Why is the NAME OF A SAINT given in Baptism?

The name of a saint is given in Baptism in order that the person baptized may imitate his virtues, and have him for a protector.

1. The names of angels are also given, as well as names referring to mysteries or sacred appellations, events, and doctrines.

In certain countries it is a practice, even when another baptismal name is given, to include for girls the name Mary, and for the boys the name Joseph; for example: Mary Louise, Joseph Francis, etc.

2. The Church does not approve of heathen or fantastical names, such as combinations taken from a film or novel, or made up from various words.

Christian parents will quite naturally want to give a Christian name to their child. At least one of the child’s names must be a saint’s name, so that the child may have a patron in heaven whose virtues he may imitate and to whom he may look for protection and help. It is permissible to add non-saint names, such as family names, if the parents wish. There are books and pamphlets available in Catholic bookstores which contain lists of saints’ names to help parents with their choice.

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