Ask a Franciscan

Giving a Saint’s Name at Baptism 

A baby being blessed

Is this required? Some Christians have first names that are not those of a saint or a variant on a saint’s name. 

This is customary but not required. Some Christians are named for virtues—for example, faith, hope, or charity. 

The rule here is that a first name should not be contrary to the Christian faith. Thus, for example, it would be inappropriate to baptize someone with the name Satan, adultery, murder, or something similar. 

A saint’s name is no guarantee about how a person’s life will unfold, but it re-affirms actions and values that are important and trustworthy. 

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