With March 19 being the feast of St. Joseph (celebrated this year on Monday, March 20) you might be prompted to honor him by choosing his name for any new additions to the family. And the wonderful thing about the name Joseph, which comes from the Hebrew Yosef, meaning, “he will add,” is that it pairs well with many other meaningful names.
In fact there are so many choices out there that you might feel a little spoiled for choice. So we’ve come up with our top 10 favorites, which also happen to belong to some truly inspirational men in the Church’s history.
While this is a great way to pay tribute to the late Pope Benedict XVI, it’s also a combination that marries Joseph with the saint who created the Benedictine Order around 1,500 years ago. St. Benedict of Nursia was known for establishing rules for monks to follow that were based on reasonableness, moderation and spiritual balance — something any parent would want to achieve for their son.
We couldn’t resist a little alliteration as it works so well in this case. From the Hebrew meaning “supplanter,” or one who follows, let’s hope your little man follows bedtime rules! St James the Greater was one of the first Apostles who tirelessly spread the Word. He was eventually martyred for his faith.
As two particularly great men of the Church have feast days in March, this seems the perfect combination to give a spring baby boy a pretty impressive moniker. And with St. Patrick being fearless, and St. Joseph the terror of demons, nothing will be insurmountable for your child.
If you fancy something a little more unusual, why not opt for this name that comes from the Basque placename Etxeberria, meaning “the new house.” It also happens to be the name of St. Francis Xavier, a Jesuit missionary who served in India and the Far East.
There’s something heavenly about this beautiful pairing and it’s no wonder, with Raphael appearing as an archangel in the Old Testament. With a name that means “God has healed,” a little boy with this name will no doubt be the perfect blessing.
This combination of names sounds rather refined, making it almost impossible to scold any young boy called after these saints. St. Alexander of Jerusalem was a 3rd-century bishop who died for his faith during Emperor Decius’ persecutions. His feast day happens to be on March 18, so naming a baby after these two great men of faith would be the perfect honor.
For any Italians, or lovers of all things Mediterranean, your son could share his name with Blessed Pier Giorgio, the young Italian man who devoted his short life to God and serving the poor. Strictly speaking, the name originates from Peter, but this shortened version is so classy we had to include it.
While the name Francis means Frenchman, it flows so well with Joseph. And not only does it sound great, it is the name borne by some truly worthy Catholics: of course our present pope, but also the beloved St. Francis of Assisi. Who knows, perhaps your little chap might be so inspired by his patron saint to care for God’s creatures that he brings a few into the home!
An unusual pairing, but perfect for those who want originality, or to pay tribute to their Welsh origins. St John Lloyd was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who died trying to minister to covert Catholics during the reign of Henry VIII. The name Lloyd means “grey” and is used as a surname or first name.
How does it sound to have a little Joe-Jo in the family? Named after John the Baptist, it seems a natural pairing to choose two of the fundamental men in Jesus’ life for your own son. John stems from the Hebrew Yochanan, meaning “God is gracious.”