What’s in a (Confirmation) name?


For those of us born into the Catholic religion, and who receive the sacrament of Confirmation, choosing the name of a Saint is an integral part of the whole process. In a way, it’s meant to help us identify our own strengths and weaknesses.

  For example, when I was confirmed I chose the name Clare in honour of Saint Clare of Assisi whose feast day falls on 11th of August, (by coincidence only days after my own birthday). But my reasons for taking Clare’s name weren’t religious, nor had they anything to do with the August connection, they were actually spiritual and due to the fact Clare was one of the first followers of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

  Now at the time, most of my classmates were choosing the name Thérèse in honour of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, but as I’m actually christened Miriam-Thérèse, after ‘the little flower,’ and I adore animals, (the kids call me Dr Diva Doolittle), Clare was a no-brainer for me. So, now ya know.

  And so, as it’s a custom to choose a Saint’s name, I suppose we really should encourage our kids to try to honour someone who has proved inspirational in their lives, someone whom, if they were alive today, could teach our kids a lot about using their wisdom and insights to try and shape those around us, so that maybe, just maybe, the world would become a better place. Then again, your kid could have fun and choose a name the Bishop will have huge trouble pronouncing! Oops; I’m going straight to hell, aren’t I!

  Below are some of this year’s inspirational front-runners; see if your darling identifies with any of them. And no they’re not Bear or Apple.

Patrick – The whippersnapper patron saint of green Guinness, dodgy hats, colourful parades and scourge of snakes.

Peter – Leader of the pack, well the 12 disciples; he was really called Simon, but apparently Jesus nicknamed him Peter; however, as he became the very first Pope, we could say St Peter was a bit of a trendsetter.

Bridget – Having been stored in the attic since the 1950s, the name Bridget is back with a bang. This solid role model for all young Irish girls is a bit of a latter day Martha Stewart who fashioned her iconic cross from rushes, which is said to ward off evil and hunger. Brigid was also instrumental in persuading so called pagans to embrace Catholicism, making her the Superwoman of her era.

Bernadette Soubirous – A stunningly beautiful teenager who became the media sensation of her time, so to speak. At age 14 when Bernadette witnessed a series of life-changing visions of the Virgin Mary in Lourdes, her parents were morto and told her to get a grip, however the stubborn teen ignored them and continued to visit what is now a place of worship and miraculous healings.