Challenge Grant: Our Boosters will match donations up to $45,000. We have $40,390 to go. Please donate!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Catholic Activity: Namedays

Parents should choose a good Christian name for each child, and yearly celebrate the feast day of their child's patron saint.

DIRECTIONS

Another feast day has fallen more and more into oblivion, and that is the celebration of the feast of our patron saints, in other words, our feast days. Alas, instead of choosing the names of the saints which are given to us by the Church as our patrons, as our big brothers and sisters, our protectors and intercessors — more and more people choose names of their own invention which have no relationship to Christianity. I know of one young mother who called her little daughter in honor of her own alma mater, "University of Texas"; I know another family who gave one of their boys the name of the place where they had a summer cabin; and a third one of our acquaintances called their little child, hoping it would make her a musician, "Melody."

This is a good moment for us parents to make an examination of conscience — by what principles do we choose the names of our children? Do we think of the saint, or do we think of the sound of the name, or are we persuaded by the fact that the godfather or the godmother might be offended if we didn't choose his or her name, although we really don't care much for it? It is a heavy responsibility to choose one of the greatest spiritual beings for the guidance and protection of our children.

The day of the patron saint is celebrated on a somewhat smaller scale than a birthday. The gifts have some relation to the patron saint — books, pictures, legends pertaining to him are collected throughout the years. Again the feast-day child has his own say about the evening's program.

Activity Source: Around the Year with the Trapp Family by Maria Augusta Trapp, Pantheon Books Inc., New York, New York, 1955

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

When Catholics are less Catholic than non-Catholics 19 hours ago
Cardinal Kasper's nose is growing again October 18
Challenge Grant Begins as Synod Ends October 17
What's wrong with this Synod, IV: Unprepared for marriage October 17
No, mainstream religious orders aren't attracting vocations as fast as younger traditional orders October 17

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Key synod report calls for 'gradualism' in Church response to irregular family situations CWN - October 13
As synod concludes, bishops issue message, approve document; Pope weighs in CWN - October 20
Cardinal Parolin: UN must protect innocents from Islamic State CWN - September 30
Synod of Bishops opens with Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica CWN - October 6