Do I have to choose my baptismal name as that of a saint only?

Hello, I’m expecting to receive baptism on this Christmas, and I wanted to use the word ‘obedience’ in its Latin form (I’m not sure about the word; there seem to be a lot of variations of the word in Latin) as my baptismal name for my personal reasons. I just wanted to be sure if this is allowed in the church. I think it should be allowed considering how Jesus changed the name of Peter, but it seems like most people here choose their baptismal name as that of a saint, which I didn’t like that much.

If it is not possible, I want to go with Faustina (St. Faustina Kowalska), but again I’m not sure if I can use it since I’m using a woman’s name. It should be OK, right?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Baptismal & confirmation names are a pious tradition in some parts of the world. There is no official rulebook on it.

I chose Ephrem Mary for confirmation so I have a man and a woman in mine. I haven’t heard of choosing a virtue before so I would just ask your priest.

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It is very traditional to choose a Christian virtue, typically this is more common with females: Chastity, Prudence, Charity, Faith, Hope.

Some modern thought around this is it might be preferable to choose an actual person, so a confirmandi can study their life, etc. I personally smile when a girl comes forward for Confirmation and has one of the virtue names.

Never run into oboedire, though.

Canon law simply says the name cannot be one that is contrary to Christianity such as Jezebel (enemy of the Chosen People).

Nothing wrong with Oboedentia or Docilitas or the like, but they don’t seem to have been used as names. Same thing with Hypakoe. Obedience and Obedient were Puritan names, however.

“Listen, heed” and “obey” are synonyms in Hebrew, in some cases. I don’t see any Akoustikos, either, though there are the names Audientius and Audientia (listening, hearing).

There’s also St. Auditus of Braga, whose name means “listener.” (The Portuguese-ized version of his name is Ovidius, also meaning “listener,” and which actually has nothing to do with the pagan poet Ovid.) St. Auditus died a martyr in AD 135. (He was the 3rd bishop of Braga, so it must have been a very tough post!) Auditus or Audita would be pretty darned good names.

Mathetes (disciple) has been a name.

In Acts 9:36, Tabitha is described as a “mathetria,” which is a female form of “disciple.” (But again, it doesn’t seem to have been a name, though it seems suitable.)

I don’t see any ear names, but I could easily be missing them.

Hope this helped!

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Was just talking the other night to someone about a relative. It turns out that, say, Leona was her birth name, named after her grandmother, and is on her driver’s license and other legal paperwork, but Elizabeth was her baptismal name, and is what she’s called by anyone who’s on a first-name basis with her.

So that would be an example of a birth name =/= baptismal name.

Simon (m), Simeon (m), Simone (f) – those would be examples of names that have the meaning of “obedient” and “one who hears/hearkens” (and then follows commands, presumably!), but also have a Biblical heritage that would make them appropriate for baptismal use.

Ooh, ooh! Good catch on Simon!

(I was looking for names from the Hebrew root s-m, but didn’t find that one. Staring me in the face!!!)

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Faith, Hope, and Charity are canonized (pre-congregation) saints. They are the 3 daughters of Saint Sophia, the 4th century Martyr of Rome.

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The logical nickname would be ‘Audi’ and I can’t figure out if that would be cool or lame haha

Brrrrrrummmmm, brrrrrrrruuuuuuuummmmmmm, brrrrrrrruuummmmm. :rofl:

Do a search for which name means obedient or whatever you are interested in. Sometimes a good saint name is also a person mentioned in Scripture that you like. Ann, Anna, Hanna means grace in Hebrew and were names of the mother of the Samuel in OT and also the old lady who spent time in the temple and was there when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple as a baby.

Thanks for everyone who replied to this thread! I was having a hard time about this question since there were not many whom I can ask this.

So I guess going with Oboedentia (it seems like the Latin version of ‘obedience’, am I correct?) is not contrary to the chuch teaching? I can choose Simon as the last resort, but I’m kind of worried that the priest might argue WHO exactly is that Simon (he seems to be the stubborn type)… But then again, Hebrew version of ‘obedience’ fits much better than the Latin one, right? What is your opinion about this?

That’s a good one, indeed!

So if I choose Faustina as my baptismal name, it is possible that other people might call me by a girl’s name… I don’t know that just seems weird to me… But in all honesty, if I have to choose my baptismal name of whom I want to regularly pray for, it should be her. Faustina’s diary was really touching to me.

Well, I do know a priest named Fr. Innocent.

Do you like the version with two o’s? Looking at my dictionary, it looks like obedio (etc) is the more commonly-encountered spelling.

Obedentia/Oboedentia seems to be the nominative neuter plural version of the adjective. Obediens is the singular nominative version of the adjective for all three gender cases.

I don’t know about turning Latin words into names-- so you might ask a better linguist to check your endings to make sure it says what you want when you shift from “this is how it’s used in a sentence” to “this is how it’s used in a name.” So in a sentence, you get something like “Obediens usque ad mortem”, which is “obedient unto death”-- see how it’s nominative there (ie, it relates to the subject of the sentence).

After using the word “obediens” so much, it reminded me of the name “Obadiah”. Which means-- big surprise! – “Servant of the Lord”, and was also the name of an OT prophet.

Well, that encourages me in so many ways…

I’ll definitely check it. Indeed I was having a lot of trouble just trying to find the ‘right’ word for obedience in Latin.

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You don’t have to be Faustina. You can be Faustinus. (Or even Faustus, but that might cause some questions if you’re an opera fan… hee!)

There have been several St. Faustinuses, but the most prominent was a bishop of Brescia. (He also compiled a very folkloric life of the earlier local martyrs, Ss. Faustinus and Jovita.)

The root word, faustus, is Latin for “auspicious, lucky, prosperous.”

It’s pretty normal for guys to honor female saints by taking male forms of their names, and vice versa. Guys taking female saint names and vice versa is pretty hardcore, though. (Much more common in France or Spain than in English-speaking countries.)

Don’t overthink this. Still, I’m glad you are putting some thought into this! Maybe sleep on it.

Thank you so much! Faustinus would work, but I’d never been auspicious, lucky nor prosperous… That hurts.

I’m thinking of going with either Obedientia or Simon. I will pray until I have a chance of making my decision in front of the priest. Hope it turns out all good. :smile:

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