On September 4, 2016, Mother Teresa will officially be declared a saint of the Catholic Church.
Mother Teresa’s religious name honors St. Thérèse de Lisieux, but she opted for the Spanish spelling “Teresa” when she took her religious vows (back in 1931) because another nun in the convent was already using the name “Thérèse.”
Her birth name was Anjezë, an Albanian form of Agnes, which can be traced back to the ancient Greek word hagnos, meaning “pure, chaste.”
Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparitions seen by three shepherd children (Lúcia, Francisco, and Jacinta) near the town of Fátima, Portugal.
The place name Fátima is based on the Arabic personal name Fatimah, meaning “to wean.”
If the usage of Fatima does rise in the U.S. in 2017, I’ll be curious to see how much of that increase comes from states with large Portuguese populations (like Massachusetts, California, and Rhode Island).
…Which of these two names do you prefer?