Sunday, March 11, 2007

Musing, musing

I am still discerning my vocation (I am the world's slowest discerner). Nevertheless, I am like most girls in that I like to make lists of names I would give my "future children." When I was younger I used to be sort of obsessed with this, but my passion for baby names has been replaced by a passion for all things Catholic, thank goodness. I still sometimes make lists, though. Here are a few names I've come up with recently:


1. Mary Margaret Rose

Mary is the name of the Blessed Virgin, of course, and is also a family name, although my great-great-grandmother was always nicknamed Molly. This one name I wouldn't want to use a nickname for, because it's just so beautiful! Margaret is my name and the name of my great-grandmother. Rose is just pretty, and it's also a title of the Virgin.

2. Caroline Patricia Jean

Caroline is a nice feminine version of Karol, after Pope John Paul II. Patricia is my mother's name, and Jean is my grandmother's name. I like Caro - Italian for "dear," by the way - as a nickname.

3. Alice Elizabeth Anastasia

There is a St. Alice (not well-known) who was "put on the books" by St. Pius X; she was a leper whose chief consolation was the Holy Eucharist. Elizabeth is my sister's name and another great-grandmother's name, besides being the name of the Blessed Mother's cousin. St. Anastasia was martyred during the persecutions of Diocletian. Her name is mentioned in the Roman Canon and her feast day is celebrated on Christmas Day. Her name means "resurrection."

4. Eleanor Virginia Anne

When I was young, I loved reading about Eleanor of Aquitaine, who, after all, went on one of the Crusades :) Her first husband, Louis VII of France, gave refuge to St. Thomas Becket when her second husband, Henry II, chased the good archbishop out of England. Virginia is in honor of the Blessed Virgin, of course. Anne is a family name, my mother's middle name and my great-great aunt's name (She was actually Mary Anne, after her mother, but they called her Maime).


1. John Arthur Alcuin

John is in honor of the Beloved Disciple. Arthur is my kid brother's name, and Bl. Alcuin of York was extremely influential both in the court of Charlemagne and in the Church; he did a tremendous amount with the liturgy, for example, and he is also in some way responsible for our use of capital letters (before the invention of carolingian miniscule, europeans wrote everything without much punctuation at all which makes it much much much messier and harder to read as you can see especially since printing methods tendedtomakewordsruntogether). Ah, the things you learn in a college capstone class!

2. Anthony Charles Theodore

Anthony is my other brother's name and the name of our family's patron, St. Anthony of Padua. Charles is my grandfather's name and my great-grandfather's name, and Theodore is my father's middle name. (He goes by "Ted" because "Werner" really screamed "son of immigrants!" when he was young. Actually, his parents even spelled Theodore in the Germanic way, as Theodor, without an e. Everybody gets it wrong. They even misspelled it as Theodore on my parents' wedding invitations. )

3. Linus Patrick Pius

St. Linus was the second pope, coming right after St. Peter himself. Patrick is, of course, the patron saint of Ireland. How could I with my Irish blood fail to include him? Pius is the name of St. Pius V, who beat back the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto, codified the liturgy, reformed the breviary, declared Queen Elizabeth I of England a heretic, and was the first pope to wear white (he just never took off his Dominican habit, even after his election). St. Pius X was a great fighter of the modernist heresy, which, alas, was not mortally wounded by his efforts. Also, Pius is the Latin form of Pio, which of course is the name of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, the great Italian mystic and stigmatic who died in the 1970s.

4. Damian Henry Benedict

Damian is the name of our associate pastor here. He is a wonderful, young, orthdox priest, and he has sent 6 young men to the seminary in the 4 years he has been here, with another 4 boys planning to enter next fall. Henry is my great-grandfather's name, and Benedict is the pope!

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