• Please remember: Pray for Ukraine in the Prayer forum; Share news in the Christian News section; Discuss religious implications in FFA: Religious Topics; Discuss political implications in Politics (and if you don't have access, PM me) Thank you! + Fr. George, Forum Administrator

The effect of Theophilic/saintly names (example)

Amatorus

OC.Net Guru
Joined
May 11, 2014
Messages
1,105
Reaction score
1
Points
0
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavrilo_Princip


"He was one of nine children, six of whom died in infancy.[8] He was named Gavrilo at the insistence of a local Serbian Orthodox priest, who claimed that naming the sickly infant after the Archangel Gabriel would help him survive.[9]" Was this belief heretical? Does someone being named Christopher vs. Warren or something have any effect?
 

Minnesotan

Archon
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
3,329
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Age
33
That guy's in the same league with Thomas Midgley Jr. in terms of "most deaths inadvertently caused by a single person's actions".

Being named after the Archangel didn't help him any, at least in the long run.

Most cultures, though, did tend to believe that names had real power. In Biblical times, names like "Nabal" (meaning Fool) or "Gareb" (Scabby) were believed to be given in order to ward off evil spirits, who would seemingly only be interested in harming the strong and smart ones. I remember reading of similar beliefs persisting among the Ethiopians.

It's not entirely superstition, though. Nominative determinism does appear to exist. Just look at  Thomas Crapper, Creflo Dollar, etc.
 

Antonis

Archon
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2010
Messages
2,996
Reaction score
1
Points
0
Amatorus said:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gavrilo_Princip


"He was one of nine children, six of whom died in infancy.[8] He was named Gavrilo at the insistence of a local Serbian Orthodox priest, who claimed that naming the sickly infant after the Archangel Gabriel would help him survive.[9]" Was this belief heretical? Does someone being named Christopher vs. Warren or something have any effect?
This is likely an over-simplified description of a practice whereby parents would ask for a saint's intercession to keep their child well and would dedicate their child to said saint with his or her name as an offering of thanksgiving. It is not uncommon, and I do not think there is anything wrong with it.
 
Top