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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

What is a confirmation name?

A confirmation name is you choosing a Saint whom you know, who inspires you, and whose virtues you want to imitate throughout your life. You take that saints name as your name. Not as your first name, not for other people to call you by, but rather it’s a name God calls you. It is your first name but rather a name you add-on to your name, it is a constant reminder of who you are called to be, it is the name of the Saint who accompanies you throughout life here on earth.

When I was going to get confirmed I had to write a 12,000 word essay on the Saint that I chose as my name. I wrote what at the time felt like a long essay about the life of Saint Cecilia and why I chose to take her as my patron Saint. Then as the days progressed toward the day of confirmation, I found that I wasn't drawn to Saint Cecilia anymore. My original thought was I need as many of the saints and angels' help as I could get here on earth to get to heaven so I wanted to draw on as many as I could.

I already held the name Michael, I'd already held the name Anne, I had shared a day with Saint Gianna Molla. Thus, in my own (possibly, backwards) way of thinking, I thought I needed more help and the only way I could get more was through more people, more saints.

So, I chose Saint Cecilia, her feast day is November 22nd. Saint Cecilia held no connection to me except that she is the patron of musicians and I was in the church choir at the time. But, as my confirmation day drew closer. I was absolutely convinced that I needed as many Saints as I could get to assist me in living a holy life.

A few weeks, maybe two weeks before confirmation day, my class and I took a pilgrimage to the shrine of Guadalupe in La Cross, Wisconsin. If you ever get the opportunity to go, I encourage you to … it is a beautiful Shine on the hillside in the bluffs of Wisconsin. When we arrived there we did the tour. And, all of the things that you do on a pilgrimage, we went to confessions, Mass, Adoration of the Eucharist, and said a rosary. It was very moving but I found the most heart touching thing that happened during the tour was in regards to my confirmation Saint, and how she chose me.

On the tour we learned about the shine building itself and all the work that went into the design, architecture, the saints chosen, the art chosen, and so much more.

My heart was drawn to one saint in particular, as my class and I approached her portrait and we stood before Saint Gianna Molla. I was moved in a way I can't quite describe. It was almost as if she was calling to me. She was telling me that sharing a day with her wasn't enough. I need to take her name as part of my name. I need to have her beside me. I was astounded. It took me the remainder of that day to get the courage up to ask my teacher if it was too late. Before we as a class departed I sought out my teacher and asked, I asked him if it was too late to change my name. In short, his response was, it’s not too late till you are confirmed, who do you think you're going with?” I responded in turn, St. Gianna Beretta Molla.”

I went to confirmation in a dress I handmade myself. I pulled on the confirmation gown over my dress and placed the (now handwritten) name tag on, while everyone else had computer typed tags. This was because I had changed my name at the last minute. I was called up using Saint Gianna's name. I received the seal of the Holy Spirit and took Saint Gianna’s name as my own. It was at that moment, she and I became united, we became a team for eternity. We are like best friends that never part.

Since that day in the Shrine of Guadalupe, I have never felt as close to St. Gianna. I know she has never left my side, and each time I pray for her intersection, whether it be a small thing, or something like assisting the health of another, she is there. Every time I visit the Shrine of Guadalupe, I make a little time to stand or kneel before her portrait.

A confirmation name is more than just a name to length your name. It is more than just someone to call on when you need help on your journey to heaven. A confirmation name takes time, prayer, and patients to decide on. A confirmation name is rarely chosen, rather the Saint chooses you.

A confirmation name is the Saint you chose that becomes your close friend in heaven. You have chosen to take his/her name as yours, now the two of you are connected, united for eternity.

Once more, a confirmation name is not just a name. It is a name of a Saint which you know something about, whether it be their life story, their purpose, or just how they became a Saint. A confirmation name is a Saint who inspires you, or has virtues that you admire. A confirmation name is the name God calls you by. And, sometimes (or maybe more often than we think) the Saint you choose as your name, actually chose you.

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