Ave Maria Press Facebook Catholic Baby Name Contest are "Ava" and "Gregory" - in honor of this I thought I'd feature a little bit more about these names here:
Ava is a name of Hebrew origin and is one of the top 100 most popular names. It's meaning is "life" Variations of the name include Aeva, Avada, Avae, Avah, Ave, Aveen, and Avis.
St. Ava (ninth century) was the daughter of King Pepin. She was cured of blindness by St. Rainfredis and became a Benedictine nun at Dinart, Hainault, where she was later elected abbess.
Gregory is a Latin name meaning "vigilant watchman." Variations include Gergely, Gergo, Graig, Greagoir, Greagory, Greer, Gregary, Greger, Gregery, Gregg, Gregorey, Gregori, Gregorio, Gregors, Gregos, Gregrey, Greigor, Greigore, and Grzegorz.
There are several saints with the name Gregory including St. Gregory Barbarigo, St. Gregory Nazianzus, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Gregory Palamas, St. Gregory Thaumaturgus, St. Gregory the Enlightener, St. Gregory the Sinaite, and St. Gregory the Great.
St. Gregory the Great (540-604) was the son of a Roman senator. He gave up the world and turned to God, becoming one of the seven deacons of Rome. He was appointed Chief Magistrate of Rome by Emperor Justin the Elder. He built six monasteries in Sicily and one in Rome. He became a Benedictine monk when he was thirty-five. He was elected pope in 590. He was a prolific writer and made great contributions to the liturgy of the Mass and the Divine Office. He is a Doctor of the Church and a patron saint of teachers.
For more information on names and saints, please pick up a copy of The Catholic Baby Name Book