Naming a baby (or choosing a Confirmation name!) can be a tough, daunting task – especially for Catholics! There are all different kinds of naming styles and so many considerations, such as family traditions or names, if you want to directly or indirectly honor someone, popularity, and a host of others.
But what if you want to name your baby after the Blessed Virgin? Are Mary, Marie, and Maria your only options? What if you’d like your boy’s name to reflect devotion to her? Kate Morna Towne of Sancta Nomina has your back. Kate is a name consultant for expecting couples. As a purveyor of names and their histories, her tips are like drops of grace and faith. And now they’re even more accessible!
Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady is her debut book and will make a great addition to the shelves of any parents, any teens preparing for Confirmation, or anyone who just loves names!
In each entry, Towne offers a name, explanation, possible nicknames, corresponding feast day, and related names if applicable. Here are some interesting names from the book:
1. Marian place name
Have you heard of the icon Madonna della Achiropita? She just appeared on the wall of a church in Italy! Achirpita is Greek for “not made by hands”.
Or what about the apparition of Our Lady in Akita?
Achiropita and Akita would make lovely unexpected choices with which to honor Mary. Of course, other more popular choices in the category are Fatima, Guadalupe, and Lourdes, but there are still others– like Tepyac or Walsingham for boys!
2. Titles of Mary
Araceli is a beautiful name that refers to Our Lady’s title as “Altar of Heaven”. Reginald on a boy would signify devotion to Mary as Queen of Heaven..
Read more: 26 Names of Mary
Carmen is a lovely way to honor Our Lady of Mount Carmel and Carmine or Elijah would be unexpected ways to honor this title of Mary on a boy!
Danica means “morning star” which is a title of Mary in the Litany of Loreto.
3. Marian feast days
There are beautiful Marian names that can come from Marian feast days. For example, Annunziata is an Italian name referring to the Annunciation. A masculine form is Nunzio. Or you could name a child Gabrielle/Gabriella or Gabriel after the archangel who delivered the news to Mary.
Assumpta (the Assumption) and Concepta (the Immaculate Conception) are other ways to invoke Marian feast days on girls and Tristan (for Our Lady of Sorrows) and Victor (for Our Lady of Victory/Holy Rosary) for boys!
4. Marian characteristics
Leeson is a boy’s name that derives from the Latin laetitia which means “joy” and refers to Our Lady, Cause of Our Joy. Clement and Clementine both refer to Mary’s clemency or mercy, and Ransom and Faver for boys refer to Mary’s help and mercy.
Or how about Blue which is the color used to signify Mary and the color she most often appears wearing. This would fit well on a boy or a girl!
For these and over 250 other ways to name a girl or boy for Mary, grab a copy of Katherine Morna Towne’s new book Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady.