How to Choose a Confirmation Name

by Contributor
Babies receive their baptismal name when they are christened.

Babies receive their baptismal name when they are christened.

During the Catholic sacrament of Confirmation, God the Holy Spirit comes upon you to bestow numerous spiritual gifts and "confirm" the faith given you in Baptism when Original Sin was wiped away. You choose a Confirmation name before Confirmation. This new name, imposed by the bishop during Confirmation, becomes a part of your full name. It comes after your first and middle names and before the last name.

Find a list of canonized saints in the Roman Catholic Church by reading a book or doing online research. Saints are people who have lived holy lives and are now in heaven as members of the Church Triumphant. Their life stories provide examples for others on how to overcome spiritual obstacles on Earth.

Read about male saints if you're male, and female saints if you're female. Generally speaking, you'll want to choose a name that matches your gender.

Pray to the Holy Spirit, and ask Him for help in finding a saint whose life you'd like to imitate. This saint will be bonded with you spiritually, and in essence becomes your heavenly patron who intercedes for you before God.

Narrow your selection to two saints. One of them will be your new Confirmation name. Think about the specific virtues those saints exhibited, such as patience, perfection, diligence, humility, mortification, meekness, obedience, prayer, charity or simplicity. Find a virtue that connects with you.

Consider the one or two special stories told about those saints on your "short" list to help you find a spiritual connection. For example, St. Maximilian Kobe gave up his life for another person's life in a German concentration camp during World War II, and so showed the virtue of selflessness. St. Francis, a spiritual leader who founded a religious order, led a simple life of poverty and greatly loved animals.

Take your list of two saints to a family member or friend who is a practicing Catholic. Talk about the saints' lives with that person, and discuss what attracts you spiritually to these holy people.

Select your Confirmation name, and inform your family and friends. Get used to it by saying it over and over again in your mind. Practice writing it as part of your full name.

Before you are confirmed, pray to the saint whose name you will be using as your Confirmation name. Ask this saint to intercede for you, to help you make the right moral choices, and overall to be a powerful spiritual guide the rest of your life.

Buy pictures, holy cards, statues and books associated with your Confirmation's namesake. These visual reminders of your saint will help you reflect upon his or her unique virtues.

Tip

  • Pick a name at least a few weeks before you receive the sacrament of Confirmation. Give yourself plenty of time to do research about saints.

Warning

  • Don't give in to any pressure from family or friends to choose a specific Confirmation name. Be sure to listen to any strong objections to the name you pick. However, in the end this new name should be one you alone like, and will be happy to live with the rest of your life.

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