our little namesake will inspire some of her brothers to holiness ;).  Attached is a picture of Faustina Irene (we’re not sure if she’ll have a nickname and if so what it will be).”

I love when God makes His will known so clearly! What a great name story! If you remember, Faustina joins big sibs:

Aquinas John Paul
Gabriel Benedict
Magdalena Grace
Maksymilian Paul
Augustine Francis
Socorra Perpetua

Such beautiful names! Congratulations to the whole family, and happy birthday Baby Faustina!!


Faustina Irene

Baby name consultation: Spanish middles and Mexican saint names for baby no. 5 if a boy

I know Lina in semi-real life — we “met” online and have mutual real-life friends; she also runs F&P Birth and Breastfeeding Services: Women Serving Women (FB page here) (F&P stands for Felicity and Perpetua! 😍), which I know many of you might be interested in knowing about — so I’m delighted today to post this consultation for her fifth baby, a little green bean (gender unknown)! 🌱

This little one joins big sibs:

John Diego García (“named for the obvious saint, as well as my deceased FIL, John“)

Joseph Sebastián García (“named for both my husband’s grandfathers and my husband has a devotion to St. Sebastian and didn’t want it for a first name. I wanted to keep all middle names spanish, so its “Sebastián” instead“)

Rita Maureen García (“My middle name is also Maureen, after my grandmother, who is now deceased. Rita is … b/c she paid for our wedding 😉 “) (St. Rita is amazing! She’s one of the patrons of lost causes and I personally know of a couple other examples where she came through big time! Lina’s referring here to her prayers for St. Rita’s intercession in paying for their wedding.)

Michael Agustín García (“for [Bl. Miguel Agustín Pro] … Augustine was [also] my great great grandfather married to Lina, for whom I am named“)

Note that Garcia is Lina’s maiden name, not the family surname (which has more of an English/Irish feel) — I LOVE how she’s worked her heritage via Spanish names (accents and all!) and her maiden name into her kiddos’ names, and I just love the whole set together — they go by Johnny, Joey, Rita, and Mikey — sooooo cute!!

Even though they don’t know if this baby is a boy or a girl, they only need help with boy names (their girl name is Evangelina Claire García). Lina writes,

Since two of my boys have Mexican saints for names) … i would LOVE to find another mexican saint to use for a boy name.  Nothing has struck me … In the past, we’ve tossed around Ignatius (call him Nate), Gabriel, Lawrence Rey called Larry [Lina’s dad’s name is Larry King; Rey is Spanish for king] and…. who knows.  Seriously, we’re stumped … Oh and obviously our kids have 2 middle names since Garcia is my maiden, so it should flow with that.  and we don’t really want James b/c no more J names.

so tl;dr – boy name help, middle must be spanish, fantasy is mexican saint for the name.  thanks!!! 😀 😀 “

This was such a great consultation to work on! You all know I love when there are “rules,” and trying to come up with great combos that work in Spanish names and Mexican holies was fuuuuun!

So first off, I just have to say that I love the idea of Lawrence Rey for Lina’s dad! I wondered if finding a different nickname for Lawrence (or none at all — know a little Lawrence in my son’s class at school! He goes by the full Lawrence always, which cracks me up—such a big name for a little guy!) might help? I did some research on nicknames that are used for Lawrence, and thought of some that *could* be used (even if I didn’t find any evidence of them already in use), and I suspect that Lina and her hubs aren’t really offbeat in their taste in names/nicknames BUT Larry is pretty offbeat right now so what about:

Lenny: I love this idea … I think it (because of Leonard) has the feel of Larry/Lawrence, but is a bit more “with it” right now, what with Leonard on Big Bang helping to pave the way for those kinds of names.

Enzo: I know Lina’s hubs isn’t into Spanishy Spanish first names, but Enzo can be a nickname for Lorenzo, which of course is the Spanish Lawrence, so I thought they could do Lawrence nicknamed Enzo if they wanted to, which would be a fun way to work in Lina’s heritage in an everyday sort of way (and Enzo is so cool).

Lance: I’m not sure what they’d think of this? But I saw it listed somewhere as a possible nickname for Lawrence, being that it’s like a contraction of Lawrence … I could see it being really cute on a little guy.

Laddy: This is my own idea, inspired by Taddy for Thaddeus, Matty for Matthew, etc. Could be cute, no?

Laz, Lon, Ren: My guess is that none of these are quite Lina’s taste but I could be totally wrong, so I thought I should list them here. There are some more nickname ideas for Lawrence here.

Also, regarding their idea of Gabriel, there’s Bl. Gabriel Escoto Ruiz, who was born in Mexico (though he was martyred in the Spanish Civil War).

Alrighty, so you all know I use the Baby Name Wizard for almost every consultation, as it lists, for each entry, boy and girl names that are similar in terms of style/feel/popularity. I did use it when doing this consultation for Lina, but I actually didn’t start with it—rather, I googled “Mexican saints” and used these sites here and here, picking saints, blesseds, and venerables who had names I thought Lina and her hubs would like. I then cross-checked my ideas against the names the BNW said they’d like based on John, Joseph, Rita, Michael, Evangeline (no entry for Evangelina), Gabriel, and Lawrence (no entries for Ignatius or Nate). Based on all that, these are my ideas:

(1) Philip
I think Philip is my #1 idea for Lina and her hubs—one of my own personal favorites, with the great Mexican patron St. Felipe de Jesús. The nickname Phil has a similar feel to me as Larry, but it’s also the reason a lot of families don’t choose the name—if they love Phil, great! If they don’t, there’s also Pip (perfect for a little guy! And he can just be Philip as he grows up), Flip (I worked with a Philip called Flip, kinda cool … it also echoes the original Felipe), and Finn (especially with an N middle name … I loved the idea of Philip Neri nn Finn but couldn’t get my hubs on board).

(2) David
There are three Mexican martyrs that can work here: St. David Galván-Bermudez, St. David Roldán-Lara, and St. David Uribe Valasco, each one is pretty amazing. Davy/Davey’s a super cute nickname too, and I think David/Davey fits right in with Lina’s current and future kids’ names.

(3) Peter
Two Mexican martyrs here: St. Pedro Esqueda Ramírez and St. Pedro de Jesús Maldonado-Lucero. I’ve been digging Pete/Petey recently, so cute!

(4) Gregory
I love Gregory anyway—the BNW says, “Popes, saints, and Gregory Peck! Can a name get any more distinguished?” 😁—and there’s a Ven. Gregorio López who, though born in Spain, was a missionary in Mexico and is apparently much beloved there. This site calls him Blessed but as far as I can he’s still Venerable. Like Phil, I know some families are turned off of Gregory because of Greg, but Rory can work as a nickname (though I already know Lina doesn’t care for Rory, but I’m leaving it here in case it’s helpful to any of you), as can Grey, and I think even Gus could work if Gregory was paired with an S middle name.

(5) Paul
Ven. Pablo de Anda Padilla is the inspiration here—and he had a brother José and a sister María Rita! I know a couple little Pauls who go by Paulie, so cute!

(6) Louis
St. Luis Batiz Sainz is another Mexican martyr (what holy ground is there in Mexico, with all the martyrs’ blood!), and Louie is an adorable nickname!

And those are my main ideas for first names with Mexican patronage, based on what I perceive to be Lina and her hubs’ taste. There are a few others that I considered including in the above list and ultimately decided against for various reasons, but thought I’d list them here just in case: Matthew (for St. Mateo Correa Magallanes), Anthony (Bl. Antonio, Child Martyr of Tlaxcala; Bl. Antonio Pérez Lários), and Andrew (Bl. Andrés Solá Molist).

Some other names that I thought might make good middle names include Salvador, both for Jesus and for St. Salvador Lara Puente; Manuel, both for Jesus and for St. Manuel Moralez or Ven. Manuel Martín del Campo (I also love the nickname Manny, so cute!); and Rafael for St. Rafael Guízar y Valencia.

If they wanted to get a little crazy, I also love the ideas of Guadalupe (traditionally used for both boys and girls) and Tepeyac for middle names—so unexpected and Mexican! Or Cruz, which can refer to both Jesus and Mary. Or Mario, which has traditionally been used to honor Our Lady, even though etymologically it’s not related.

I also love the idea of Lorenzo as a middle name, for Lina’s dad!

And if they decided to go off the Mexican-Saint first-name idea (and doing a Mexican Saint in the middle could preserve their Mexican-Saint-name theme without pigeonholing them), Thomas and Francis are two that seem like perfect brothers to their crew (Tommy and Frankie!).

So if I were going to put together some full name ideas, I like:

Philip de Jesús García (I loooove the idea of “de Jesús” in the middle!)
Philip Lorenzo García
David Manuel García
David Salvaldor García
David Lorenzo García
Peter de Jesús García
Peter Lorenzo García
Gregory López García
Gregory Lorenzo García
Gregory Cruz García
Paul Salvador García
Paul Manuel García
Paul Rafael García
Paul Lorenzo García OR Paul Lorenzo Rey García, which I know is a lot of names, but Paul is so short, I think it totally works
Paul Guadalupe García (again a short, familiar name like Paul can take a longer, more exotic middle really well)
Louis Rafael García
Louis Guadalupe García
Thomas Lorenzo García
Thomas Gregorio García
Thomas Felipe García
Francis Lorenzo García
Francis Gregorio García
Francis Felipe García (I love the alliteration here)
Gabriel Salvador García
Ignatius Manuel García

I could go all day coming up with handsome combos, but I’ll stop there! Haha!

And those are all my ideas! What do you all think? What would you suggest for a little brother for John, Joseph, Rita, and Michael, taking into account two Spanish middles and a preference for Mexican saints/blesseds/venerables?

Birth announcement: Claire Marie-Therese!

Our reader Sarah has let me know her third baby has arrived — a sweet little girl with the gorgeous name … Claire Marie-Therese!

Sarah writes,

I wanted to do a name consult but my husband honestly gave me his short list of the only names he would consider (or at least that became apparent in discussion, haha!). So those 5 names were it :). So we are home now with baby Claire Marie-Therese.

Born 1/28/2017
7lbs, 13.5oz
21″ long.

Claire is a name we’ve both loved for ages and obviously, has a great meaning and great Saint attached. My hesitation in using it was her sister’s name: Julianne Clare. But in talking with my mother-in-law, it’s kind of a… tradition?… in DH’s family for siblings to share a middle/first name situation, with a bunch of examples even in this new generation. So I felt better about with so many in the family following this pattern.

Marie is my middle name, and also Marian. My mom’s name is also Mary.

Therese is pretty obviously a reference to the Little Flower, but I also liked weaving in a form of Teresa since Mother Teresa was recently canonized (and her religious name was after St. Therese), and my maternal grandmother’s name was the Polish form of it. I also liked linking Marie and Therese because Mother Teresa and the Little Flower linked the two names (Marie Francoise-Therese Martin and Mary Teresa – Mother’s religious name).

Plus, I wanted Claire to have an extra name in there since she’d be sharing a name with her sister, and her sister kind of (technically not, but practically yes) has a double first name with a lot of Saints in there :).

Debating the hyphen was tough, but we didn’t want her to end up being forced to drop the second middle name on some forms?

So we now have Nathaniel James, Julianne Clare, and Claire Marie-Therese.”

I love this name story! Not only because of the amazing combo Sarah and her husband ended up with (I mean, come on: Claire Marie-Therese is amazing!), but also how Sarah’s hesitation over using the same name for a first name that her older daughter has a middle was assuaged by finding out that her hubs’ family has a tradition of sorts doing that very thing. How cool! I think using a different spelling is pretty great too. And using a double middle that’s sort of like big Sis’ “double” first. And all the saintly connections (I love how Mother Teresa and St. Therese are woven together so nicely!). And Mary! And what great taste Sarah and her hubs have (I love Nathaniel, Julianne, and Claire together!). Great job all around!

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


Claire Marie-Therese

Birth announcement: Walter Dominic!

I posted a consultation for Michelle the day after Christmas, and I’m delighted to share that she’s let me know her little guy has arrived — the so-handsomely named … Walter Dominic!

Michelle writes,

Baby boy arrived! After two months of bed rest and nearly three weeks in the hospital due to chronic placenta abruptions we welcomed Walter Dominic on January 21 at 3:30 pm, 6pounds 6ounces! He arrived on the last day of the Dominican Jubilee year, in fact I was able to watch the closing Mass live early that morning after my water broke in the hospital!

I loved loved loved your suggestion of Albert and Gregor and Casper was on the table (especially as I was in the hospital through the week of Epiphany) but ultimately both hubby and I agreed that he was to be Walter Dominic. Servant of God Walter Ciszek along with Holy Father Dominic are both men whom I only pray our son will mirror in this life! Both men whose faith and spirit are relevant in our current world and so with them I pray for our new babe.

We are thrilled he is here and that Our lady kept both of us safe throughout the 36 week pregnancy. Thank you for your ideas!

What an end-of-pregnancy this mama had! And I’m so happy that the baby was born on the last day of the Dominican Jubilee Year, with Michelle having a Dominican sensibility and her other kiddos having such Dominican names — God’s perfect timing! And I love the combo Walter Dominic — it fits in so perfectly with his big sibs’ names, and has such wonderful patrons!

Congratulations to Michelle and her husband and big sibs Henrik, Philip, Martin, Dennis, and Brigit, and happy birthday Baby Walter!!

Walter Dominic and his big siblings!

And a bonus picture! This is from last All Saints’ Day — all the kids (minus Walter of course) dressed up as Dominican saints! 😍


Left to right: Fra Angelico (Philip), St. Martin de Porres (Martin), Bl. Imelda (Brigit — her brothers chose for her!), St. Hyacinth (Dennis), St. Dominic (Henrik)