Saint names for babies-A A +A
Saturday, October 20, 2012
A Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) official made a good point about parents no longer naming their babies after saints.
There was a time when babies were named Lourdes or Maria Lourdes if born in February, the month marking the feast of the Our Lady of Lourdes, or Niño in December or January to mark the birth of the baby Jesus and the celebration of the child Jesus.
In recent years, however, we’ve heard of babies being given foreign-sounding names like Aysha or Phoebe or Liam, or variations of names of saints like Xander for St. Alexander or Mikhael for St. Michael and Kathryn for St. Catherine.
Fr. Conegundo Garganta, CBCP–Episcopal Commission on Youth executive secretary, said he hoped the canonization today, Sunday, of Pedro Calungsod as the second Filipino saint would have parents naming their newborn after him. “They (parents) can do that especially if the birth of their child happens to fall on the day he (Calungsod) was canonized or it can also be the couple’s way of thanking the saint for answering their prayers,” Garganta said in a Sun.Star website report at www.sunstar.com.ph.
After today, there may be a rise in the number of babies named Pedro or Pedrito.
Garganta said the practice decades ago of naming children after saints waned in recent years. Parents would now name babies after popular personalities like international artists and leaders. “The Church’s influence on the people before was strong, especially in terms of giving names to children, but when we became more western in our ways and practices, people started naming children after popular personalities,” he said.
More than the name, however, he said what’s important is that parents guide their children on how to live in God’s name. “Just because you gave a name of a saint to your child it doesn’t mean that they’ll turn out to be good people. That’s why parents should properly mold their children, especially in faith,” Garganta said.
Calungsod is set to be canonized Sunday in Vatican by Pope Benedict XVI. He will be the second Filipino saint after Pope John Paul II canonized San Lorenzo Ruiz in 1987.
Cebuanos are among those in Rome for the event as Calungsod was believed to have Visayan roots. He was doing missionary work in Guam in 1672 when he was killed at the age of 17.
The live video feed from EWTN, the Catholic Church cable channel, will be shown on the Sun.Star website at www.sunstar.com.ph to allow its readers to view the canonization of Calungsod. The coverage will start at 3:30 p.m.
A micro site at http://specials.sunstar.com.ph/pedrocalungsod/ carries news and other information about Calungsod, including prayers written for him.
As of 6 p.m. Saturday, the prayers have been shared 5,721 times online via Facebook and other social networking sites, and 64 replies have been posted seeking his intercession.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 21, 2012.