Saint's name


Saint's name

A saint’s name is the name of a saint given to individuals at their baptism within the Catholic Church. The custom of giving the name of a saint goes back to the earliest days of the Church. Although once required, it is no longer necessary to name the child after a saint as Canon 855 of the Code of Canon Law states "Parents, sponsors and parish priests are to take care that a name is not given which is foreign to christian sentiment." It is believed that the saint whose name is chosen will serve as a special patron to protect, guide, and be the heavenly intercessor for, the individual who bears his or her name.

In some cases, parents may give both a saint's name and a secular name to a child, allowing them to use the saint's name for religious purposes and the secular name for all other purposes.

In some countries, the saint's day of the person's name is celebrated as a birthday is in other countries. A child may also be named after the saint whose feast is the child's birthday.

Origins

The term "Christian name" (first name) originates with the pagans of Europe who discarded their pagan names for Biblical ones when they converted to Christianity and participated in baptism.

History

Today, our names are often thought of as our most personal possession. It tells the world who we are. Psychologists have even concluded that a name can predispose other people to like or dislike us.

Throughout history, some tribes have kept their names secret, in order that an enemy could not have power over them.

The history of saint’s names is just as filled with religious beliefs. In 325 A.D., the Catholic Church outlawed the use of pagan names like MarcusFact|date=August 2008 and Diana, which referred to pagan gods. Much later, in 1545, the use of a saint’s name was made mandatory for Catholic baptism.

Modern first names have evolved further, due largely to two things: the Protestants, and Slavery. In the 1600’s, Protestants rejected anything Catholic, turning from saint names in the New Testament to Old Testament names like Elijah, Joshua, Patience, and even He-Soundeth-the-Trumpets-for-Jehovah or Praise-God.

References


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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