New saint names: Damien, Jeanne, Nuno, Zygmunt

Some of my favorite saints — St. Therese, St. Francis, St. Faustina and St. Bruno — are commemorated in early October. So it seems fitting to me that five new saints would be canonized right around this time of year. (Next weekend, to be precise.) The five blesseds in question are:

  • Bl. Jozef de Veuster, a.k.a. Father Damien (1840-1889) of Belgium and, later, Molokai.
  • Bl. Rafael Arnáiz Barón (1911-1938) of Spain.
  • Bl. Jeanne Jugan, a.k.a. Mary of the Cross (1792-1879) of France.
  • Bl. Zygmunt Szczesny Felinski (1822-1895) of Poland.
  • Bl. Francisco Coll y Guitart (1812-1875) of Spain.

And this is actually the second batch of saints for 2009. The first group, canonized in April, consisted of:

  • St. Arcangelo Tadini (1846-1912) of Italy.
  • St. Bernardo Tolomei (1272-1348) of Italy.
  • St. Caterina Volpicelli (1839-1894) of Italy.
  • St. Gertrude Comensoli (1847-1903) of Italy.
  • St. Nuno Álvares Pereira (1360-1431) of Portugal.

As far as saint names go, I believe Nuno is a brand new one. There are Bernardos and Gertrudes and Jeannes and Rafaels, but no Nunos. Behind the Name suggests that Nuno is derived from the Latin word nonus, meaning ninth. Wikipedia, on the other hand, lists other sources such as the Latin word nonnus, meaning monk or tutor.

4 thoughts on “New saint names: Damien, Jeanne, Nuno, Zygmunt

  1. does anyone out there know of any books on zygmunt szcz?sny feli?ski or on Saint Josephat. I have been looking but am no computer genius, so i am asking for help rom anywhere i can, thank you, peace, joe

  2. Hi Joe,

    I’ve been looking.

    I haven’t been able to find anything to far on Saint Felinski. (Here is his Vatican profile–maybe that will be helpful.)

    Same with Saint Josaphat, though he does seem to be mentioned in a bunch of general and reference books on the saints. Here’s a search I did at Amazon, for instance. Not sure how prominently he figures in any of these, though.

    Can anyone else recommend a book on either of these saints (if such books exist)?

  3. Just learned that the first child of actress Maureen O’Sullivan and director John Farrow had been named in part for Father Damien.

    Maureen O’Sullivan’s baby has been named Michael Damien. The Damien is after Father Damien, the heroic priest, about whom husband John Farrow wrote a book.

    Source: “Star’s Baby Named.” Pittsburgh Press 16 June 1939: 23.

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