Choosing Saints

11 Oct

When a child is named/baptized in the Orthodox Church, they are given the name of a saint.  Because our family was not baptized into the Orthodox Faith we need to take a saint’s name as a patron saint for each of us.  The saint ought to exhibit characteristics that the person aspires to, and will intercede on his/her behalf.   In all of my searching and researching, I found that it’s common thought that the catechumen (us) does not seek out the saint but the saint bids the catechumen.

Matthew was named with a Gospel writer’s name. There was never a doubt in his mind that he would take St. Matthew as his patron saint.

Image from

Image from

Adeline was not named with a Christian name.  When discussing what saint we would choose for her, I leaned toward St. Brigid of Kildare because of Adeline’s Irish descent, as well as St. Brigid’s work with the poor.  Ultimately we chose St. Eugenia for Adeline.  St. Eugenia won many souls for Christ, lived her life according to the will of God, and ultimately died a martyr’s death.  What love!  We could ask no more for our daughter’s heart –  to be willing to die for her Lord.

As for me, I’ve desired to take the name of St. Emilia from the moment we decided to join the Orthodox church.  The mother of ten children, with five(!) of them being saints, St. Emilia is exactly what I desire to be as a woman and mother. Why would I not take her name?

Jennifer is not a Christian name, but my middle name is Mary.  Even after deciding upon St. Emilia, I felt that my middle name has far too rich of meaning in the Faith to be taken lightly.  But which Mary would I choose?  There are so many, and they are all, well, saints.  I desired so to take St. Emilia’s name that I stopped searching the Marys.

One day while listening to Ancient Faith Radio I heard a little blurb about St. Mary of Egypt.  Then while reading a book about women saints, I read a little more.   When listening to old podcasts of Molly Sabourin’s, I heard about Molly’s hesitancy to approach the saint.  I suppose I felt something similar to what she did.  After all, she was a former prostitute, her image in her icons were anything but beautiful, and I didn’t feel akin to her in any way.  But was she bidding me to herself?  I did my research, I did some praying, and I think that she as much to teach me.  And yes, like St. Zosimas in her story, she was asking me to trust her and ignore the things of this world (perhaps her images).


These are the saints that will be our patrons and our intercessors.  I ask for you to pray for us, as well, on Wednesday as we are received into the Orthodox Church.  We are joyful and thankful for this path that the Lord has asked us to journey on and we look forward to sharing it with you all.


One Response to “Choosing Saints”

  1. Pam and Paul Kimmel October 12, 2009 at 6:08 am #

    Our prayers will be with all of you, and we will be thinking of you on Wednesday.congratulations.

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