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Catholic Dictionary




The name that a person receives at baptism. It is prescribed by the Church's newest ritual, as when the celebrant asks the parents or sponsors at infant baptism, "What name do you wish to give the infant?" According to the Church's tradition, the baptismal name "should be taken from some person whose eminent sanctity has given him a place in the catalogue of the saints. The similarity of name will stimulate each one to imitate the virtues and holiness of the Saint and, moreover, to hope and pray that the one who is the model for one's imitation will also be his advocate and watch over the safety of his body and soul" (Catechism of the Council of Trent, Baptism).