I helped out with my parish’s junior- and senior-high youth groups this past week, and, in light of All Saints Day today, the topic of conversation was saints.
During the discussion, the topic of choosing confirmation names came up. We talked about picking a saint’s name as a confirmation name, which led some to ask what my confirmation name was.
So I thought back to my confirmation 20 years ago. I hesitated when I told them that I had chosen the name Carmen, after my grandfather who had passed away from cancer four years prior. I told them how I was the “odd ball” in my class because everyone else had chosen a saint’s name and had researched their saint. At the time, there was no St. Carmen and I had no one to research.
So this recent conversation and sitting at Mass for All Saints Day had me researching the Web again to see if there was now a St. Carmen. What I found was that the name Carmen is a derivation of Carmel, which is one of the titles given to Our Blessed Mother, namely, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s feast day is July 16, the patronal feast of the Carmelites.
So while I still couldn’t find a saint named Carmen, I realized that I should be proud of the name I chose. While my grandfather is not a saint, his kindness, patience, gentleness, courage and strength are the attributes I admired the most, and I hope to emulate those same qualities.
On this feast of All Saints, let us remember all the holy men and women, those who have been canonized saints and those who were saints to us. May their lives inspire us, and may they intercede for us today and always.