I do a lot of Googling. Sometimes it’s just because I randomly and passionately want to know everything about rumspringa. Other times, it’s because somebody asked a question that I didn’t know the answer to and my know-it-all heart couldn’t handle it. So I search and search and search and send an email and then nobody else gets to reap the fruit of all my hard work.
But I have a blog. Which means I can share my research with the whole world!
So I know this is super random, but if you’ve talked to me in the last year and a half, you are abundantly aware that my sister has twins. And when she found out she was having twins, I had to find all the possible Saint pairings to name the babies after. My nephew, 3 at the time, was adamant that they would be named Ezra and Nehemiah.1 When he finally accepted that they were girls, he suggested Mary Salome and Mary The Mother of God. His parents weren’t too keen on “The Mother of God” as a middle name, so we turned to the internet.
Turns out not a lot of people have compiled lists of Catholic twin names (Although this post gave me some inspiration), so I figured I’d share my research for those among you who are having twins. First of all, congratulations! Twins are awesome! And eventually you’ll sleep again. Before you’re totally sleep-deprived, let’s get to know some Saint pairings so you can name your little ones after holy besties.
Cosmas and Damian were actually twins, but I don’t know about naming a baby Cosmas.2 Cyril and Methodius might give you the same problem.
- Ignatius and Francis Xavier were two of the first Jesuits and two of the most amazing men in the history of ever. Peter Faber was one of their companions, too, in case you’re having triplets.
- David and Jonathan had one of the most selfless friendships of all time.3
- For our Eastern friends, Gregory Nazianzen and Basil were such great friends–like two bodies with a single spirit, Gregory tells us–that they share a feast day despite having died fifteen years apart.
- Ambrose was the teacher of the inimitable Augustine. It might be hard not to feel that you’re playing favorites when the student so far surpassed the teacher, but Ambrose himself was no slouch.
- Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas might leave you in a similar bind, but Albert was an esteemed scholar in all disciplines, which might balance out Thomas being the greatest mind the world has ever known.4
- Francis of Assisi and Dominic5 founded the two great mendicant orders.
- If you’ve got British ancestry, you might like the sound of Edmund and Henry. Henry Walpole was converted when Edmund Campion’s blood spattered on him and went on to be ordained and martyred in England, just like Edmund.
- John Bosco was Dominic Savio’s teacher and the author of his biography. As with so many in this list, they clearly made each other saints.
- Miguel Pro and Jose Luis were both killed during the Cristero Wars, both crying out “Viva Cristo Rey!” as their last words.
- Isaac Jogues and Jean de Brebeuf are my favorite of the North American martyrs, but you could choose any combination of them or of the martyrs of England.
- Thomas More and John Fisher were both martyred for clinging to their faith during the reign of Henry VIII.
- If you’re a hardcore Chestertonian, Gilbert and Keith would be a great duo in anticipation of his canonization.6
- Obviously, any pair of Apostles or Prophets will work here. James and John were sons of Zebedee and Simon Peter and Andrew were brothers as well. Thomas even means twin! Then you could do Moses and Aaron, Isaac and Jacob, or Samuel and Elijah. Timothy and Titus were both converted by St. Paul, who would himself be a great brother to a little Peter.
A Boy and a Girl
Benedict and Scholastica are the obvious ones here–our other set of canonized twins.
- Francis and Claire of Assisi worked together to found the women’s branch of the Franciscans, now called the Poor Clares.
- Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross reformed the Carmelites together and inspired one another as only mystics can. A power couple if ever there was one.
- Jordan and Diana (both Blessed) were early Dominicans whose correspondence is a true example of holy friendship.
- Francis de Sales founded the Visitation Sisters with Jane de Chantal and served as her spiritual director, a role Vincent de Paul later took over.
- Vincent de Paul founded the Daughters of Charity with Louise de Marillac, whose previous spiritual director was also Francis de Sales. So if you somehow end up with quadruplets, how about Vincent, Francis, Louise, and Jane?
Damien of Molokai and Mother Marianne worked together to serve the lepers of Hawaii.
- St. Dominic’s mother, Bl. Jane of Aza, played an enormous role in his sanctity.
- Then there’s Monica who is said to have (metaphorically) baptized her son Augustine with her tears.
- Louis and Zelie Martin were married (And the parents of St. Therese.) Luigi and Maria Quattrocchi were also married. Is it too creepy to name siblings after Saints who were married to each other? Other than Mary and Joseph, of course.7
- Rose of Lima and Martin de Porres were Peruvian Dominicans and close friends.
- Raymond of Capua was Catherine of Siena’s spiritual director and biographer.
- John Bosco and Maria Mazzarello founded the Salesians together.
- Francisco and Jacinta of Fatima were siblings and visionaries at one of the world’s greatest apparitions.
Maximilian Kolbe and Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) were both killed by the Nazis.
- John Paul and Mother Teresa fought for the Gospel of Life.
- Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to Juan Diego–great names if you’ve got some Hispanic blood (or just wish you did).
- St. Patrick reportedly baptized St. Brigid’s parents and became her good friend. Between the two of them, they seem to have converted most of Ireland.
- Then of course there’s John and Mary (at the foot of the Cross), Elizabeth and John (the Baptist), and various Old Testament couples.
- Perpetua and Felicity were martyred together at the very beginning of the third century. The account of their martyrdom is profoundly inspiring.
- Claire and Agnes of Assisi were biological sisters as well as sisters in religion.
- Bridget of Sweden was the mother of Catherine of Sweden, who also entered the order her mother founded (the Brigittines).
- Nunilo and Alodia were daughters of a Muslim father and a Christian mother who were martyred for following Christ. Maybe for middle names?
- Mary and Martha, but be prepared for Mary to taunt Martha with having chosen the better part. I certainly would have.
- Mary and Elizabeth, like my nieces! And then their feast day can be the Visitation. Or Mary and Anne after the Blessed mother and her mom. Mary and Madeleine after Mary Magdalene–basically pair anyone in the New Testament with Mary and you’re good.
- Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena were for years the only two female doctors of the Church.8 (Therese and Hildegard have since joined them, but Therese and Teresa might be a bit much and Hildegard….)
- Joan of Arc had locutions from Catherine of Alexandria and Margaret. Mary appeared to Bernadette–and Catherine and Jacinta.
- Judith, Ruth, and Esther all have books of the Bible written about them. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi.
- Any of them virgin martyrs–Cecilia, Agnes, Agatha, Lucy, Anastasia, Catherine (of Alexandria), Philomena….
- Or you could nae them both after Mary in some way–Maria and Sophia, ((Our Lady Seat of Wisdom–Sophia) or Stella and Marissa. More on Marian names later.
Of course, you could just pick two who weren’t contemporaries but belonged to the same religious order. Or two doctors of the Church or perhaps two people who had the same mission or similar martyrdoms. Then there’s the meaning of the names to consider–what about Cora (meaning heart) and her sister Arianna (which apparently means sacred)? I’ll leave you to research all that on your own.
If you still aren’t satisfied, check out this book on Saints who were connected to each other. I haven’t read it, but it certainly sounds promising!
What other combinations would you add? What did you name your twins? Share in the comments!
- What can I say? Kid’s precocious. [↩]
- Unless you’ve already done that, in which case, cool! Props to you. [↩]
- In the Bible. Now you remember. [↩]
- Or name kids Aquinas and Augustine–call them Quinn and Gus–and watch your theologian friends pick a favorite and fight over which kid is better! [↩]
- de Guzman, but when you say St. Dominic you don’t really have to differentiate. [↩]
- Of course, first people in the Vatican have to read everything he ever wrote, which might take till your little boys are old and gray. [↩]
- For obvious reasons. [↩]
- Come to think of it, you could totally get away with naming one Siena and one Catherine or even one Avila and one Teresa. [↩]