Byzantine Baby Names for Your Christian Baby
Family, Pregnancy

Byzantine Baby Names

Byzantine Baby Names

Picking baby names is one of the awesomest honours bestowed upon new parents. It’s a lot of fun to pour over names, and a great responsibility to pick one. Since we just recently got to decide on a name for our second child, I thought I’d do a blog post on Byzantine baby names. The list that follows contains over a hundred names, based on saints and prophets honoured in both the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches. Where there are common variants of a name, I have listed them in brackets beside the first one.

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A

Abraham – for forefather Abraham  , or hermit and confessor, or archbishop in Greece

Agapia (Agape) –  Martyred sister with Irene and Chionia

AgathaMartyr

Agnes – Called St. Agnes of Rome, a virgin martyr

Alexander (Oleksander) – of Constantinople, or of Jerusalem

Alexandra (Oleksandra)Empress of Rome, Martyr

Amos Prophet

Anastasia (Anastasiya)Healer

Andrew (Andriy)Apostle

Anna (Anne, Ann)Mother of the Theotokos

Anthony – Saint Anthony the Great

AquilinaChild Martyr

Artemius Saint in Byzantine liturgical calendar

AthanasiaWidow and Abbess

AthanasiusAbbot near Nicomedia, St. Athanasius the Great

 

B

BarbaraGreat Martyr

BasilSt. Basil the Great

BenjaminMartyr and Deacon

Bohdan – Slavic name meaning gift of God

 

C

Christopher (Christian, Krystof, Kristof, Khrystoslav) of Lycia

Chione Martyred sister with Agapia and Irene

CononMartyr

CorneliusPope

Cosmas brother of Damien

Cyril (Kyrylo)Of Alexandria, Of Jerusalem

Cyrus Martyr

 

D

Damian brother of Cosmas

Daniel (Danylo)Prophet

David (Davyd)King

Demetrius of Thessalonika

Dionysius Saint

 

E

Elijah Prophet

EliasSaint

Elizabeth – the Mother of John the Baptist

EphremVenerable

Estherthe Righteous

 

F

Faustyna (Faustina)Nun, although technically Roman Catholic, she was Polish

 

G

Gabriel – Angel

George (Yuriy) the Great Martyr

Gregory – the Theologian

 

H

Helen (Helena, Elaina)mother of Constantine

 

I

Ignatiusof Antioch

Irene (Iryna)Martered with sisters Agapia and Chionia

IsidoreVenerable

 

JEastern Catholic/Orthodox Baby Names

JamesApostle the greaterApostle the lesser

JeremiahProphet

Joannathe Myrrh bearer

JoachimFather of the Theotokos

Joel Prophet

John (Ivan)John the Baptist, John the Evangelist

Josaphat St. Josaphat Kuntsevych

JosaphataNun Martyr

Joseph (Yosef)Adoptive father of Jesus 

Joshua – the Righteous

Judith the Righteous

Juliana Martyr

JustinaMartyr

 

K

Kalyna – Ukrainian name meaning shrub or guelder rose, symbolizing beauty. This name would be good paired with Marie/Maria to honour the Theotokos

Kateryna (Katya, Katrusya, Katherine, Catherine)St Katherine of Alexandria

Khrystaphora (Christafora, Christaphora, Khristaphora) – I can’t find any saints of this name but it’s the feminine version of St. Christopher and I know Ukrainian sisters who’ve had that name

Klymentiy (Clement)Pope

Kostyantyn (Constantine, Konstantyn, Kostya)the Great

 

L

LaurentiaVenerable Nun Martyr

Leo (Leonid) – Pope https://orthodoxwiki.org/Leo_the_Great

 

M

MacariusDesert Father in Egypt

Macrina the Elder (grandmother of Sts. Basil and Gregory), the Younger (sister of St Basil)

Malachi/MalachiasProphet after the Babylonian Captivity

Mark (Marco, Marko)Apostle

Marthasister of Mary/Myrrh bearer

Mary (Marie, Maria)Theotokos, Sister of Martha/Myrrh bearer

Matronaof Moscow 

MatthiasSaint

Methodius Saint

Michael (Mykhaylo) Angel 

 

N

Naomi Mother in Law of Ruth: I couldn’t find a good article on her, though lots of icons! This one on Ruth describes her role

NestorMartyr 

Nicholas (Mykola, Nikolai) – the Wonderworker

 

O

OlympiaEarly Martyr, Recent Venerable Nun Martyr

Osee (Hosea)- Prophet

 

P

Paul (Pavlo)Apostle

Peter (Petro)Apostle

PhillipApostle

 

Q

Quadratusof the Seventy

 

R

RachelWife of Jacob

Rebecca the Righteous

RuthThe Righteous

 

S

Sabbas the Sanctified 

Salomethe Myrrh bearer

Sarahthe Righteous

Simeonthe God-Receiver

SimonApostle

Sophia (Sofiya)Martyr

Sozon Martyr

Stephen (Stefan, Stepan) (feminine – Stefanya, Stepania, Stepaniya, Stephanie)Deacon, 1st Martyr

Susanna – the Myrrh bearer, the Virgin Martyr

SylvesterPope Sylvester

 

T

Terence (Taras)Martyr

Theodorathe Empress

Theodosiusthe Cenobiarch

Timothy (Tymofiy)Apostle

Tryphon –  Martyr

 

V

Veronica (Veronika)Woman who wiped the face of Jesus

Volodomyr (Vladimir)Saint

 

X

XeniaVenerable

XenophonVenerable

 

Z

ZacharyFather of John the Baptist

ZenobiusHieromartyr, brother to Zenobia

ZenobiaMartyr, sister to Zenobius

 

So I hope you found some good saints and holy men and women! I learned a lot while compiling this list. I’m sure I missed lots of good names too, so let me know in the comments and I’ll update this article.

Having a baby soon? You may be interested in some of our other posts in Family under baby or pregnancy.

 

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