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Best Cool, Unusual Saints’ Names

posted by: sanctanomina View all posts by this author
baby name Zelie

by Katherine Morna Towne

Naming your baby after a saint is no longer a requirement for Catholics, but many parents with a religious or historic bent want to do so anyway. Fortunately, there are a lot of saints to choose from, from every country and culture, so finding names that fit a more offbeat personal name style isn’t as hard as it might seem. Here are ten of my favorite cool and unusual saints’ names I like suggesting when I do name consultations:

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vintagenun

We all might owe Nameberry’s existence to Sister Miriam Gervase.

While the roots of Linda‘s name nerdism are different from mine — you can read her story here— and I’m sure you all have your own stories to tell, which we’d love to hear! — I trace a large part of my fascination with names to my Catholic girlhood.

Most kids back at Immaculate Conception School were dying to know whether the nuns had hair under those veils or what they wore to bed at night, but to me those mysteries paled in comparison to the nuns’ names.

Nuns got to pick new names for themselves when they entered the convent. That itself was appealing enough, but what was really amazing was that their choices were not confined by ethnic background, historical period, or even gender.

The principal of Immaculate Conception, for instance, was named Sister Miriam Gervase, an appellation that had it all going on. Miriam may have been a Mary relative, but it was one used mostly by Jews. unfamiliar in our Irish and Italian Catholic enclave. And Gervase! That may have been a hot name in 6th century Gaul….for guys. But in mid-20th century New Jersey, it really stood out in the world of Gerrys and Jeans.

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