Growing up in a tradition of faith, you know that choosing a name for your baby presents you with many options to remain true to it. Picking a name for your child is the first decision in a long sequence of them followed by choosing godparents and then planning a meaningful baptism. There are countless Catholic baby names to choose from, but finding the perfect one can seem like a chore. We urge you to truly meditate on the name and who it belonged to which often gives the name its meaning.
Not too long ago, Catholic Church Canon Law dictated that all children must be named for saints. That’s no longer the case, but you will find many names on this list that belonged to them. This widens the pool of acceptable baby names for you to consider, which may or may not be a good thing for you if you’re having difficulty settling on one. Fear not! We’re here to help and we’ve combed through thousands of Christian names to bring you a concise list of 25 of our favorites. Here are 25 truly unique Catholic baby names for girls that are classic and traditional without sounding antiquated or out of touch.
Angelica is our favorite of the Angel- names. It’s classier than Angel alone yet is more delicate than Angeline. The name also sounds a touch fresher than Angela. Mother Angelica founded The Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and did it with her impressive name. As you might have guessed, this name has Latin origins and means “angelic.”
Audrey is derived from the Anglo-Saxon Aethelthryth, the name that later transformed into Ethelred. St. Audrey was a seventh-century saint who was particularly revered in the Middle Ages. Her name led to the term tawdry, as cheap lace necklaces were sold at the St. Audrey fair. This English name means “noble strength.”
The name Beatrix has been borne by a number of holy persons, but no one of them has attained to any very eminent renown of sanctity. Saint Beatrix was a Roman virgin and martyr, inscribed in the Roman Martyrologium on 29 July. She is believed to have been the sister of the martyrs Simplicius and Faustinus whom she buried in the Via Portuensi. This fabulous and fun name means “blessed.”
Shorten the traditional “Gabrielle” and still name your daughter after the archangel. This is a French form of the name and it’s absolutely beautiful. Many parents must agree because it ranked just out of the top 100 names given to girls in 2019. This name means “hunting grounds.”
Bibiana, like Beatrix, was a Roman saint and martyr. She had an effervescent name, that means “life.” Bibiana is an excellent choice because it comes complete with the adorable nickname, Bibi.
Pronounced cha-lee, Caeli is part of the Latin Marian antiphon, “Regina Caeli” or in English, “Queen of Heaven.” This is an unusual choice, but we’re most fond of it. This would be a welcome alternative to Caylee.
Saint Ciera of Ireland was an abbess in the 7th century who died in 679. Her history is probably commingled with another Cera who lived in the 6th century. However, we know that she lived a very, very long life. This Irish name means “little dark one.”
Colbie is great gender-neutral choice. The name has English origins and means “from a coal town.” We chose this name inspired by Polish Saint, Maximilian Kolbe. He was a priest who volunteered to die in place of a stranger in the German death camp of Auschwitz, located in German-occupied Poland during World War II.
A girl’s name of French origin meaning “people of victory.” Colette is not only beautiful, it’s very stylish and a top 500 name choice. Colette of Corbie is the Patron Saint of expectant mothers and sick children.
Everyone remembers that Jacob had twelve sons, but Dinah was his only daughter. She was the hero of Anita Diamant‘s novel The Red Tent. This timeless Hebrew name means “God will judge.”
Dymphna, also spelled Dympna, is the name of an Irish virgin martyr. The story goes that she was a Celtic princess who fled to Belgium to escape the abusive attentions of her father, and his mad actions led to her becoming the patron saint of the insane. This Irish name means “fawn.”
Name your daughter after St. Edith Stein without making her sound like an old woman. Edie is a fresh and cute diminutive that works extremely well. This English name means “prosperous in war.”
A teenage martyr, Saint Eulalia was born in Spain and is a patron saint of Barcelona, where there is a cathedral in her name (which you should visit if you ever get the opportunity, it’s wonderful). One legend associated with Eulalia is that a dove flew out of her neck when she was killed, thus the association with both sweet speech and peace. She gives this Greek name its meaning: “sweetly speaking.”
Felicity is a Latin name that refers to “good fortune” and “happiness.” Felicitas of Rome, also anglicized as Felicity, is a Saint numbered among the Christian martyrs. Of all the virtue names, it’s our favorite.
Flannery is a girl’s name and surname of Irish origin meaning “descendant of Flannghal.” Mary Flannery O’Connor was an important twentieth century regional writer whose work has been characterized as Southern Gothic, often featuring menacing characters and concerned with questions of morality. She was a devout Catholic.
Coming from a medieval Italian nickname for a precious gem, Gemma was the name of Dante’s wife and was borne by a nineteenth century Saint. We prefer this name over Jenna and Emma. It’s just so precious.
Saint Gwladys ferch Brychan or St Gladys, daughter of King Brychan of Brycheiniog, was the queen of the saint-king Gwynllyw Milwr and the mother of Cadoc “the Wise”, whose vita may be the earliest saint’s life to mention Arthur. The English form of the name, Gladys is probably most associated with singer Gladys Knight.
Philomena was the name of Greek, Athenian princess. But, the name also belonged to Saint Philomena, a thirteen-year-old martyr of early Rome. This handsome Greek name means “lover of strength.”
A different take for anyone with a devotion to Our Lady, this would make for an overtly religious choice. If it’s too on the nose for you, consider the Italian name Rosario. Either way, you can call her Rosie.
Sarah’s name before God changed it, Sarai is a Hebrew name that means “princess.” Sarai is currently a top 500 name and has been widely used here since the 1980s.
Silvia is a Latin name that means “from the woods.” Saint Silvia was the mother of Saint Gregory the Great. She is venerated as a saint by the Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Church, which names her a patron of pregnant women.
Saint Tatiana, a third century martyr, is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church. It’s a Russian name adopted from an old Roman family name. The meaning of the name is unclear. She’s considered the patron of students, so perhaps “teacher” or “protector” would be appropriate.
Talitha is Hebrew for “little girl,” Jesus used this phrase when he resurrected the daughter of Jaris. It has been used in the US since colonial times. However, since record-keeping began in 1880 it’s never made the top 1000. That seems criminal. This is a stunning name! You can even call her Tali.
Derived from veritas which is Latin for “truth,” this name was made popular by the Puritans, but it reminds me of Pontius Pilate’s struggle to see what was true. Like Felicity, Verity is another one of our favorite virtue names. While you stumbled across the name occasionally in the UK, you do not hear it often in the States.
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Zelie is a French name that means “azalea.” St. Zelie was canonized very recently and was mother to St. Therese. This name would make for a welcome alternative to Celia, Azalea, or Zalia. You don’t often find many girls’ names beginning with Z so this is an unexpected treat.
There you go! 25 Catholic names inspired by saints, the faithful, and other holy entities. We hope you feel inspired by these names and will choose one for your little girl.