We Named Him Ignatius

Martyrdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 16th century, artist unknown

Martyrdom of St. Ignatius of Antioch, 16th century, artist unknown

“So what are you going to call him?”

And so it begins.  Round 2 in weird Catholic baby names.

When our oldest son Augustine was born, there was lots of confusion on the part of people asking what his name was.  Either they misheard (“Justin?  What a nice name.” or “Augustus?”) or they mispronounced it, especially if they were from a different faith tradition.  Many a nurse has called for Augusteen across a crowded waiting room.

Now this year on Christmas Day we welcomed a handsome almost nine-pound bundle (whose mother had become hooked on the Food Network show Cupcake Wars in the months preceding his birth, no doubt lending itself to his most scrumptious plump cheeks), and it was no sooner when he had been cleaned up when the staff began asking about his name.

My husband and I glanced at each other.  Were we sure?  We were, in fact, and had been for nine months.  For many years, we had greatly admired and felt a strong connection to St. Ignatius of Antioch, the valiant martyr of the second century, the man who simply could not wait to be eaten by lions for the love of Christ.  We even had had the opportunity to pray for the very new baby on board this spring when we were in Rome visiting the tomb of St. Ignatius.  A proponent of the real presence in the Eucharist, of unity among believers, of obedience to the bishop, we’ve felt strongly for a long time that St. Ignatius is a man for our times.  And for our baby—it feels as though he’s going to need a strong intercessor in these times to come.  But that was too much to tell the staff in the delivery room, so we simply said, “Ignatius,” and smiled at each other.

In the days following his birth, I tried not to worry about how other people perceived his name.  Everyone had been very polite and remarked on what a beautiful or interesting name it was.  No one actually said what they might have been thinking, “Are you serious?”  Filling out the birth certificate paperwork, I tried to banish thoughts of how our little guy might grow up to hate us.  With God’s grace, we pray that both of our little boys might learn to love their strong, courageous patrons, that they take comfort in knowing that they have their own superheroes praying for and watching out for them in a special way, and that someday—hopefully sooner rather than later—they might aim to imitate them.

In the meantime, we’ve got a tiny baby with a big name that can make casual grocery store exchanges awkward.  But lest I begin to doubt our choice of names, I need only to remember this Epiphany when our dear priest friend poured holy water over our son’s soft, fuzzy head and said, “Ignatius Michael, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” and it sounded so right—I knew that we had picked a good name for our little boy.  And I think St. Ignatius agrees.

Copyright 2013 Meg Matenaer


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  1. Congratulations Meg on little Ignatius’ birth and on following your heart in his naming. You taught me a lesson today – your article prompted me to go and research this amazing saint. I imagine that many more will learn from your family’s bright witness. Thanks!!! And welcome home – we missed you and hope you are getting rest.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you, Lisa! It’s so nice to be back. I hope you are able to spend some time with St. Ignatius–what a courageous man! God bless!

    • Auggy and Iggy, is what they will get called. Hope you game them a normal middle name that they can go by as adults. I hope you weren’t expecting praise.

        • Melinda Loustalot on

          Ha! I volunteer teach at a Catholic homeschool program and we have our share of Augustine’s, Benedict’s, Dominic’s and even a Macarius and an Ignatius. . we have a number of families of Hispanic descent among whose families those names never went OUT of style. It may be due to that influence that a boy named Ignatius is often called “Nacho. . ” in a loving way, of course. .and it’s only in the homeschool ranks, it seems these days, that you hear girls named Mary or Theresa anymore. .

  2. As a Villanova graduate, I have to say I love the name Agustine. Ignatius and its Spaish form Ignacio are also popular names among our circles of friends. Congrats on the new little bundle. Blessings to you all.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you, Carmen! May God bless you and your family and friends as well! (And I love the Spanish version of the name, as well.)

  3. My uncle was Augustine, and we pronounced it, “Augusteen.” I believe both are correct… Congratulations! I love the use of older very Catholic names!

  4. Congratulations, Meg, to you and your husband on the birth of Ignatius! You have been in my prayers and I have been eagerly anticipating your first post after the arrival of your newborn one. May God continue to bless your family as you all adjust to incorporating the demands of the latest addition into daily life at home. And, may you receive all of the graces you need to keep writing!

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you for all your prayers, Kathy! We’ve been feeling them around here with Ignatius’s very smooth transition home. Prayers for you and your family as well!

  5. Pingback: Weird Catholic Baby Names: Ignatius | Big Pulpit

  6. I teach at a university, and I’d rather have an Augustine or Ignatius than some of the odd names I see in my class rolls. One semester I had three girls named Brittany and not one of them spelled it the same way, There was Brittany, Britany, and Brittnee, Personally, I love good old fashioned Catholic names.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thanks for writing, Ellen, and for your encouragement! I imagine you probably wouldn’t get 3 Ignatiuses in your classes with different spellings. (Different pronunciations, maybe 😉

  7. Ignacio del Villar on

    Congratulations! My name it’s Ignatius (well, Ignasi, in my original language, catalan, or Ignacio in Spanish) and I like to find out that it’s a name used even int the U.S. It’s becoming rare even in Spain (we have another saint that goes by that name, Saint Ignatius of Loyola). I will remember your baby and your family when I celebrate Mass today.

  8. Congrats on your new little soul to love and cherish!

    Ellen, I could not agree with you more! My husband teaches fifth grade, and the students with names like Nevaeh, Precious Princess, Destinee, and Ta-Ta-Neesha and much more challenging (and meaningless) compared to Saint’s names!

    • There’s a very nice girl who was a student in my class and her name was Latrina. I can’t imagine naming a child after an outhouse.
      I have many students with perfectly normal names but they spell them in odd ways. I especially remember Gyniphyr. It was pronounced Jennifer.

  9. My concern with my daughter’s name was what her classsmates would call her. We named her bernadette and i tried to stop the ‘Bernie’ but to no avail. So with Ignatius, are the peers going to call him “iggy”? or “nate”?

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thanks for writing. Yes, that’s true–who knows what the others will call him. Though his older brother is one of two Augustines in his playgroup, so maybe they’ll think it’s a common name!

  10. Micah Murphy on

    Ours was just born Tuesday. We named him Dominic Blaise. You should have seen the different spelling variations those poor confused nurses tried to put down.

    Dominic … Slaid?
    Dominick? Dominique?

    No, Dominic Blaise.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Congratulations, Micah! And what a beautiful name–we had considered it ourselves. (Too funny: Dominic Slaid!)

  11. Congratulations! I love both names. Both are very common in Latin America. You can even comment on the universality “from east to west” of the Catholic Church. Was it Augustine of Hippo or Canterbury?

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Hi, Anne! Ooh, I like that, about the universality of the Church–I’ll try to work that in the next time I’m in the produce aisle. And it was after Hippo. God bless!

    • Canonically Speaking on

      Yes! I love that name! Actually Athanasius is definitely in my top 5 baby names list. I also really like Polycarp, as in the friend of St. Ignatius, but my wife has kind of vetoed that one.

  12. Don’t wory. In my opinion, those names are much better and much less strange than some of the trendy baby names I hear these days — names like Jayden, Cayden, Hayden, Bryson, Dylan, Hunter, Dakota, Bentley, Parker, Mackenzie, Madison, Peyton, Riley, etc.

    (My apologies if anyone has a child with one of the names I listed!)

  13. It has been mentioned already but the Spanish form of Ignatius (Ignacio) is quite common in Latin America (at least I’m sure that it is in Mexico). If he grows up to play soccer and some kids are calling him “Nacho”, don’t take it as an insult since that is a common nickname for Ignacio. I love the name because of the other St. Ignatius but this saint is awesome as well. Great choice.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Hi, Robert, thanks for writing. Yes, I love Nacho as a nickname, and some of his great aunts have been calling him that as well. You’re right–he might feel at home on the soccer team! God bless!

  14. Has anyone thought about the possibility that these saints may have hated their name. It may have been a ‘made up’ name back then. If one of my kids had a name that didn’t fall within the Butlers Lives of the Saints then i would tell my child: ‘you can be the first!” I mean, Ignatius (of Antioch) wasn’t named after a saint was he?

    • Meg Matenaer on

      That’s true–there’s always the drive to be ‘the first’. But I like that there is definitely a brave man in heaven who now definitely has to watch over our little guy (and probably the three others in North America 😉 in a special way. (With God’s grace hopefully one day I can ask St. Ignatius if he ever liked his name–good question!)

  15. Congratulations on your new baby! My 7-month-old is John (after the Baptist and the Evangelist) Augustine (of Hippo) and we affectionately call him “Gus.”

  16. WOW! A friend sent me here and said I HAD to read this! We named our first born son Augustine(he will be 3 in March) and we named our second son Ignatius!!!!!!!! I am sort of in shock to see someone who named their first two sons the same names!! Ignatius was born at exactly 9 pounds too(August of 2011) we are now expecting our third child this May. We LOVE the saints Augustine and Ignatius and really didn’t care what others thought. And yes, we got some complaining about the names and or just downright scolding “how could we name our child THAT?!” I don’t regret our choices at all and we love them and they fit our boys perfectly! We also have problems with Augustine’s name being pronounced wrong and or people thinking it’s a girls name. Since when did it become a girls name?! Most people pronounce it “AugusTEEN” and we pronounce it “AugusTIN” We have to correct people a lot. Anyway, I am still in shock after reading this article and think it’s soo amazing!!!! I will be sharing this….God Bless you and your family, and AMAZING name choices BTW. 😉 Hehe….

    • I think most people are familiar with St. Augustine, FL, which is pronounced AugustEEN, and the “ine” is reminiscent of Christine, Justine, etc., which are feminized versions of male names. Not that I ever heard of a female Augustine, although Augustina could be more common in other cultures.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Wow, indeed, Natalie! That’s too funny–well, I loove your sons’ names–great choices! Thanks so much for writing–that made my day! God bless

      • Out of curiosity…What are you nicknaming him? It was one reason I was struggling with the name at first…We always loved it but I worried about what we’d call him for short! We call him “Nash” for short after debating that issue for some time! We call Augustine “Augy” or “Gus” for short. AFTER we named our son Ignatius we found out that one of my husbands great uncles was named Ignatius and was nicknamed Nish! We were really surprised and happy that not only did we name him after a great saint but it turned out to be a family name too!

        • Meg Matenaer on

          Hi, Natalie–I don’t think we will call him by a nickname. He or his friends might shorten it, but I think we’ll simply call him Ignatius.

  17. Ignatius has been a popular choice on my mother’s side of the family for generations. Prepare yourself for “Ignatz” (which I prefer to “Nate”, only because Nate is more properly the shortened version of Nathaniel or Nathanael, and also because it was so popular with the granola-head crowd when my own kids were small).

    We’re used to “weird” names because we all have very Irish names — real Irish names, with weird extra vowels and consonants that make no sense to the uninitiated — so Ignatius is pretty bland for us.

    • Hi!
      I know what you mean My Mum named my Two Brothers Monaghan – in Irish it means ”little monk” and Alophonus which means ”ready for battle”
      Which is interesting one joined the Foreign Missions and the Other the Marines

      • Meg Matenaer on

        Thanks for writing–I spent a year in Ireland during college, and I was completely mystified about how to pronounce those names (which I learned were very beautiful names after calling aside a dear Irish friend of mine and secretly reading the newspaper with her!) God bless (and what great names you have!)

    • Funny you mention the Irish names. My daughter (Mary Kathleen or Mary Kate to the world) does Irish dancing. You’d think the name Moira was in the top ten baby names for the last two decades or so. I just checked the Social Security Index and it’s not even in the top 1000 names for the last 13 years. And in her little Irish dance world, Aoife is a fairly common name.

  18. Also, if you go the Ignatz route, you get all the Krazy Kat/Ignatz references to draw from…plus he’ll be immortalized on Michael Stipe’s bicep! 😉

  19. Those are perfectly good names. My husband was Ignatius. I called him Iggy. I would rather have any of those names than the new-fangled ones.

  20. I LOVE that! We had our first baby this past October and named her Susannah (rhymes with Hosana, not with banana) – but if she had been a boy, I was lobbying for Athanasius or Ignatius or Aloysius. I am still keeping Scholastica for a girl in my back pocket…!

  21. Congrats on the little one – Looking at your picture I’m think genetics that face on a child – Oh well life has its up and downs

  22. Cool names! Very original. I like that!
    When they hit their teens they will be known as “Iggy” and “Auggie”.
    Whatever you do, don’t call them Nate or Gus…these nicknames don’t sound as friendly.

  23. Good for you –. One of my favourite little boys is named Xavier. As the family isn’t Spanish it’s a give away that they are devout Catholics. A big name for a little guy, but God willing he’ll grow into it!

  24. Hoping for good health and long life to him.
    BTW if he picks up “Iggy” as a nickname your husband will be Iggy Pop.

  25. Barbara Kays on

    Hi, great names all of our children have saint names and so do our grandchildren. Funny my first thought was I know how to spell Ignatius.
    When our children say their prayers they were taught to ask their saint to pray for them.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      That’s beautiful about your children and grandchildren’s names! And it is a plus when little heads perk up in the pews because they heard their names during the Litany of Saints 🙂 God bless!

  26. Congratulations on your son, Ignatius is a common name here in Ireland for people of my parents generation, it usually shortened to “Neecie” or “Neecy” for some reason.

  27. Okay, I can’t just lurk after reading all of these Catholic gladiator names. I’ve worked up my courage to write THE LIST of all of my sweet babies, which I have never written down before, together,as four of these little ones flew up to heaven. Here goes:
    Michael Martin (heaven) (left us at five weeks)
    Christian Michael 25
    Maximilian Kolbe 22
    Sophia Marie (when the name wasn’t even on the top 40 in 1993!) 19
    Blaise Augustine 16
    John Paul 13
    Maria Angelina (heaven) left us at 22 weeks
    Teresa Claire (heaven) left us at eight weeks
    Lucas Alejandro 9
    Mark Xavier (Xave) 6
    Charlotte Elise 3
    Ambrose Joaquin (heaven) left us at 36 weeks
    Robert Francis (heaven) left us at six weeks
    ???? New little blessing, almost 14 weeks
    🙂 🙂 🙂
    * * *
    A warm and hearty welcome to little Ignatius!

      • Oh, thank you so much. I’m a beggar for any and all prayers.–(And I can’t believe I miscounted the amount of miscarriages I’ve had when I reread the list).

        • Meg Matenaer on

          Congratulations, Anna, on your newest little one, and I’m so sorry about your children who left you too soon–you will be in my prayers. And what a beautiful family you have–and I love the names! (We have a Sophia Marie, too 🙂 God bless

  28. How wonderful!! We, too, have a little boy whom we named Ignatius! He is almost 14 months old, and was born on the same day as both his paternal grandfather and great-great grandfather, so we gave him that family name for his middle name (it is Granville, and we figured since we were going against the grain by naming him Ignatius, we might as well do it up right and be brave and go for Ignatius Granville). At first family was a little put off, but I think the name has grown on them. And, we still get that deer in the headlights look when total strangers ask about him when we are out. We also named our other two children non-mainstream names (Sylvia Grace and Walden Joseph) so we are used to the reactions by now. As for a nickname for Ignatius, we have actually been trying to use his full name; however, my 3 year old son started calling him something that is kinda cute and has stuck a little bit: baby Nacy. Not sure if we will continue with the use of Nacy, but for now it is okay. Again, congratulations on the birth of your little baby Ignatius! God bless your family and have a wonderful 2013.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      I think we, too, will try to use his full name…but Baby Nacy is awfully cute…thanks for writing, and a very blessed New Year to you as well!

      • Ignatius rolls off the tongue pretty smoothly after the first couple hundred times saying it. It’s no problem to use his full name.

    • We nickname our son Ignatius “Nash” and his older brother Augustine calls him “Nashy” It is so natural and works well with the name! Nashy is cute when he’s younger and Nash is still a very nice masculine nickname when he’s older if he decides to stick with it or insist people call him by his full name. 😉

  29. First, I LOVE their names; AWESOME!!!!! Second, I have to share a story with you about our 2nd last daughter’s birth (we have 6 living and 2 in Heaven) just over 7 years ago. After I delivered our daughter and she was cleaned up and brought back to me, the nurse asked what her name was. I told her both names proudly, and she had the AUDACITY to make a face, and tell me “oh that’s so old fashioned. Her second name is much nicer. You should just call her that.” Our daughter’s first name…… MARY.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Oh, that’s tough! Yes, if anyone’s had less-than-positive thoughts about our little guy’s name, they’ve been very sweet about keeping it to themselves!

  30. we have a Perpetua. Before she was born we made the mistake of sharing her name. Many people told us to change it. We felt very strongly about it. Now most of those people love the name and strangers constantly comment on how beautiful the name is…and ask about where it comes from. I have a feeling you will experience the same.

    • We considered Perpetua. It’s my wife’s confirmation name and her feast day is my birthday. I wanted to call her Pippi for short. 🙂 Ultimately we went with Veronica because her due date was Good Friday, but it’s a great name.

      • We now have a Felicity too! Veronica’s little sister is 13 months old. Again, we thought about Perpetua (see above), but went with Felicity instead.

  31. I had an uncle name Augustine. We pronounced his name “Augusteen,” which is the Spanish pronunciation. I knew a guy in middle school and high school named Augustine. We called him Auggy and he was one of the funny, cool guys in our class. I have been flirting with the idea of naming my son Augustine (I need to find a wife first).

  32. Congratulations…my wife and I adopted 2 newborns boys..we named them Dominic Augustine and Michael Gabriel..I love the name Ignatius..and if we ever come into having a third boy I hope to name him Xavier Ignatius…I always wanted a little girl and to name her Sofia Faustina..or Maria Faustina..good strong Catholic names..pray to the saints whose namesake they carry to intercede always for them in their life..God bless.

  33. Awesome! We need to get back to naming our kids after our Catholic heritage. We have six children and our youngest, turning 1 the end of this month and our bookend daughter, is named Mary-Bernadette Philomena. We never find out what we are having so we always have two sets of names in mind but we never share with anyone, not even the other children. The kids read about St. Philomena and said if it’s a girl can we name her Philomena. After 6 months of this I finally turned to my wife and said, “I think God wants this child to bear the name if it’s a girl.” Deo Gratias, we received our second daughter and thus the very long and very Catholic name. I am hoping to convince her to take Rose Phillipinne Duschense for her Confirmation name. Fit that on the church records!:) God bless you.

  34. My wife and I have two daughters, one just born last week. We have a similar experience, as we named our first daughter Fuastina and our newest daughter Chiara (after Chiara Luce Badano). Good to know there are others out there doing the same!

  35. I’m always fascinated by the naming process. I often wonder why it is that everyone (or at least a specific demographic) starts to like a name at the same time. For instance, in our parish grade school there are four Genevieves in the younger grades. They all go by Gigi. I don’t think I’ve met another Genevieve ever, yet, these families, who didn’t know each other, but who all have very similar demographics all decided independently to name their daughters Genevieve. Some of the moms had probably picked the name a decade or more ago. What are the odds? I actually think they’re pretty good. When one of my sons was confirmed a few years back, something like 11 of the 50 or so girls chose the name Cecelia. I predicted then that Cecelia was going to be an up and coming popular name. Wouldn’t you know that my next door neighbor’s daughter in law just gave birth to a baby girl named Cecelia!

    I do think Ignatius is a name that is gaining in popularity. I have heard of quite a few Ignatius babies in the last few years. Our own little Thomas Ignatius was so named because he was born and died on July 31, the feast of St. Ignantius. We had entertained the possibility of calling him Iggy, but he didn’t live long enough for us to get to know whether he was more an Iggy or a Tommy.

    Xavier is another Catholic name that is becoming downright popular. My daughter has said for a few years now that someday she’s going to have a daughter named Evangeline. I was recently surprised to hear my neice, who lives five states away, had chosen Evangeline for her confirmation name. Fascinating!

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Oh, it is so interesting, isn’t it? And that’s something that you’ve met other little Ignatiuses–I still haven’t yet.
      And I’m so sorry for your own little Thomas Ignatius who left too soon. What a heartache to have to say goodbye so soon after saying hello–thank you so much writing, and blessings on your family this New Year.

  36. Congratulations–Ignatius is a beautiful name. Very strong, very masculine.

    I’m the mom of a 22-year-old Augustine. Yeah, a lot of people pronounce his name AugustEEN–despite there being no confusion over his sister Madeline’s name—but his preferred pronunciation is finally sinking in. He did acquire the nickname Gus for most of his life, but we have a five-syllable last name and I guess something had to give. (Our youngest is Maximilian, after M. Kolbe, though most people assume Max is short for Maxwell. ) Interestingly, when Augustine started college he shed the nickname Gus and now introduces himself as Augustine.

    One of his friends also has a cool name: Peregrine Thaddeus. He goes by PT, which is a poor second.

    It’s too bad the name Lucifer (“bearer of light”) has such an unfortunate connotation. It was not uncommon in the early Church, and was even used by at least one bishop. It would take a lot of guts to confer THAT name on a baby!

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you so much for writing! I love that your son started calling himself Augustine again when he started college–that gives me hope that maybe our son might love his name, too!

      God bless!

  37. Blessings to all who have contributed – what a lively and interesting conversation! Our “little” guy is named after not only a Yankee third baseman, but the third Pope: Cletis. (Anglicized from Anacletus; and mentioned at some Masses: “Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, etc.) Most call him Cletis, but some of us say “Clete” – like Boyer. My father had the middle name of Aloysius and chose Ignatius as his Confirmation name. This is such a great way to celebrate our faith – choosing the names for our little ones and having the gift of selecting a saint we can aspire to emulate when we become Soldiers for Christ. How blessed we are as Catholics! Happy, healthy and blessed 2013.

  38. Kudos to Meg and your husband for your faith and courage! We have been where you are. It is the road less traveled and my husband and I are happier for it.

    Our Parish priest said that children need to to have a patron saint to look up to and encouraged picking a saint’s name for a baby. We choose martyr’s names for our boys and decided that the gorier the stories were, the more boys would appreciate that someday. Of our 9 children we have: Blaise, Xavier, Apollinaris, Justin, Demetrius, and Killian. The boys love their names! It was a difficult thing at first for our relatives, but now everyone looks forward to what the next baby will be named. Our small town also gets excited about the speculation of what the new name will be. We enjoy life in the fast last and are (apparently) rebels at heart. Courage is priceless in this day and age. Courage is what you need to be a remnant Catholic. May God Bless you as you choose the road less traveled.

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you for writing, Cheryl! I just read your comment aloud to my husband and we both laughed–I loved ‘the gorier the story…’ So true! And congrats to you on your name choices–I love that your boys are so proud of them, too. God bless!

  39. When I was born in the ’60s my parents and their siblings chose not to give me and my cousins saint’s names. My great grandfather was appalled. So when I had my kids I purposely chose saint’s names for my boys – Luke and Timothy – to honour my great-grandfather even though he had died 10 years before my kids were born. And I just realized that my maternal grandmother’s twin brother was Joseph Ignatius 🙂

  40. As an L&D nurse, I’ve explained more than a few times, “He/She is named after a Catholic Saint.” Usually it gets an, “Oh, OK that makes sense.” from non-Catholic nurses. Its the horribly misspelled names in effort to be trendy or unique that get the eye rolls! Congratulations!

  41. When I was growing up, I often felt dejected at not having a crazy, saintly name. My parents used my middle name for my baptism, but still, even that name just-so-happened to have a Saint or two attached to it; it was not a purposefully Catholic choice on the part of my parents. Scholastica, Kateri, Jermaine: I oohed and aahed at those names.

    But maybe this gives me motivation to add a new name to the Saintly lexicon after my death 😉

  42. When I was born in the ’60s my parents did not give me a saint’s name. In fact my first name is actually a Spanish adjective. My great grandfather was unhappy about this. However my middle name means ‘God with us’ so Great-Grandpa grudgingly accepted my name. Years later when I had my own children I named them after saints – Timothy and Luke – even though Great-Grandpa had been dead for years. And I just realized G.G.Pa named his first born son Joseph Ignatius!

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  44. What wonderful names! I just listened to a catholic moments podcast from 2 months ago that mentioned your post… had to stop by to read 🙂

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Thank you, Sarah! I just signed a birthday card this weekend and listed all our children and I laughed because it wasn’t clear what millennium we were in! God bless!

  45. Congratulations on your name choice for your son! My name is Ignatius . My father went to Jesuit schools and named me Ignatius Loyola. Certainly I still get the “deer in the headlight “look at times when introducing myself but it has many advantages as people always remember my name, and it will build character and uniqueness in your son. I myself went to Jesuit High School, University and Medical School (Loyola and Georgetown) and have a great wife and family of my own now. We have a son and two daughters and named our son Gregory Ignatius.
    I have gone by the nicknames Iggy, Ig and Nate at various points along the way,but as I get older Ignatius seems to be more the name I prefer.
    Its a great name and I applaud you and your husband for your choice. Good job !!

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Hi, Ignatius! So great to hear from you! I laughed and read your message out loud to my husband. I’m so happy that things turned out just fine for you ;), and I’ll think of your story when I get funny looks about his name. A very blessed and happy Easter to you and your family!

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  47. Buenaflor Nicolas on

    Hi Meg,

    Our very first grandchild was born on April 8th. Throughout the whole pregnancy, my son (Elijah) and his wife (Shirley) did not want to know the gender of their child so they chose two names. I told them to keep the names secret too so that they will not be affected by people’s opinion. As we were watching a nurse cleaning up our new grandson from a window of the nursery, my son showed us from his iphone the name they have chosen for him – Ignatius! We were overjoyed. Elijah and Shirley chose the name because they met and fell in love when they were 16 at St. Ignatius College Preparatory. They continued to nurture their love until they finished high school, college, and graduate schools. The name Ignatius is quite special and for the years to come, it will surely be. The Bishop already volunteered to baptize our grandson on May 30th!

    • Meg Matenaer on

      Congratulations!! And what an excellent name. I now know of two other families in our city who have an Ignatius. Tell your kids it’s trending 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  48. I just came across this and had to comment. We named our son (born in 2006) Ignatius, after St. Ignatius of Loyola. Although there are times when he asks me, “Why didn’t you choose a more common name for me?” (Mostly because he couldn’t ever find any personalized souvenir that has his name printed on it ?), overall he is happy with his name. We call him Iggy at home, though most of his friends call him Ignatius which he prefers nowadays, being almost 9 and all ?. The only thing he complains about is that not too many people can pronounce his name when they read it. He gets really excited when someone actually say it correctly! He usually comments with, “They must be Catholics!” ? I am very happy to hear that he is not the only Ignatius nowadays! ?

    • Our Ignatius was also born in 2006, and also prefers his full name (he lets his baseball team call him Iggy but that’s it). Although our son was actually born in July, his patron saint is Ignatius of Antioch. If he thinks his name is uncommon, I should show him this article! Also, it helps that his brother is named Bonaventure – I still haven’t come across another one of those yet, so Ignatius is common by comparison.

      • Bonaventure! Another great name. Yes, Ignatius is common around here–I know two others in our group of friends. Maybe he’ll wish that you’d named him something more uncommon!

        • Also, my Bonaventure has a second grade classmate named Augustine (whose parents are actually Bonaventure’s godparents). They go by Bono and Gus, but they are proud of their full names. 🙂

    • Love it! That’s so great that he’s proud of his name. Our Ignatius (Nayshuth, as he says) is two and half now, and his best buddy down the street is also Ignatius so it’s trendy in our neighborhood! Thanks for writing!

  49. I am very late to this post but I have just recently come across it.
    I love your choices. We are expecting our 4th any day now and Augustine is on our list.
    Our first 3 are Evangeline, Casimir, and Ignatius. So we definitely have similar tastes.

    We very often get the questions and the nasty comments, but I find that much more often than not people are pleasantly surprised with a “traditional exotic” name.

    As it’s been many years now I hope Augustine and Ignatius are both doing well.

  50. I just came across this post. Great name choices! I too, have a son named Ignatius Victor, born in 2013. He has been called Iggy until this past month, when he decided he prefers to be called Ignatius. It’s been fun reading the comments about all of the other Ignatius’. It’s always interesting to see people’s reactions when we introduce him!

  51. I am a lover of unique names. When people ask where we got our son Emeric’s name I say he was named after a Saint. Our second is named Ephrem and he was named after a saint as well. If you want your little ones to go by a certain nickname start calling them by that nickname from the start. My third is named Adelaide and my husband did not want an Addy so from the start we have called her Della. My MIL tried to call her Addy a few times but it never stuck. Our fourth is Ophelia and when people ask what we call her we say “Ophelia”. We have two babes in Heaven and we named them Isaiah and Ignatius

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