17 Classic baby names inspired by saints who witnessed to God’s mercy


Most will be familiar, a few others less so, but they all stand the test of time.


For a little girl who will spread God’s mercy. Faustina Kowalska (1905–1938) was one of 10 children born into a poor Polish family. A series of visions told her to spread the message of God’s mercy to all, even those who had rejected His ways and word.


For a boy who will forge his own way. Martin of Tours (316–397) was born to pagan parents in what is now modern-day Hungary. At the young age of 12, he began to contemplate whether he should continue his pagan lifestyle or convert to follow the Christians. Throughout the rest of his long life he traveled a path that wasn’t necessarily expected of him by his family and peers. He preached that God loved everyone, whether pagan or Christian, and he displayed kindness and warmth to all those he met.


For a spiritual girl with a romantic heart. Margaret of Scotland (1045–1093) was traveling by boat to Hungary when her boat was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Scotland. The Scottish king, Malcolm III, invited Margaret and her family to stay at his castle until repairs were made to the boat — and Margaret and Malcolm fell in love and were eventually married. Margaret influenced her husband to follow the Lord, and together they opened many monasteries, churches and schools in Scotland. Margaret helped the needy by bringing them food and clothes; she even housed the homeless in her castle.


For a boy who will keep the material world in its place. Francis Xavier (1506–1552) traveled to India in 1541 to preach to the poor about the life of Jesus. He not only preached, however — he lived what he taught. He lived as the poor lived, he ate what they ate and he carried out his life and work among the world’s less fortunate.


For a boy who will grow up to tend to the needy. Stephen the Martyr (died c34 AD) is venerated as the first Christian martyr. He converted from Judaism after hearing the preaching of Jesus’s apostles and helped distribute food and clothing to the poor around Jerusalem. However, some Jews felt he had rejected God by following the word of Jesus, and so they dragged him out of Jerusalem and stoned him. He forgave those who stoned him as he died and asked the Lord not to hold their sins against him.

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