St. Giuseppe Maria Tomasi di Lampedusa was a much respected scholar, cardinal, and reformer who was instrumental in publishing rare liturgical books that had an impact in the reforms of the Church's liturgy in the 20th century. Although he was from a noble family he decided on religious life instead. He is the perfect example of an honorable man who knew how to follow his heart.
Padre Pio was actually baptized "Francesco," and was given the name Pius -- Pio in Italian -- when he joined the Orders of Friars Minors Capuchin. As a young boy he was able to speak to Jesus and Mary, as well as see Guardian Angels. Later in life he was seen levitating and was also a stigmatist. It would be an honor for your son to be named after the humble friar who advised, "Pray, hope and don't worry."
Although he died in his 20s, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was a model for men and a Renaissance man of sorts. Known for his affable nature, love of pranks and sports, and being a dutiful son, he also dedicated his life to God through prayer, the sacraments, and constantly helping the poor. He's an inspirational example for your own little boy.
St. Giovanni Leonardi was an Italian priest who never tired of trying to spread his faith through different communities and seminaries. Giovanni, the equivalent of "John" in English, also happens to be the birth name of St. Francis of Assisi. Maybe your very own Giovanni would share some of this same devotion as these great men.
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This Italian version of the name "Francis" was given to many wonderful holy men over the years. Most people know the story of Francis of Assisi, but there is also the worthy St. Francesco Antonio Fasani, who was known for his great love of the poor and his relatable preaching. Of course, it's also the name of the current pope, so your Francesco would be in good company.
The first of the Capuchin friars to be canonized, St. Felix of Cantalice started out as a farm laborer, praying while he worked. He later joined the Capuchin Friars at the age of 28 and devoted the rest of his life to God and knocking on the doors of houses in Rome to ask for donations to help the needy. Hopefully your own Felix would share the same generous heart as this beloved friar.
Martyred during the Diocletian persecutions, this 3rd-century saint is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers who died at the age of 12 or 13, making him a powerful intercessor for boys. It's a more unusual name, but an interesting choice if you want to honor an early Italian martyr.
St. Bernard da Corleone grew up in a house with charity at its heart. Although a little hot-headed, he changed after he injured a challenger with his sword. In seeking forgiveness he found himself drawn to the Capuchin friars and spent the rest of his life traveling from one friary to the next, carrying out menial tasks and caring for the sick. He's a wonderful example of how in seeking penance you can live a truly fulfilling life.
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This Italian goldsmith, who died towards the end of the 13th century, donated his earnings to the poor and founded a charity to help both pilgrims and the sick. From Verona, Fazzio embarked on pilgrimages and donated one of his own handmade chalices to the shrine of Compostela -- that inexplicably survived a fire. Maybe a little Fazzio could follow in the footsteps of this man who got his priorities right.
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Over the centuries there are different stories that spread about this 3rd-century Italian saint, but it is thought he was martyred for his faith. Of course, he's more commonly associated with February 14, a day dedicated to romantic love and devotion, so your little Val could embody your family love, as well as your love for God.