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 ❤ ❤ ❤