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Picking a saint's name for myself


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#81 Nina

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:43 AM

I am not sure that the origin as stated here from Swedish is correct, but I do not know for sure.


After consulting Duden, I read that 'heilig' originates from Rune's times. However it is not very clear -and Duden states that. (Anthony, we need a linguist here!) It is said that it may come from Gothic-Germanic and may be earlier than that and it goes back to Rune. What they agree on is that 'heilig' was a word that meant enchantment, luck, being lucky etc. Therefore we can understand the transformation in Christian times of these pagan notions. However what impressed me is the claim that connects healthy to holy in Swedish from Wikipedia in German.

#82 Olga

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 03:09 AM

[quote name='Nina']Although we know her as Olga, in baptism St. Olga received the name Helena.[quote]

...and her grandson St Vladimir was baptised as Basil.

#83 Anthony

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 01:58 PM

Dear Nina,

Yes, I believe it goes back to an old Germanic word with a range of meanings "whole / healthy / auspicious / lucky", and would certainly go back to runic times and even before. It also has this range of meanings in the (in-)famous phrase "Sieg (und) Heil" - "Victory and luck / prosperity" - which was the acclamation given to the "Holy Roman Emperors", and possibly the Saxon kings before them.

In case anybody is interested (Olga might be), it seems to go right back to the same Indo-European root as the Russian "tsel-" - whole, heal (and hence "greet", "kiss"). :)

As far as the Greek Olgas are concerned, I am guessing but its popularity there may also have something to do with the relatively recent Queen Olga of Greece, who still has roads named after her in most Greek cities.

Edited by Anthony, 25 January 2008 - 08:54 PM.


#84 Effie Ganatsios

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 02:44 PM

As far as the Greek Olgas are concerned, I am guessing but its popularity there may also have something to do with the relatively recent Queen Olga of Greece, who still has roads named after her in most Greek cities.



A very good observation and probably true. There is quite a lot about Queen Olga in the book I am presently reading about St. Nektarios but it is mostly negative and describes some of her meddling in various matters.

Does everyone else on this thread find the origins of words (not just names) as fascinating as I do? I also love researching various traditions and why people do some of the things they do.

For example, in the past, before all these new, wonderful, Italian tiles overwhelmed house builders here, flagstones were laid on paths and verandas, and porches. In the lent period just before Easter all the women would painstakingly paint(whitewash) the concrete spaces between the stones with limewash. Everything inside and outside the house had to be perfect for Christ's resurrection. A few years ago, while reading a book about the history of the Jews, I came across this exact same procedure. Good housewives would whitewash not only their houses but also the tiny spaces between their flagstones in preparation for one of their holy days.

Now of course, we have white concrete and don't need whitewash, although it was much healthier (when used on interior walls) because lime pretty much kills all the germs and bacteria it comes into contact with.

Effie

#85 Constantine

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 05:07 PM

Howdy!

Being a catechumen who was brought up as a Lutheran, I am pretty much lost
when it comes to deciding on a name/patron saint for myself.

I thought that I might have felt a nudge when I went to a Liturgy on St. Nectarios Day...
Then again, that was the only "saint service" that I have attended to date.

I am lost!

Any suggestions about how to sift through the vast legion of saints and come up
with only one?

Dave


Dear Dave,

I am an erstwhile Lutheran as well (LCMS) and delighted to hear that you are a catechumen. While I am hesitant to give advice, there are two things I should like to mention:

1. It's best to let a saint find you, rather than the other way around. So, if you felt a "nudge" concerning St. Nectarios, perhaps he has found you?

2. I was in the same boat when my family and I were catechumens. My priest suggested I look at which saints are commemorated on the days on which we were baptized. That way, we would be able to connect our nameday, patron saint, and Holy Baptism. That seemed perfectly Orthodox and gave me St. Constantine (21 May) as my patron.

I hope this is helpful!

Yours in Christ,
Constantine

#86 Aaron Wake

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 06:43 AM

How about David?!!

I was pretty much led in the direction of using my own name which is already a Christian name. I guess it helps keep things simple.


Howdy!

Being a catechumen who was brought up as a Lutheran, I am pretty much lost
when it comes to deciding on a name/patron saint for myself.

I thought that I might have felt a nudge when I went to a Liturgy on St. Nectarios Day...
Then again, that was the only "saint service" that I have attended to date.

I am lost!

Any suggestions about how to sift through the vast legion of saints and come up
with only one?

Dave



#87 David Naess

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:38 PM

Howdy!

I just asked my priest: "So, what's the procedure --
do I pick a name for myself or does the priest
pick a name out of a hat?"

His response was: "What's wrong with David?
It's a good name and there are some good icons of David."

Fr. David, I bow to your wisdom!

Dave (soon to be David)

#88 David Naess

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:49 PM

Dear Dave,

I am an erstwhile Lutheran as well (LCMS) and delighted to hear that you are a catechumen. While I am hesitant to give advice, there are two things I should like to mention:

1. It's best to let a saint find you, rather than the other way around. So, if you felt a "nudge" concerning St. Nectarios, perhaps he has found you?

2. I was in the same boat when my family and I were catechumens. My priest suggested I look at which saints are commemorated on the days on which we were baptized. That way, we would be able to connect our nameday, patron saint, and Holy Baptism. That seemed perfectly Orthodox and gave me St. Constantine (21 May) as my patron.

I hope this is helpful!

Yours in Christ,
Constantine


Howdy Constantine!

Good to know that I'm not the only former LCMS (and a few other things
along the way) Lutheran who is here!

Now how do we convince all of these people that before the Tower of
Babel, the entire world spoke German?

Dave

#89 Paul Cowan

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 11:55 PM

Sorry Dave,

This has already been discussed in great detail about a year ago. It is a well known fact supported by most everyone across the pond that the prelanguage of man was Anglish. :)

#90 Olga

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 12:08 AM

There are more than a dozen saints with the name David, including David the King and Psalmist, David of Thessalonica, David the King of Georgia, David of Garedzhi, David of Yaroslav, and, let's not forget David of Wales! ....




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