Choosing a saint’s name is a matter of custom and is not, therefore, regulated strictly by Church law. Candidates for confirmation may choose a name of a Christian saint by which to be called, but they are not required to do so. They may also choose to be confirmed using their baptismal name.

If a confirmation name is to be picked from among the saints, the surest answer is to pick from among those who are fully canonized. If one is to use the name of an individual not yet fully canonized it would seem that their status should be announced.

In general, candidates for confirmation who choose a special name should pick a saint or blessed who provides a role model for living the Christian life. They should also consider that choosing such a name will place them under the patronage of the saint. Thus in determining a certain saint they may wish to consider a saint who gives them special inspiration or a saint who can intercede for them in a special matter based on their own needs.

Rev. Msgr. Charles E. Pope is a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.