When being confirmed in the Catholic Church it is customary to choose a saint. What criteria should we use to choose this saint? Should one choose a saint they like? Would like to be like? Or one that has strengths where I have weakness? What guidance has the magisterium given for this process?

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    The Church has no requirements that I see for choosing a confirmation name. In fact, looking at the Catechism's description of the Confirmation rite, a "confirmation name" isn't even mentioned or referred to. Nor does the Code of Canon Law contain such a reference. Mar 16, 2015 at 19:11
  • Thanks I did not know that. I am not sure why we are told to choose a saint then. I prepared for confirmation in the 90s and did not end up finishing and we had to pick a saint. Now I am going through the process again and asked to choose a saint. Different churches in different states.
    – Jesse
    Mar 16, 2015 at 19:14
  • I guess regardless of if it is required or not any tips on how to choose one?
    – Jesse
    Mar 16, 2015 at 19:15
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    It is general practice and tradition to take a confirmation name, as far as I know (I did); but as this site is focused on definite, factual answers to (primarily) academic questions, I can't really help beyond saying "The Church doesn't have any formal teaching." Unless of course it does. I don't think so, but I'll check. Mar 16, 2015 at 19:22
  • @MattGutting Choosing a saint's name is still done. There are more sources than Canon Law and the Catechism. If I can dig up the USCCB's RCIA book I'll see if there is a section on that. Feb 3, 2017 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


Your instincts are good. I found this answer here:

The custom of adopting a saint’s name at confirmation was done in order to adopt the saint as a special heavenly patron or to honor a saint to whom one had a special devotion. In short, the purpose was to give the confirmand the opportunity to develop his understanding of and reliance on the communion of saints.

In my own case I chose Joseph as my confirmation name because we had a neighbor that was a good Catholic role model named Joseph (he was our boy scout troop leader) and I also thought Mary's husband didn't get enough devotion.

Apparently some parishes no longer ask you to chose a confirmation name. I think that's sad. Misplaced liturgical "reform".

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