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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. 1. Why does a child receive the name of a saint during the Sacrament of Baptism?

A. 1. The name of a saint is given to the child during the Sacrament of Baptism so the child may imitate the virtues of the that particular saint and have him/her as a protector.

The Names of the saints can be found in books of the Saints, the Catholic Liturgical Calendar, Catholic Calendars and Patron saints lists. All of these provide hundreds of names to choose from.

Parents should never name their child based on an actor or a movie, the make of a car such as cadillac or chevy, the name of an object or a pet that died, names found in history such as Napoleon or Hitler, etc... Such names shall create psychological hardship upon the child during their early education.

Always remember that one day you child will ask you, "Why did you give me the name that you gave me?" At that moment, you must be able to give an answer that is associated with a saint of the Catholic Church.

Update: Under the former Code of Canon Law, parent were required to choose Christian names of saints, or virtues such as Faith, Prudence, Hope and so on. Pastors were required to implement this practice.

Under the revived Rite for Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA 73), a wider choice is allowed for baptism names, "provided that such a name is not incompatible with Christian beliefs." "Parents, sponsors, and the pastor are to take one that a name foreign to Christian sensibilities is not given." (Code of Canon Law # 855) This loosens the restrictions in areas of the world where cultural customs tended to dictate the names of the children.

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