Saintly names


Is the following true: When a Roman Catholic baby was baptized, was he not to have BOTH his first and middle names be Saints’ names? Or names from the Roman Catholic Bible?


Paragraph 2165 of the current Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

In Baptism, the Christian receives his name in the Church. Parents, godparents, and the pastor are to see that he be given a Christian name. The patron saint provides a model of charity and the assurance of his prayer.

The Christian name is most easily a Saint’s name, but could be a name from the Bible. But it’s best that it be a saint’s name and that you celebrate the child’s birthday and the feast of the Patron Saint.

God Bless


Correct. The second or middle name does not have to be a saint’s name or biblical name. It is allowed to be another name or even a (family name).


It would be cool to hear a person named after St. Cypriam


How about after St. Athanasius.


When we went through the pre-Baptism class at my parish, they told us that non-saint names had become more common and parents were free to choose any name they wanted with “family significance”.

It was sort of moot for us since our child was already named after one of the Gospel writers, but I did comment to my husband that it seemed we would have been permitted to name our child Pecan Pie. :wink:


According to the Catechism; Pecan Pie would not be an appropriate Christian name.


But Pecan Pio would be fine :slight_smile:


More specifically, it is a Christian name, meaning that it supports the Faith.

The could be a Saints name, or a Biblical name, or a Virtue (Faith, Hope), or glorifying God via His Creation (Robin, Heather). Or even after the Godhead Himself ( Trinity)


Now that’s a cool name for girls… Trinity.



Oh! I wasn’t aware that there is a specific Church directive on choice of names. I am from India. My own first name is Spanish. Not sure if it is the name of a saint but I was named after a Spanish priest who celebrated Mass the day I was born, which the nurses who took care of me attended. I was baptized that day in an emergency situation.
While a number of Catholics in my country are given “Christian” names, a good number are also given Indian names. I am just a few years short of 60 now and in all these years I was never aware that there is a Church teaching on names. Never have I ever heard any priest object to Indian names.


Choosing a saint’s name honors the saint and helps the individual associate his / her life with the life of the saint.


Did you mean Cyprian? Deal Hudson has a son named Cyprian.


First: the middle name is typically given at Confirmation. Not absolutely, but typically. I think there’s more of a trend now to give middle names at birth.

Next: There was never a requirement that a child have a “saint’s name” not as such. It has to be a Christian name. This is contrary to what people often say or think—that in the past, it had to be a saint’s name absolutely.

This is from the 1962 Roman Ritual
30. A pastor should see to it that the person baptized is given a Christian name. If he does not succeed in this, he must add the name of a saint to the one chosen by the parents, and inscribe both in the baptismal register.

Note that it says a “Christian” name, which is not, strictly speaking, the same as a saint’s name.

The current rule is that it cannot be a name that is opposed to Christianity, which leaves a little more room for parents to choose.


The names Faith, Hope and Charity are saints’ names. They were the three daughters of Saint Sophia. Mother and daughters are all saints, martyred during the reign of Hadrian.


This is a very interesting thread. :slight_smile:

I did not know the information in it. I was given a middle name at the time of my birth. It was the custom back at that time.


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