Naming Henry


As Craig and I have been talking a lot lately about what to name our second child, I thought I’d write about how we named Henry. 🙂

A few different things happened that confirmed our choice and liking in the name Henry.  First of all, we liked the name.  We liked the name Henry from the beginning.  We felt like we always kept going back to that name whenever we would throw out different names.  We’d say, “I still like the name Henry.”  It always made its way into our list of names we liked.

The name ‘Henry’ means “house leader”.  We felt like it was a strong name for a male.  We felt like whatever vocation Henry is called to, we pray he will be a leader for that ‘house’ — whether it is the House of God or his own home.

Craig and I were both strongly formed in Newman Centers in college.  Newman Centers are named after Blessed John Henry Newman.  We wanted Henry to be named after a ‘blessed’ or a ‘saint’.  Blessed John Henry Newman is certainly a great saint who touched our lives, and we pray Henry will be friends with Blessed John Henry Newman and look up to him as a role model in the way he lived his life on earth.

Craig and I also heard a story about St. Henry Heath that touched both of our hearts.  St. Henry Heath was a heroic martyr in England who prayed for the conversion of his country.  He stood up for God’s law in a country that wasn’t always following the church’s teachings.  We felt St. Henry Heath was a great saint to look up to in our culture we live in.  Here is the story we read:

After we were pretty sure Henry’s name would be Henry, we learned that Henry is a family name on both Craig’s said of the family and my own side of the family.  We liked that a lot about it.

We decided on Allan for his middle name because it is Craig’s middle name, Craig’s Dad’s middle name, and my Dad’s name.  We wanted to honor these influential men in our own lives and know that they will be some of the most influential men in Henry’s life as well.

After researching the name Allan, I learned that there is also a Blessed Alan.  When I learned that it brought me even more peace that that was going to be Henry’s middle name.  Saint Dominic established the rosary, but Blessed Alan restored it.  I pray Henry always has a strong devotion to Our Lady through the rosary.

Although Henry is not named after him, Henry was born on the feast day of St. Francis Xavier.  We love St. Francis Xavier and feel very humbled to have Henry born on his feast day.  Again, we feel like it is St. Francis Xavier inviting Henry to be his friend and letting him and us know that he will always be praying for him.  What a special and humbling gift to us and to Henry.



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