ADRIANmEnglish, Romanian, Polish, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian
Form of Hadrianus
). Several saints and six popes have borne this name, including the only English pope, Adrian IV, and the only Dutch pope, Adrian VI. As an English name, it has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it was not popular until modern times.
From the Late Latin name Agapitus
which was derived from the Greek name Αγαπητος (Agapetos)
meaning "beloved". The name Agapetus was borne by two popes.
ALEXANDERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Hungarian, Slovak, Biblical, Ancient Greek (Latinized), Greek Mythology (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αλεξανδρος (Alexandros)
, which meant "defending men" from Greek αλεξω (alexo)
"to defend, help" and ανηρ (aner)
"man" (genitive ανδρος
). In Greek mythology this was another name of the hero Paris
, and it also belongs to several characters in the New Testament. However, the most famous bearer was Alexander the Great, king of Macedon. In the 4th century BC he built a huge empire out of Greece, Egypt, Persia, and parts of India. Due to his fame, and later medieval tales involving him, use of his name spread throughout Europe.... [more]
ANASTASIUSmAncient Greek (Latinized)
Latinized form of the Greek name Αναστασιος (Anastasios)
which meant "resurrection" from Greek αναστασις (anastasis)
(composed of the elements ανα (ana)
"up" and στασις (stasis)
"standing"). This was the name of numerous early saints and martyrs, including a 7th-century monk and writer from Alexandria who is especially venerated in the Eastern Church.
From the Late Latin name Benedictus
which meant "blessed". Saint Benedict was an Italian monk who founded the Benedictines in the 6th century. After his time the name was common among Christians, being used by 16 popes. In England it did not come into use until the 12th century, at which point it became very popular. This name was also borne by the American general Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), who defected to Britain during the American Revolution.
BONIFACEmFrench, English (Rare)
From the Late Latin name Bonifatius
, which meant "good fate" from bonum
"good" and fatum
"fate". This was the name of nine popes and also several saints, including an 8th-century Anglo-Saxon missionary to Germany (originally named Winfrid) who is now regarded as the patron saint of that country. It came into use in England during the Middle Ages, but became rare after the Protestant Reformation.
Variant of CALLISTUS
, the spelling perhaps influenced by Latin calix
"wine cup". This was the name of three popes (also known as Callistus).
Late Latin name which was derived from the Greek name Καλλιστος (Kallistos)
"most beautiful". This was the name of three popes (also known as Callixtus), including the 3rd-century Callistus I who is regarded as a saint.
CELESTINEf & mEnglish
English form of CAELESTINUS
. It is more commonly used as a feminine name, from the French feminine form Célestine
English form of the Late Latin name Clemens
(or sometimes of its derivative Clementius
) which meant "merciful, gentle". This was the name of 14 popes, including Saint Clement I, the third pope, one of the Apostolic Fathers. Another saint by this name was Clement of Alexandria, a 3rd-century theologian and church father who attempted to reconcile Christian and Platonic philosophies. It has been in general as a given name in Christian Europe (in various spellings) since early times. In England it became rare after the Protestant Reformation, though it was revived in the 19th century.
Short form of ANACLETUS
. This name is sometimes used to refer to the third pope, Saint Anacletus. It can also function an an Anglicized form of KLEITOS
English form of Eugenius
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ευγενιος (Eugenios)
which was derived from the Greek word ευγενης (eugenes)
meaning "well born". It is composed of the elements ευ (eu)
"good" and γενης (genes)
"born". This was the name of several saints and four popes.... [more]
FELIXmGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English, Romanian, Ancient Roman, Biblical, Biblical Latin
From a Roman cognomen meaning "lucky, successful" in Latin. It was acquired as an agnomen, or nickname, by the 1st-century BC Roman general Sulla. It also appears in the New Testament belonging to the governor of Judea who imprisoned Saint Paul
FRANCISm & fEnglish, French
English form of the Late Latin name Franciscus
which meant "Frenchman", ultimately from the Germanic tribe of the Franks, who were named for a type of spear that they used. This name was borne by the 13th-century Saint Francis of Assisi, who was originally named Giovanni but was given the nickname Francesco by his father, an admirer of the French. Francis went on to renounce his father's wealth and devote his life to the poor, founding the Franciscan order of friars. Later in his life he apparently received the stigmata.... [more]
GAIUSmAncient Roman, Biblical Latin, Biblical
Roman praenomen, or given name, of uncertain meaning. It is possibly derived from Latin gaudere
"to rejoice", though it may be of unknown Etruscan origin. This was a very common Roman praenomen, the most famous bearers being Gaius Julius Caesar, the great leader of the Roman Republic, and his adopted son Gaius Octavius (later known as Augustus), the first Roman emperor. This name also appears in the New Testament belonging to a bishop of Ephesus who is regarded as a saint.
English form of Latin Gregorius
, which was from the Late Greek name Γρηγοριος (Gregorios)
, derived from γρηγορος (gregoros)
meaning "watchful, alert". This name was popular among early Christians, being borne by a number of important saints including Saint Gregory Thaumaturgus (3rd century), Saint Gregory the Illuminator (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nyssa (4th century), Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (4th century), and Saint Gregory of Tours (6th century). It was also borne by the 6th-century pope Saint Gregory I the Great, a reformer and Doctor of the Church, as well as 15 subsequent popes.... [more]
Roman name which was derived from Latin hilaris
meaning "cheerful". Alternatively, it could be derived from the Greek name ‘Ιλαρος (Hilaros)
also meaning "cheerful" (the Greek word ‘ιλαρος
was the source of the Latin word hilaris
). Saint Hilarius was a 4th-century theologian and bishop of Poitiers. This was also the name of a 5th-century pope.
Late Latin name which meant "honour". This was the name of an emperor of the Western Roman Empire. It was also borne by a few early saints and four popes.
JOHNmEnglish, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Biblical
English form of Iohannes
, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes)
, itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan)
is gracious", from the roots יוֹ (yo)
referring to the Hebrew God and חָנַן (chanan)
meaning "to be gracious". The Hebrew form occurs in the Old Testament (spelled Johanan
in the English version), but this name owes its popularity to two New Testament characters, both highly revered saints. The first is John the Baptist, a Jewish ascetic who is considered the forerunner of Jesus
. He baptized Jesus and was later executed by Herod
Antipas. The second is the apostle John, who is traditionally regarded as the author of the fourth gospel and Revelation. With the apostles Peter
(his brother), he was part of the inner circle of Jesus.... [more]
LEOmGerman, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Finnish, English, Croatian, Late Roman
Derived from Latin leo
meaning "lion", a cognate of LEON
. It was popular among early Christians and was the name of 13 popes, including Saint Leo the Great who asserted the dominance of the Roman bishops (the popes) over all others in the 5th century. It was also borne by six Byzantine emperors and five Armenian kings. Another famous bearer was Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), a Russian novelist whose works include 'War and Peace' and 'Anna Karenina'. Leo is also the name of a constellation and the fifth sign of the zodiac.
LUCIUSmAncient Roman, Biblical, English
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was derived from Latin lux
"light". This was the most popular of the praenomina. Two Etruscan kings of early Rome had this name as well as several prominent later Romans, including Lucius Annaeus Seneca (known simply as Seneca), a statesman, philosopher, orator and tragedian. The name is mentioned briefly in the New Testament belonging to a Christian in Antioch. It was also borne by three popes, including the 3rd-century Saint Lucius. Despite this, the name was not regularly used in the Christian world until after the Renaissance.
Roman family name which was derived from MARCELLUS
. Saint Marcellinus was a pope of the early 4th century who was supposedly martyred during the persecutions of the Roman emperor Diocletian.
MARCUSmAncient Roman, Biblical Latin, English, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
Roman praenomen, or given name, which was probably derived from the name of the Roman god MARS
. This was among the most popular of the Roman praenomina. Famous bearers include Marcus Tullius Cicero (known simply as Cicero), a 1st-century BC statesman and orator, Marcus Antonius (known as Mark Antony), a 1st-century BC politician, and Marcus Aurelius, a notable 2nd-century emperor. This was also the name of a pope of the 4th century. This spelling has occasionally been used in the English-speaking world, though the traditional English form Mark
has been more common.
MARKmEnglish, Russian, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Biblical
Form of MARCUS
. Saint Mark was the author of the second gospel in the New Testament. Though the author's identity is not certain, some traditions hold him to be the same person as the John Mark who appears in the Book of Acts. He is the patron saint of Venice, where he is supposedly buried. Though in use during the Middle Ages, Mark
was not common in the English-speaking world until the 19th century, when it began to be used alongside the classical form Marcus
MARTINmEnglish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Russian, Romanian, Czech, Slovak, Slovene, Croatian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Macedonian, Finnish
From the Roman name Martinus
, which was derived from Martis
, the genitive case of the name of the Roman god MARS
. Saint Martin of Tours was a 4th-century bishop who is the patron saint of France. According to legend, he came across a cold beggar in the middle of winter so he ripped his cloak in two and gave half of it to the beggar. He was a favourite saint during the Middle Ages, and his name has become common throughout the Christian world.... [more]
Derived from Greek μιλτος (miltos)
meaning "red earth" and the patronymic suffix ιδης (ides)
. This was the name of the general who led the Greek forces to victory against the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.
From the Greek name Νικολαος (Nikolaos)
which meant "victory of the people" from Greek νικη (nike)
"victory" and λαος (laos)
"people". Saint Nicholas was a 4th-century bishop from Anatolia who, according to legend, saved the daughters of a poor man from lives of prostitution. He is the patron saint of children, sailors and merchants, as well as Greece and Russia. He formed the basis for the figure known as Santa Claus (created in the 19th century from Dutch Sinterklaas
), the bringer of Christmas presents.... [more]
PAULmEnglish, French, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Romanian, Biblical
From the Roman family name Paulus
, which meant "small" or "humble" in Latin. Paul was an important leader of the early Christian church. According to Acts in the New Testament, he was a Jewish Roman citizen who converted to Christianity after the resurrected Jesus
appeared to him. After this he travelled the eastern Mediterranean as a missionary. His original Hebrew name was Saul
. Many of the epistles in the New Testament were authored by him.... [more]
PETERmEnglish, German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Slovene, Slovak, Biblical
Derived from the Greek Πετρος (Petros)
meaning "stone". This is a translation used in most versions of the New Testament of the name Cephas
, meaning "stone" in Aramaic, which was given to the apostle Simon
(compare Matthew 16:18 and John 1:42). Simon Peter was the most prominent of the apostles during Jesus' ministry and is often considered the first pope.... [more]
Late Latin name meaning "pious, dutiful". This was the name of twelve popes.
Roman family name, possibly meaning "servant" in Latin but most likely of unknown Etruscan origin. Saint Sergius was a 4th-century Roman officer who was martyred in Syria with his companion Bacchus. They are the patron saints of Christian desert nomads. Another saint by this name (in the Russian form Sergey
) was a 14th-century Russian spiritual leader. The name was also borne by four popes.
Roman family name which was derived from SEVERUS
. Severinus was the name of many early saints, including a 6th-century Roman philosopher martyred by the Ostrogothic king Theodoric. It was also borne by a pope.
SILVESTERmDutch, English, Slovene, Slovak, German, Late Roman
From a Roman name meaning "of the forest" from Latin silva
"wood, forest". This was the name of three popes, including Saint Silvester I who supposedly baptized the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine
the Great. As an English name, Silvester
) has been in use since the Middle Ages, though it became less common after the Protestant Reformation.
Latin form of the Greek name Ξυστος (Xystos)
meaning "scraped, polished". This name was borne by five popes. The first pope by this name was the sixth to serve after Saint Peter, so there is a possibility that this name is in fact derived from Latin sextus
From the Greek name Στεφανος (Stephanos)
meaning "crown", more precisely "that which surrounds". Saint Stephen was a deacon who was stoned to death, as told in Acts in the New Testament. He is regarded as the first Christian martyr. Due to him, the name became common in the Christian world. It was popularized in England by the Normans.... [more]
From the Greek name Θεοδωρος (Theodoros)
, which meant "gift of god" from Greek θεος (theos)
"god" and δωρον (doron)
"gift". The name Dorothea
is derived from the same roots in reverse order. This was the name of several saints, including Theodore of Amasea, a 4th-century Greek soldier; Theodore of Tarsus, a 7th-century archbishop of Canterbury; and Theodore the Studite, a 9th-century Byzantine monk. It was also borne by two popes.... [more]
From the Roman cognomen Valentinus
which was itself from the name Valens
meaning "strong, vigourous, healthy" in Latin. Saint Valentine was a 3rd-century martyr. His feast day was the same as the Roman fertility festival of Lupercalia, which resulted in the association between Valentine's day and love. As an English name, it has been used occasionally since the 12th century.
VICTORmEnglish, French, Portuguese, Romanian, Dutch, Swedish, Late Roman
Roman name meaning "victor, conqueror" in Latin. It was common among early Christians, and was borne by several early saints and three popes. It was rare as an English name during the Middle Ages, but it was revived in the 19th century. A famous bearer was the French writer Victor Hugo (1802-1885), who authored 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and 'Les Misérables'.