This is a post I should have written long ago, and I thank my dear husband for the idea. Naming any child is a big undertaking, and one that we have not taken lightly with any of our kids. All of our children are named after either a Catholic Saint or figure in the Bible, also with some family names that are also Biblical. Here’s the meaning and story behind each of our kid’s names.
As many people know, St Gabriel is the angel who announced to Mary that she was to conceive from the Holy Ghost and deliver Jesus. St Gabriel is one of three archangels and is the saint of messengers. We heard a reading in Mass one week when I was pregnant with Gabriel and both instantly agreed on the name.
St Anthony is considered the finder of lost articles and is considered a Doctor of the Church. He spent much of his life preaching and sharing God’s message with anyone or thing that would listen. Anthony is also the name of a deceased family member on Jeremiah’s side that would have been very close in age to Jeremiah.
Gabriel has always loved knowing that he is named after an angel. He even played the Angel Gabriel in a preschool Christmas program once! He enjoys reading about the angels and proudly displays his many St Gabriel artifacts and statues in his room.
Prayer for the intercession of St Gabriel:
O Blessed Archangel Gabriel, we beseech thee, do thou intercede for us at the throne of divine Mercy in our present necessities, that as thou didst announce to Mary the mystery of the Incarnation, so through thy prayers and patronage in heaven we may obtain the benefits of the same, and sing the praise of God forever in the land of the living. Amen.
St Lucy was persecuted for her faith and many legends have arisen to how and why. Lucy’s eyes were destroyed at her death, but upon burial they were intact. St Lucy is the patron saint of blindness and is often portrayed with her eyes displayed on a plate or cup and holding a palm branch, signifying victory over evil. Lucy means ‘light’. Lucy was a name that came to me when I was pregnant with her. Jeremiah and I both instantly loved it.
Blessed Marie-Rose was a Canadian Roman Catholic religious sister. She founded an order of religious sisters called the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary and was deeply concerned with the poor, despite her own poverty and unavoidable misunderstandings. She died at age 38 and was declared blessed in 1982.
Lucy’s name could not be a better fit for her. She has had her fair share of vision issues and it is quite coincidental that she’s named for the patron saint of vision/blindness. Lucy remains a light in our lives and she’s very proud of her namesake.
Saint Lucy’s Prayer:
Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives. Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation — every corner of our day. Amen
St Amelia is known for her sterling character and devotion to Christ. She became a nun and helped to build and run a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Many miracles are attributed to her, before and after her death in 772. She is often shown with a crucifix and fish. One legend tells of how she escaped a fight by riding on the back of a fish across a river. She is known as the patron saint of fishermen and farmers and healing of the arms and shoulders. Amelia is also the middle name of my mother’s mother, whom passed away before I was born.
St Clare devoted herself to prayer as a young girl and became a nun. She eventually became the leader of her religious order. She became sick for many years and suffered, but said that no pain could trouble her. She is the patron saint of eye disease, goldsmiths and laundry.
Amelia loves to hear about what her saints did and what they are the patron saints for. She has several St Amelia medals and loves reading books about Saints Amelia and Clare.
St Amelia Prayer:
St. Amelia, you are patron saint of people with broken arms–pray for us!
St Ruth is an Old Testament matriarch and the subject of the Biblical Book of Ruth. She was born to a pagan family. She was facing starvation when her mother-in-law, Naomi, urged her to return to her own people. But Ruth declared that the people of God were now her people, their God her God, and she returned to Israel. Her great-grandson was King David, and further down the family tree was Jesus. Literally, Ruth means ‘the compassionate, beautiful friend’.
St Gianna was an Italian pediatrician born in 1922. During her 4th pregnancy, St Gianna refused the suggested abortion and/or hysterectomy, in favor of her child’s life. She had many complications, but continued to practice medicine and care for her own children during the remainder of her pregnancy. She died 1 week after the child’s birth due to septic peritonitis. St. Gianna is the inspiration behind the first pro-life Catholic healthcare center for women in New York, the Gianna Center. St. Gianna is the patron saint of mothers, physicians, and unborn children.
Pope John Paul II described Gianna as, “a simple, but more than ever, significant messenger of divine love.”
Ruth 1:16 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Kateri Elizabeth Ann
St Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church; she was born in 1656. At age 19, Kateri converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. This was very unpopular and dangerous choice with her tribe and she fled to a neighboring community. She died only 5 years later. She often prayed for the conversion of her fellow Mohawks. Kateri is the Mohawk form of Catherine. She became a saint in 2012. She is the patron saint of ecology, the environment, orphans and those ridiculed for their faith.
St Elizabeth Ann’s deep concern for the spiritual welfare of her family and friends eventually led her into the Catholic Church. She helped to establish the first free Catholic school in America. Today, six groups of sisters can trace their origins to Mother Seton’s initial foundation. She became a saint in 1975. She is the patron saint of seafarers and widows.
St Kateri prayer:
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, our elder sister in the Lord, discreetly, you watch over us;
May your love for Jesus and Mary inspire in us words and deeds of friendship, of forgiveness and of reconciliation.
Pray that God will give us the courage, the boldness and the strength to build a world of justice and peace among ourselves and among all nations.
Help us, as you did, to encounter the Creator God present in the very depths of nature, and so become witnesses of Life.
With you, we praise the Father, the Son and the Spirit. Amen.
Holy founders of the Church in North America. Pray for us.