Saints’ Names: Unusual Baby Names from an Inspirational Source

January 5, 2010 Pamela Redmond

There are so many unusual, beautiful, intriguing saints’ names that it’s hard to know where to start when considering them as a source for baby names.  The collection that follows are the names of saints with winter feast days, which might be a source of inspiration for choosing the name of your own baby.  There are lots more wonderful choices (and saints) where these came from, but among the most intriguing winter saints’ names are:

AMBROSE – Patron saint of candle makers.

ADELARD — A cousin of Charlemagne who became a monk, a devoted gardener, and eventually a powerful abbot.

ANSKAR – Missionary to Scandinavia in the 9th century who tried to ease the harsh conditions of the Viking slave trade.

APOLLONIA – She had all her teeth knocked out for refusing to renounce her faith, and is now the patron saint of dentists.

BASILISSA – Also known as Basilla, this Roman noblewoman was beheaded for her belief in Christianity.  She is the patron saint of breast-feeding.

BAVO —  Nobleman who gave away all his money and became a hermit.  He is the patron saint of the Netherlands.

CAIAN – A Welsh saint who was said to be the son or grandson of a king.

COLMANPoet and royal bard who went on to become a bishop in his native Ireland.

CYBI – Welsh abbot who is also called Cuby and Kabius.

CYPRIAN – There were several saints with this name.  The most important was Cyrprian of Carthage, an early writer on the church, a bishop, and patron saint of North Africa.

DAMASUS – Patron saint of archaeologists.

EMILIANA — Mystic and aunt of a pope whose name could be a new spin on the popular Emma and Emily clan.

EUSEBIA – Nun from a family of saints who was head of a convent at age 12.

FELICULA – Roman virgin martyr.

FLORIANRoman soldier who is the patron saint of firefighters.

FURSEY – Evangelical Irish monk given to visions of the afterlife.

GENEVIEVE – Consecrated as a virgin when she was still a child, Saint Genevieve gained renown by exhorting the inhabitants of Paris to fast and pray in order to ward off the invasion of Attila, who indeed changed his course and did not attack the city.  Her symbol is a loaf of bread. (That’s her, pictured.)

GLASTIAN – Bishop who mediated between the Scots and the Picts.

IVOSaint Ivo of Kermartin is the patron saint of abandoned children.

LUDMILA – Slavic princess who married a Bohemian duke, with whom she build a church near Prague.

MAXIMUS – Patron saint of babies.

ORMOND — Evangelical French abbot.

PELAGIA – A wealthy and beautiful actress of Antioch who, after her conversion, became a hermit who lived in a cave as a man known as “the beardless monk.”

PETROC – Reputed son of a Welsh king who traveled widely before settling in Cornwall, of which he is a patron saint.  A hermit, he performed several miracles.

SAVINA — A native of Milan who ministered to those in the city prison.

TALIDA — She led a convent in Egypt.

TRESSAN – Also called Tresian, left his native Ireland to spread the faith in France.

ULTAN – Seventh century Irish abbot who succeeded Saint Breccan as bishop and was the brother of Saint Fursey.

ZITA – Devout housekeeper who helped the sick and poor and is the patron saint of domestic workers.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its new sequel, Older.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles


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