Why do Catholic Sisters have male saint names? And how do they get chosen?


Please dont comment saying they dont because there are people such as ...Sister Mary Luke etc

15 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Conventual nuns and Cloistered nuns select their future anonymous identity

    by using a canonized saint's name. Their choice of the name is one of several

    submitted to the Mother Superior. At the time of Profession for the first two

    years of postulancy "testing period" and as their first act of Obedience to the

    future profession to their Order, the Superior will select and give one of the

    saints lives which each postulant has selected as her personal devotion

    to imitate. Or, as an extra act of testing, the Superior may select a name not

    provided as a choice. The postulant does not always know if the name she

    selected will be assigned, but will accept the name given to her nevertheless

    out of Obedience.

    The use of anonymity is an Act of immolation of self, in order to more

    perfectly follow the path to unself, or Christ-like. This is a Rule of Profession

    to every Order is followed freely and gives up identity in the world.

    At the time of Final vows of their Profession to the Rule, their promise to

    practice the norm (rules of virtue) for that particular Order is made, including

    the identity they have been given for all time and eternity.

    Only when visiting family may their baptismal name be used IN PRIVATE.

    traditional Catholics at


  • donoho
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Male Saint Names

  • 1 decade ago

    Some do have male names, some don't. I know a Sister Serena, Sister Mary Regina, and a Sister Mary Margaret, to name but a few who have only female names.

    In some orders, sisters keep the names their parents gave them. In other orders, sisters get to choose their own religious name. In others, they get to offer three different selections and the Superior General chooses from those. In some, the Superior General (or Mother Superior) chooses and the sister doesn't get a say at all. In others, all the sisters are named Mary ___, and the second name is either their birth name, their confirmation name, or a name they choose, or a name their Superior General chooses.

    So it really does depend on which order the sister belongs to.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sometimes they have the names of female saints. The issue isn't male or female, it's simply a matter of honoring a saint and sometimes of doing so in a manner relevant to the sister in question.

    Rumer Godden's novel "In This House of Brede," closely based on the lives of the Benedictine nuns at Stanbrook Abbey in the UK, discusses the choice of names a bit. For example, a musically-talented postulant is given the name "Cecily," for St. Cecilia, who is the patron saint of music. An artist might get the name "Luke," because he is the patron saint of artists.

    In some orders, all the sisters get the name "Mary" with a saint's name appended to it: "Mary Luke" or "Mary Matthew". It just depends on the order's naming traditions.

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  • Misty
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Some of them do, but not all. Similarly, some of the Marinist Monks (all male) take "Mary" as their name.

    It has to do with the Saint, not with the gender. They choose the Saint name they want to go by, and it is always a Saint who means a lot to them. Someone who lived their lives in, or dealt with difficulties, etc. that they can relate to in some fashion.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site https://shorturl.im/axl65

    Aloyisius, Boneventure....Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Timothy, Peter, Paul, Joseph, Adam, Michael... wait, here's a list!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In choosing a Saint name it is about the Saints works not the name. I teach confirmation and there are some students who choose opposite sex Saints because of they are the Patron Saint of something that appeals to them.

    Peace be with you

    <<<Devout Catholic>>>

  • 1 decade ago

    The Catholic Sister chooses the Saint that they would seek to emulate

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As with Baptism and Confirmation or US Naturalization, you are allowed to change your name when taking vows to become a sister. Many teaching sisters choose a name of an early christian theologian who were all male, or a Doctor of the Church of whom only a couple are female.

  • 1 decade ago

    Some take on male saint names, some take on female saint names, it really all comes down to personal pref.

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