Ever since man could speak in words, he has named things, and the names given to things have had meaning. In Genesis, we read that, before man was even created, God, the Creator of all, named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night,” the firmament “Heaven,” the dry land “Earth,” and the waters “Seas” (cf. Gen 1:5-10). When God breathed into the first “Man” His breath of life – the first living soul, the first human in communion with God – God gave to Him the gift of language that man might name the creatures which God had created.
I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named (Eph 3:14-15) writes
My name, Jeffrey, comes from Geoffrey, which comes from the Germanic name Godfrey, meaning “the peace of God.” Branson, your name comes from an English surname meaning “Son of Brando;” brando comes from medieval German, derived from brand which meant “sword.” Cody, your name comes from the Gaelic Mac Oda, meaning “son of Otto.” And Ricardo, your name is the Spanish and Portuguese form of Richard, meaning “brave power;” it comes from the Germanic roots ric meaning “power” or “rule,” and hard meaning “brave” or “hardy.”
Biblical names are rich in meaning. The prophet Elijah was sent to
Paul wrote in his second letter to the church in
St. Victor of
St. Peregrine Laziosi is the patron saint of cancer patients. In his youth, in the late 13th century, St. Peregrine was staunchly opposed to the Church. During one civil disturbance, the pope sent Philip Benizi to mediate a peace; Peregrine struck St. Philip on the cheek, and St. Philip did not retaliate but rather turned his face to let Peregrine strike his other cheek. Peregrine was so overcome that he repented and entered the Church. He was ordained a priest of the Servite order, and led many people to the faith by his fervent preaching and faithful witness to the Gospel. St. Peregrine’s name means “wanderer” or “pilgrim,” and at the Second Vatican Council, the Church identified herself as “present in the world, but as a pilgrim,” recalling the words of
The first Christian saints experienced the early form of baptism and confirmation. Baptism by water in the name the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit cleanses us from our sin; Confirmation seals us with the gift of the Holy Spirit, which manifested itself as tongues of flame at Pentecost. Water and fire, often seen by philosophers as contradictory and opposing, are understood in Christianity as united symbols of cleansing and purification. In being called by the Father, you will pass through the waters of baptism and the fire of the Holy Spirit, welcomed by so great a cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1): His Son, His Holy Spirit, His Saints, His Church.