As a devout Christian and theologian, I interact with Christians from different religious doctrines. Some months ago, I took a special interest in Catholic nuns after I noticed some of them had male names. I then decided to visit a catholic convent where I interacted with different nuns with male names, to know the reason behind it. Last week, a member of my online Christian forum asked me to explain why some nuns had male names. This question stemmed from our previous session on why nuns change their names. Having interacted with several nuns in the convent, I knew I had the answer at my fingertips. So, why do nuns have male names?
Nuns have male names because they chose the names for themselves for personal reasons, or they were given the male names by people in authority in their churches or community.
So, join me until the end as I explore more about this topic. I will discuss the reasoning behind a nun choosing a religious male name if nuns can keep their given names after taking their solemn vows, among other exciting topics.
Reasoning behind a nun choosing a religious male name
A nun could choose to be named after a religious male name if she admired the male saint and what he had done and achieved in his life as a servant of God. A nun could also choose a religious male name if her community or province required them to be named after male saints. She could not do much in this situation but accept the name as she took her solemn vow. Nuns could also choose a male name because most names in the past were unisex, so there was no big deal in choosing a female or a male name as your religious name.
Can nuns choose their new names from female saints?
Yes, nuns can choose their new names from female saints. Weeks or months before taking their solemn vows, nuns had to submit three names they wished to be called. They were not limited to names and could choose to be named after their favorite female saints. Most nuns also preferred to be named after Mary, the mother of Jesus, as she is still considered the holiest and greatest saint.
Can nuns keep their given names after taking their solemn vows?
Yes, nuns can keep their given names after taking their solemn vows. This was, however, impossible before Vatican II, as all the nuns were required to be given a new name to show their devotion to their new life. The idea of giving nuns new names came from the scriptures in Genesis 17:3-9 when God changed Abram’s name to Abraham. However, after Vatican II, several congregations and catholic churches allowed the nuns to retain their baptismal name.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.