Do you think our names really represent who we really are?
or perhaps who we might be destined to be?
After all God calls each of us by name (Isaiah 42/43) and even the name of the Lord has significant meaning for us.
Don’t we love hearing our own name though?
Something in us wants to be known, to be remembered, to be called by name. So, what’s in a name?
As a child, I never liked my name. It was long and it just wasn’t very…cool. I’ve come to peace with it since. For a long time I understood my that my name, Laurence, meant “crowned” inferring victor, winner, from the root laurel which is a crown wreath. Adding insult to injury, I’ve never really won much. I never considered myself a winner even though life has been good. I’ve enjoyed much. It is true that after I gave my life to Christ, things were different. There’s definitely an upward trajectory. Today, I came across this etymology of names and blushed at the legacy that my name carried. It kinda made me proud to bear name given to me. We often wonder what our parents were thinking when they named us. More often than not there was real purpose or sentiment in order.
Pronounced: LOR-en ts
From the Roman cognomen Laurentius, which meant “of Laurentum”. Laurentum was a city in ancient Italy, its name probably deriving from Latin laurus “laurel”. Saint Laurence was a 3rd-century deacon and martyr from Rome. According to tradition he was roasted alive on a gridiron because, when ordered to hand over the church’s treasures, he presented the sick and poor.
It just so happens that I married a Lauren. Isn’t that cute?
Lauren is the feminine form of Laurence. According to some name books it means artistic and interestingly enough many of you know she is that as well as victorious. Also, I grew up catholic and was given a chance to choose a name for myself at the sacrament of confirmation. This name would represent the model Christian or ‘saint’ that you would want to emulate. I was part of a rich Italian community and this was a big deal. So I did something really Italian. I gave myself a very long real Brooklyn Italian sounding name.
The confirmation name — if selected carefully, the confirmation name can serve a purpose in a person’s daily life. it can inspire the individual, albeit to a small degree, to becoming a better Christian and thus, advances him in holiness – the sole purpose to human life. A properly chosen confirmation name can be one of many tools used to assist a Christian in attaining this lofty goal by frequently reminding the individual of the virtues that his namesake saint exemplified.
I took two names, Anthony-Francis, after the two of the most beloved saints.
Here’s a description of St. Anthony of Padua:
Anthony’s wealthy family wanted him to be a great nobleman, but for the sake of Christ he became a poor Franciscan Priest. A gifted speaker, he attracted crowds everywhere he went, speaking in multiple tongues; legend says that even the fish loved to listen. Wonder worker. One of the most beloved of saints, his images and statues are found everywhere
St Anthony modeled his life after St. Francis who had always impressed me. His highest priority was to imitate Christ as he chose to live in absolute poverty, giving everything he had to the poor and needy. St Francis demonstrated love and a deep sense of personal responsibility towards others. Humility was his virtue.
Now only if I would lead such a life.
other name generation
my elvish name is Fëanáro Culnámo