Baby name consultation: Canon/outside- or inside-the-box/heavy-hitting names are all considerations for baby no. 5!

It’s Thanksgiving week! Woo! I am so grateful for all of you!! I hope you have a wonderful holiday, and enjoy today’s consultation by Theresa (who I’m also so grateful for!)!

Mama Katie writes in asking for help naming their 6th child!

We are 21 weeks along and haven’t found out the gender yet, but I just might if I can’t figure out the name! Ha!

This baby will be joining big siblings:

Gabriel (in heaven)
Paul Christopher sometimes called “PK”
Immaculata Gracie “Gracie”
Jacinta Katherine “Cinta”
Joseph David sometimes called “Bubba” or “Buddy”

She writes about names they’re currently drawn to:

Celine – especially after reading her relationship with her younger sister, St. Therese, this is probably our top runner. June – my mom’s name and my husband’s maternal grandmother – and I like the feel of it even as a first name, but I don’t want to have three J’s in a row – Jacinta, Joseph and June. Maybe a middle name for Celine, with the nickname of CJ? Christiana – I have always liked this name, but I don’t really want to have it shortened to “Chris.” Margaret Mary – This is my great grandmother’s name reversed (She was Mary Margaret) – but I also have a devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Maria- since I have a niece Mary, I have thought Maria would be a pretty name, but I’ve also considered making little one’s name even more like Celine Martin and having it be “Marie-Celine”…Timothy – the biblical connection to St. Paul, as well as our beloved pastor of our parish. I’m not sure about what to use for a middle name! Maximillian. Frassati – this has been a pipe dream of mine, because my husband wouldn’t go for something so out of the box for a boy. Haha. Roy – I don’t know if this would work in at all, but my dear father passed away a year ago, and his best friend is named Roy, and Roy has become so dear to me. My husband might reject that name, but it is in the background for me anyway. We have started attending the Traditional Latin Mass, and I keep looking in the Canon for some of those heavy hitting names, but I’m unsure of any of the names.”

Some thoughts on names they like but maybe don’t feel quite like “the one”.

Celine– I really love this one for them! I think it’s sweet just like their other girls, I love the connection to Celine Martin and sweet St. Therese. I think it’s a great fit with all of their kids. Since all of the Martin girls, except the oldest, went by the second part of their names, I think just Celine to honor her and Therese would be lovely. I like the sound of Celine with their others better than Marie-Celine. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Celine are so so sweet. I really really love this.

June– I like this for them but I agree that three Js in a row is a bit much. I like the sound of Celine June, June grounds it. Two names in a row that end in the N sound might be a bit much, though. I think there may be better names out there for them.

Christiana– I love this name, too! I really love Christiana June, too, and I think they could keep it from getting shortened to “Chris” by just insisting her name is Christiana. I knew a Christiana in college who had never been Chris. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Christiana sound amazing together.

Maria– Cute, good, standard, traditional name. I think it may be too close to their niece Mary, though. I think there are better names for them out there.

Margaret Mary– I like this but I don’t love it. It’s not as sweet as their other girls, but I do love the connection to her grandmother and the Sacred Heart.

Timothy– I really like this for them! Gabriel, Paul, Immaculate/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Timothy sound great to me. I think this name is really right in their wheelhouse. As far as a middle name with it, I think any of the other names they like would go well with it. Timothy Maximilian and Timothy Roy stand out to me.

Maximilian– I love this name for them. It fits right in with everyone else. The only drawback is it would almost definitely get shortened to Max (in my experience, this one gets shortened a lot more commonly than a name like Christiana does). Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Maximilian sound complete to me.

Frassati– I like this but I don’t think it fits with their other boys. Their boy style strikes me as very traditional, maybe a little old man chic. Frassati matches their girls, though! I think they could stick this in the middle spot and get the best of both worlds!

Roy– I’m not completely sure what it is about this name, but I really love it for them. It gives that old man chic that I think is their sweet spot and it has such a sweet meaning and connection for their family. I think this would be especially great in the middle spot.

Okay, on to new suggestions. Their current children’s names and the names they like really inspired me and I had a hard time getting it down to 5 names for each gender! Let’s start with the girls.

Girl

(1) Anastasia

This is a name found in the Canon, a great saint, and it’s a little frillier like their other girls. It’s slightly popular right now at #181 and I think that’s a great place for them to be. It means “resurrection,” so it has a direct connection to Jesus, too. Full disclosure, this is my oldest daughter’s second middle name and we adore it. I would’ve considered this as a first name for another daughter if I hadn’t already used it. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Anastasia sound incredible together! I really really love Anastasia Celine or Celine Anastasia or even Anastasia June! Really, this name goes with every other name they like and I love how it fits into their family.

(2) Annunziata

This one was directly inspired by Immaculata and Gabriel. I think they lean a little unusual and frilly in their girl names and this one fits that to a T. I love the Marian connection for their girls (Jacinta is Marian to me because of being one of the visionaries at Fatima). It’s a reference to the Annunciation, tying in some of their other children and I think it’s just such a sweet name. If, like Immaculata, she’s a little hesitant about her name, she can always shorten it to Annie. However, I think Immaculata may be more into her name if she had a similarly named sister. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Annunziata/Annie sound so spectacular!

(3) Hildegard

Not many families could pull this name off, but I think theirs totally could. It’s outside the box like their other girls, unusual but not weird, and has a powerhouse saint connection (St. Hildegard of Bingen). It means “battle enclosure” and is outside of the top 1000 names. It can shorten to Hildie or Hilda if necessary, but I like the whole thing. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Hildegard sound stunningly Catholic and they all fit together well.

(4) Beatrice

I thought of this one because it was a style match for some of their girls and names they like and because it’s a little bit frilly but still sweet. It means “blessed, happy” and is at #565 right now. There is one saint and several blessed by this name, so it’s steeped in Catholicism. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Beatrice are all so sweet together.

(5) Aurelia/Aurora

I wasn’t sure which of these they’d like better, so I’m including them both. Aurelia means “golden, gilded,” is at #516, and there’s Bl. Aurelia of Wirberg for patronage. Aurora means “dawn,” is at #36 (so significantly more popular, although not enough to see a double in their circles, most likely), and has Ven. Aurora Calvo Hernández-Agero for patronage. I like that both of these are a little unusual and frilly and super sweet, just like their other girls. These are just a little outside the box, especially in Catholic circles, and I think that’s their sweet spot for girls. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Aurelia/Aurora are so beautiful together.

On to boys!

Boy

(1) Thaddeus

This is such a sweet, traditional name that’s in the Canon for the Apostle St. Jude Thaddeus. It’s uncommon (it sits at #818) but it’s not weird. And it shortens to the super sweet Tad (or Tadpole when he’s really little. Swoon!). It means “heart” or “gift of God” and may be related to the mega-popular Theodore. I think Thaddeus is a great fit and bridge between their girls and their boys. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Thaddeus sounds really great, very Catholic, and somewhat
traditional to me.

(2) Silas

I thought of this name because St. Silas/Silvanus was a companion of Paul and I thought that would be a sweet way to honor brothers. Silas means “wood, forest” and sits at #91, meaning it’s gaining in popularity but is not overly popular. This one is a little more up-and-coming than their other children’s names, but I don’t think it’s a mismatch. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Silas sound fun, modern, and yet traditional.

(3) Walter

I said elsewhere that I think their boy style is old man chic and this name is old man chic! It sits at #271 which means it’s up-and-coming but not overly popular, traditional but also modern, uncommon but not unusual. This is their sweet spot. There are plenty of Sts. Walter but I always think of Ven. Walter Ciszek who was an American chaplain in the Army. Fitting, since the name means “ruler of the army.” Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Walter sound so great together–– traditional,
outside the box, uncommon but not weird, very Catholic.

(4) Charles

This name is pretty popular at #50 right now but it also gives me the old man chic vibes that their other boys (and names they like) give me. It means “man” which is cool and can relate to St. Charles Borromeo or even Pope St. John Paul II as his given name was another form of Charles, Karol. This name is up-and-coming but yet traditional, which is a good spot for them to be. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Charles sound like a complete set to me.

(5) Blaise

This name is way less common than it seems at #997! I was shocked to find this out. I would’ve put it in the #400s but the numbers don’t lie. What that means is that this name is uncommon but not weird and modern-sounding. It also sounds energetic for its homophone “blaze.” It really means “lisping” but meaning is what we put into a name. St. Blaise is the patron saint of throat problems. Gosh, I just really love this name for them. I think it checks every box for them. Gabriel, Paul, Immaculata/Gracie, Jacinta, Joseph, and Blaise sound so cool, modern, traditional, and Catholic to me. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that this is my favorite. Blaise Timothy, Blaise, Roy, and Blaise Thaddeus stand out to me as full combos.

These are my thoughts. What do you think?


Read all about how to get your own baby name consultation from either Theresa or myself here.

For help with Marian names, 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). It’s perfect for expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady!

Names to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Today is the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is celebrated every year on the Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi, nineteen days after Pentecost. As a result, its date changes every year. It doesn’t feel like a coincidence to me that it falls on the same day as Juneteenth this year, of all years. What a lovely and specific reminder of Jesus’ love when so many are hurting, especially since, as CatholicSaints.info noted, “Love, consecration, and reparation are the characteristic acts of this devotion” to the Sacred Heart. I also read this article at the National Catholic Register today: Did You Know the Sacred Heart Devotion Was Established As a Plague Raged? As Covid-19 numbers are going up again for many parts of the country, knowing of the specific connection of the devotion to the Sacred Heart to the end of the bubonic plague in the city of Marseille is especially comforting:

The story of a Visitation sister, Venerable Anne-Madeleine Remuzat, and her continuation of work begun in the previous century to promote devotion and reparation to the Sacred Heart, together with Bishop Henri de Belsunce’s zealous care for the Catholics of Marseille during a terrible contagion, is inspiring as Catholics worldwide now implore God to end the current pandemic.”

Yesterday, Maria from Molin & Co. asked in her Instagram stories for ideas of boy names to honor the Sacred Heart, and I was sitting in the car at the orthodontist waiting for my boys to be done with their appointments, so I was able to jump right on that! I gave her some ideas I thought of right away, but then researched a bit more later and came up with some additional ideas. They break down into four categories (all name meanings come from Behind the Name):

Names that refer to “heart”

Girl
Cora: Cor is “heart” in Latin; this name is often given in honor of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for the same reason

Cordula: While Cora doesn’t technically (etymologically) come from the Latin cor, Behind the Name says that Cordula actually does!

Ruby: For the redness of the Sacred Heart; see my spotlight on Ruby

Boy
Caleb: One theory (not the dominant one, unfortunately, but still possible) is that Caleb may come from the Hebrew for “whole, all of” plus “heart”

Hugh, Hugo: They mean “heart, mind, spirit” (because of the “spirit” meaning, I included them in a listing of names for the Holy Spirit)

Thaddeus: One theory is that it means “heart”

Names that mean “holy”

Girl
Ariadne: Means “most holy” in Greek

Glenys: From the Welsh for “pure, clean, holy”

Naomh: Means “holy, saint” in Irish; I spotlighted it here

Sancha/Sence/Sens: These names all mean “holy”

Boy
Jerome: This literally means “holy name” (maybe I should have named the blog “Jeromes”? 😂)

Sancho/Santius/Sanz: See Sancha et al. above; this is the masculine variant (Sancho Panza from Don Quixote is a famous literary bearer of the name, and his daughter was variously referred to as María Sancha, Marisancha, Marica, María, Sancha and Sanchica — all references to Holy Mary)

Names for Jesus

Girl
Christina, Christine, Christiane, Christa, etc. (and their K- spellings): All referring to Christ. Christi is Latin for “of/belonging to Christ” (e.g. Mater Christi: “Mother of Christ”)

Emmanuelle, Emmanuela: Referring to Jesus

Boy
Christopher, Christian, etc.: Referring to Christ

Emmanuel: Ditto

Joshua: The name Jesus comes from a Greek translation of the Aramaic Yeshua (Joshua)

Names of saints who had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart

This article on the Saints of the Sacred Heart is great — it gives a little explanation of why each person is included in the list. It includes some lay people as well, but these are the Servants of God (SOGs)/Venerables/Blesseds/Saints it includes:

Bl. Anna Magdalena Rémuzat (the same Anne-Madeleine Remuzat mentioned above)
St. Louis Grignion de Montfort
St. Veronica Giuliani
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Bl. Bernardo de Hoyos
SOG Pierre Picot de Clorivière
Ven. Pio Bruno Lanteri
St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
St. Michael Garicoïts
St. Peter Julian Eymard
St. John Bosco
Bl. Catherine Volpicelli
St. Frances Cabrini
Bl. Benigna Consolata Ferrero
St. Maximilian Kolbe
St. Faustina Kowalska

Others I’ve come across include:

SOG Julia Greeley (I shared more about her earlier this week)
Bl. Solanus Casey (I just posted about his family’s names yesterday)
Bl. Karl, Emperor of Austria, and his wife, SOG Zita, Empress (read this beautiful story for more info)
St. Gertrude (one of the others who shared name ideas in response to Maria’s request noted that St. Gertrude’s devotion to the Sacred Heart pre-dated that of the most famous Sacred Heart saint, Margaret Mary Alacoque; read more here and here)

Others from the stories

Other followers of Maria’s offered some ideas for boys that I thought were inspired! They include:

Amory (because of amor meaning “love”)

Claude (for St. Claude de Columbiere, who spread devotion to the Sacred Heart and was also the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque)

Corey, Corman, and Cormoran (because of the cor connection, which make me also think of Cormac)

Gary (for St. Gertrude — the “Gar” in Gary and the “Ger” in Gertrude come from the same Germanic element! Gerard and Gerald share that as well)

Graceson (because of the “grace” connection)

John/Jack (after St. John Eudes, who spread devotion to the Sacred Heart and is represented with the hearts of Jesus and Mary)

Leo (after Pope Leo XIII, who wrote the encyclical Annum Sacrum, on the consecration of the whole world to the Sacred Heart)

Pio (Pius IX established the feast of the Sacred Heart; Pius XII wrote the encyclical Haurietis Aquas “On Devotion to the Sacred Heart”)

Richard (for the Lionheart! So clever!)

Rory (for the red of the heart — Rory means “red king,” which adds an extra layer of significance in regards to the Sacred Heart!)

Zacharias (“someone the Lord thought of and favored”)

Can you think of any other names you’d add to this list of names to honor the Sacred Heart of Jesus? Have you named any of your children in honor of His Heart, or do you know anyone who has? Have a great weekend!


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!

Happy Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus! (And redemption of Black Friday Special No. 3)

I just posted a [not fun] Friday question a few minutes ago, completely forgetting to wish you all a happy Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus! I’ve written several things about His Holy Name, which I link to in this post, and I also just discovered that the diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina has the Holy Name of Jesus as one of its patrons! (The other is the Sacred Heart of Jesus — those are some heavy hitting patrons!) So happy patronal feast day to all you Raleigh-ites!

Today is also the day that I start accepting consultation requests from those of you who took advantage of my Black Friday Special No. 3. I look forward to hearing from you!


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!

Please pray for the family of Zita Marie-Catherine <3

A mama that I’d emailed with regarding the name for her baby girl, due later this summer, has let me know that her baby was stillborn a week ago today.

She writes,

Hi, Kate,

I just wanted to let you know that sadly our sweet Zita was stillborn last Friday, June 8th, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. On Thursday morning I woke up and realized she wasn’t moving. By 9:30 an ultrasound confirmed our worst fears, that her heart had stopped beating. I was 29 weeks. It appears my placenta partially abrupted — enough to cut off her oxygen and nutrient supply. For her middle name we chose Marie-Catherine. Labor took almost 24 hours and she wasn’t born until 7:29 pm on the 8th, so it was also the vigil of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is one of the reasons for Marie. Marie is also my middle name and I wanted to give her a piece of me. We hyphenated the name to make it even more French-like in order to connect her to her sisters who also have French middle names.

I think you’ll appreciate how our naming of Zita really shows how often our children’s names weren’t necessarily chosen by us, but by God. In Italian it means “little girl.” A couple of nights ago I was also reading up on [Bl. Karl and his wife, Servant of God Zita] again and was floored to realize Karl had a deep devotion to the Sacred Heart — so much so he slept with an image of the Sacred Heart under his pillow and on his deathbed he said to Zita: “We will always be together in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.” Of course this knowledge only made my tears flow again. My husband and I have actually talked about putting this quote on our Zita’s gravestone.

Thank you for all of your suggestions regarding Zita’s name. We know we (or I should say God) has chosen a good one for our precious daughter.”

Please keep Zita’s beautiful family in your prayers as they go through this terribly hard time. Bl. Karl, SOG Zita, Mother Mary, and St. Anne, please pray for them!

Baby Zita with her family ❤ ❤ ❤