As I mention in #2 here, my older children insist that the new baby’s name is “Joy.” It was the strangest thing: my four-year-old son got it into his head one day when I was still pregnant that that was the baby’s name, and has not backed down since then. When guests refer to her by her real name, he or my two-year-old will adamantly correct them that she is to be called “Joy.” They’ve been so insistent that our family has just given up and officially given her that nickname.
Meanwhile, her real name is Catherine. It’s odd because Catherine was never a name I’d felt drawn to — it wasn’t even on the list for consideration with my other daughters. Yet as soon as I found out that this baby was a girl, I knew that that was her name. We never seriously discussed any other options. I didn’t feel like I was choosing a name for her as much as it seemed like I was just articulating the name she already had.
Soon after I said that prayer, a package with a painting of St. Catherine of Siena arrived in the mail. My uncle had been traveling Italy and just so happened to be in Siena on the day she was born, so he got the picture of the famous saint for the baby. He didn’t know what day she was going to be born — it was just a “coincidence” that he was in Siena that day.
I figured that that was probably an indicator that she was meant to be named after Catherine of Siena, but wished I had a little more certainty. Then the other day I was researching something unrelated, and happened to come across this biography of Catherine of Siena. My jaw dropped when I read:
Her family gave her the pet name of Euphrosyne, which is Greek for Joy.
I guess that answers the question.
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