With All Saints Day coming up, I’ve been thinking about the saints in my own life, and the saints in the lives of my children. I pray that parents, when deciding on a name for their baby, would #1 pray about it – it is not a decision to be made lightly! And #2, choose a saint’s name as one (or more) of the child’s name. This is my humble opinion, as a mother of three.
I will admit that I did not come to this conclusion overnight – but over the course of twenty one years of parenting. With our first child, we named him after his father. That was fairly easy! Luckily, his father had a good, strong name – with a good strong saint for a middle name – Joseph – the foster-father of Jesus – a man who desired the Will of God above his own honor or comfort – a man of honor – a man of sacrifice – a hard-working dad.With my second child, I had begun to listen to God’s voice in my heart. I believe that God had a lot of influence on our choice of a name for our baby girl. Her name kept coming up in songs, on television and in dreams. She is named after the mother of Mary, and St. Elizabeth – there are 3 great Elizabeths that come to the top of my head – John the Baptist’s mother, Seton and Hungary. All amazing – strong but humble women.
With my last child, I knew his name before we even had his gender confirmed. I knew in my heart that our family was missing a member, and that his name would be John. We opened our hearts and home to another child as we approached 40. He is named after John the Baptist and St. Anthony of Padua – amazing men who brought others to Christ.
The reason that I believe a saint’s name is so critical is three-fold – It gives the child a heavenly friend to call upon. It provides a strong Christian/Catholic identity for the child as he/she grows in the faith. Lastly, it gives parents a heavenly helpmate in guiding the child through life on earth to eternal life in heaven.
My children (and students) have loved learning about the saints for whom they were named. It makes them feel special to be associated with such human yet holy people. It gives them a very powerful role model on their own spiritual journeys. I encourage my children to ask the prayers of their heavenly friends in times of trouble, confusion or even celebration. Extra help is a good thing!As a parent, I have found the assistance gained for my children through the intercession of the saints whose name they bear invaluable. I feel that it gives my child another line of defense against the dangers of this world. It gives me a sense of peace to know that my kids have yet another ally in heaven rooting for them until they cross that finish line into paradise.
If you are praying to have a child, or are already expecting a bundle of joy, I ask you to please think about what I have suggested. Pray about it. Just see where God leads you.
“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5