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Selecting a saint for baptism


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#1 Fred B.

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:04 PM

My apologies if this is in the wrong section or has already been posted.

I will be baptised on Holy Saturday this year, and I'm looking for resources to help me select my patron Saint. Of course, I have been discussing this with our priest and he is very helpful, and I have also been praying for my Saint to find me.

Is there a good resource on the web for reading the lives of the Saints, or the Kontakion for each Saint? Can anyone offer further advice on selecting a Saint?

#2 Eric Peterson

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:10 PM

Why not St. Frederick of Utrecht?
http://www.allmercif...s-Frederick.htm

#3 Christina M.

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:35 PM

My favorite resource for reading lives of the saints online is the Mystagogy blog at www.johnsanidopoulos.com, but since there are so many articles there, you kinda have to know the name of the saint you want to search for. Many of the saints' pages have Kontakia at the bottom.

#4 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 07:44 PM

Dear Fred,

The only sites I know to with a lot of saints lives are G.O.A.R.C.H. and O.C.A. of these the latter normally has more information [http://www.oca.org/FSlives.asp?SID=4]. However, once you have narrowed it down it might be worth reading the Lives of the Saints such as those by St Demetrius [http://chrysostompress.org/] see if your parish library has a copy of the Lives of the Saints.


The Menologion Programme has the Kontakion for some saints in traditional English. [http://saintjohnwond...menologion.htm] and the aforementioned websites have some as well.

Yours Daniel,

#5 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 08:29 PM

Can anyone offer further advice on selecting a Saint?


My standard advice for a saints name at baptism
1. Start with the saint whose name you already bear. Through the prayers of this saint you have come to the door of the Church, why abandon him now. This could be either your first name or your middle name (or I suppose in some cases even your family name).

2. If you do not have a saint's name, then go with a sound alike or with a name that reflects the same meaning (for example: Photini, Claire and Svetlana are all the same name).

3. Failing 1 & 2 then go to the saint who is celebrated on the day you were born (or if you follow an old Russian custom - within the 40 days afterward).

4. Failing 1,2 or 3 then choose a saint who has been influential in your coming to the faith or whose life you wish to emulate.

5. Failing all of the above, ask your priest to give you a name of his choosing.

In your particular case:
Going all the way back to number 1 - there are some "Fredericks" out there among the obscure western saints
or
At number 2 - Frederick in German is Friedrich the root of which means "peace" which coincidentally is the same as Ireneus/Irenei

Fr David Moser

#6 Olga

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:07 PM

To Fr David's excellent advice, I would add that choosing a patron saint with the same initial as your birth name is also useful.

#7 Donna Rail

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:02 PM

Congratulations on your upcoming Baptism. :)

#8 Paul Cowan

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 03:53 AM

Paul is a good name. :)

#9 Fred B.

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:01 PM

Thank you all so much for your help, advice, and encouragement! Fr. David, your advice is excellent, and I will remember it in the future if anyone else needs such advice. I think St. Frederik of Utrecht might well be my Saint. I had not idea there was such a Saint, and I might not have found him if not for this thread. Thank you all!

I have a question about this comment by Fr. David: "Through the prayers of this saint you have come to the door of the Church, why abandon him now."

I have often felt a spiritual presence teaching and correcting me, leading me to Orthodoxy, and have often wondered who this is. Coming from a Protestant background I assumed it was simply God, and now I wonder if there was also someone else. I am still very ignorant of many Orthodox teachings, and not sure what the correct teaching in this matter is. Am I correct in understanding from the above comment that the saint whose name a person bears is their spiritual guide for at least some part of their journey?

#10 Father David Moser

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 04:15 PM

The saints pray for those who bear their name. Whether or not that was the interior prompting that you felt or if that is even the way those prayers affect us is beyond our knowledge. It is best to assume that hearing the prayers of the saints on our behalf, the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts. I do think that just as the master in the parable of the talents entrusted the riches earned back to the two servants to further use, so also God entrusts the riches of grace acquired during this life back to the saints to use and thus some of the effect of their prayers is in a way directly the result of their action - but it is not their grace nor their own merit that we experience, but all comes from God and returns to Him - the saints are, at best, only conduits. But again these things are beyond our understanding so everything I have just said is conjecture - except for the fact that God moves in our lives and bestows grace upon us. The "how" of this is what we don't (and don't need to) understand.

Fr David

#11 Darlene Griffith

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Posted 10 March 2011 - 11:49 PM

Father David,

Is it necessary for one to take a saint's name when being received into the Church? Before I became Orthodox, I was told that I didn't have to select a saint's name; in other words, I was told it was optional. In fact, I was never instructed to do so, and only found out about this practice through private reading. Then when I asked about this practice, I was told it wasn't really necessary. Still, something within prodded me on to choose a saint's name anyway, and now I'm glad I did. :)

How important is it to take a saint's name when being received into the Church? Does one forego a blessing/blessings if they don't choose a saint's name?

#12 Christine Y.

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 08:45 PM

Father David - you recommended this in step 2.
"If you do not have a saint's name, then go with a sound alike or with a name that reflects the same meaning (for example: Photini, Claire and Svetlana are all the same name)."

How does one go about finding these kinds of names? I know on similar sounding, but am at a loss on one that reflects the same meaning, from a different country. I have 3 children who do not have saint names, and would like to find ones in the manner you suggested.

#13 Olga

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Posted 11 March 2011 - 09:44 PM

How does one go about finding these kinds of names? I know on similar sounding, but am at a loss on one that reflects the same meaning, from a different country. I have 3 children who do not have saint names, and would like to find ones in the manner you suggested.


If you were to provide their names, I'm sure folks on this forum who have a knowledge of these things would be happy to help. :-)

#14 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 04:12 AM

In my case, I chose St. Fiech, because he was a convert and a trained in music and poetry. He was not known for great deeds on his own but for assisting another (St. Patrick, Apostle to the Irish).




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