FANDOM


This list of saints at Rome by Italian name is an aid to English-speaking readers who would like to understand the origins, meanings and translations of Roman saints' names in Italian. The Italian names link to the most notable churches in the city dedicated to these saints, and the English names to Wikipedia articles. For all the churches dedicated to these saints in Rome, see List of Catholic churches in Rome.

The alphabetical list is preceded by titles in Italian of Jesus Christ and Our Lady:

The Lord Jesus Christ Edit

Some of the names referring to Jesus Christ in Italian are:

Italian English
Gesù Jesus
Gesù Cristo Jesus Christ
San Salvatore Holy Saviour
Nostra Signore Our Lord

Blessed Virgin MaryEdit

In modern English, 'Mary' is the preferred name for the mother of Christ and the original 'Maria' is treated as a separate name. Some of the names and appellations of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Italian are:

Italian English
Beata Vergine Blessed Virgin
Beata Vergine Maria Blessed Virgin Mary
Santa Maria

St Mary

Nostra Signora Our Lady

People unfamiliar with the complexities of Christian confessions in England may be surprised to learn that Catholics there talk about "the Blessed Virgin Mary" or "Our Lady", while Anglicans and other Protestants usually refer to "St Mary". 

Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

AEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Sant'Achille Achilles of Larissa After the pagan hero Achilles.
Sant'Achilleo Achilles, Achilleus Of Greek mythological origin, common in Italian. Venerated jointly, as Nereus and Achilleus. Christian writers have preferred 'Achilleus' so as to avoid invoking the pagan hero Achilles.
Sant'Adalberto Adalbert, Albert Germanic, 'luminous noble'. The two English versions are regarded as different names nowadays. He has no church in Rome, but his arm is at San Bartolomeo all'Isola.
Sant'Adriano Hadrian, Adrian Named after the emperor Hadrian. In English, "Adrian" is the most usual modern form of the name for anyone apart from him. From the town (H)Adria. (Italian has no phonetic H.)
Sant'Agapito Agapitus Greek, meaning 'beloved'. Found in Spanish, but not an English name.
Sant'Agata Agatha  Greek, meaning 'good'.
Sant'Agnese Agnes Greek, meaning 'holy'.
Sant'Agostina Pietrantoni Augustina Pietrantoni Latin, meaning 'great woman' (from "Augustine", below).
Sant'Agostino Augustine, Austin Latin, from augere 'to increase', hence means 'great' or 'magnificent'.
Sant'Agostino di Canterbury Augustine of Canterbury 'Canterbury' in England is stressed on the first syllable.
Sant'Alberto Magno Albert the Great Germanic Adalberaht, 'luminous noble'.
Sant'Alessandro Alexander Greek, 'Defender of man'. The historical identity of the Roman saint is very confused, and his parish church in Rome is now dedicated to St Alexander of Bergamo.
Sant'Alessio Alexis, Alexius Greek, 'Defender'.
Sant'Alfonso Alphonsus Germanic adalfuns, 'noble ready'. Not an English name.
Sant'Ambrogio Ambrose Latin, but of Greek origin; means 'immortal'.
Sant'Anastasia Anastasia Greek origin, meaning 'resurrection'. Common in Italian, modern Greek and Russian.
Sant'Andrea Apostolo Andrew the Apostle Greek Andreas, 'masculine'. Not feminine in Italian, but 'Andrea' in English is a girl's name.
Sant'Andrea Avellino Andrew Avellino Surname derives from Avellino near Naples.
Sant'Andrea Corsini Andrew Corsini Was of the noble Florentine Corsini family. This name derives from Bonoaccorso or someone always pleasant to meet.
Sant'Angela Merici Angela Merici Female angel. The Roman Catholic Church used to forbid the depiction of obviously female angels because spiritual beings are sexless.
Beato Fra Angelico Blessed Brother Angelic This was his nickname; his real name was John of Fiesole, but is always known as Fra Angelico in English too. He is enshrined at Santa Maria sopra Minerva.
Sant'Angelo Angel -meaning Michael Greek origin, meaning 'messenger'. In English he is always referred to as Michael the Archangel.
Sant'Aniano Anianus Strangely, from the Greek ania 'distress'. Very uncommon as a modern name.
Sant'Aniceto Anicetus Greek aniketos, 'unconquerable'.
Sant'Anna Anne or Ann Of Hebrew origin from Hannah, which translates into "He (God) has favoured me." The alternative English spellings are entirely a matter of personal preference.
Sant'Anna Maria Taigi Ann Mary Taigi 'Taigi' is a surname with no certain meaning. She is enshrined at San Crisogono.
San Ansovino Ansovinus, Oswin Latinised from Old English 'friend of the deity'.
Sant'Annibale Maria Hannibal Mary Named after the famous ancient general Hannibal.
Sant'Antonio Abate Anthony the Abbot A common name in English, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Croatian, and Spanish. Can have several names derived from it such as, Anton, Tony, Antonia etc. 'Abbot' is from a Coptic word abba which was originally an honorific for an elder monk but later was used for the superior of a monastery. 
Sant'Antonio da Padova Anthony of Padua The name is early Latin, from Etruscan and possibly means 'praisworthy'. The 'h' in the English spelling comes from a false etymology based on the Greek anthos (flower). The saint was Portuguese.
Sant'Antonio Maria Pucci Anthony Mary Pucci His little chapel in an apartment block might have been shut down by now.
Sant'Antonio Maria Zaccaria Anthony Mary Zaccaria From a noble family of Cremona.
Sant'Apollinare Apollinaris Of early Italian origin. No certain meaning, although it might have been derived from Apollo.
Sant'Apollonia Apollonia After Apollo.
Santi Apostoli Holy Apostles Illustrates how santi in Italian can mean 'saints' or 'holy (plural)' in English.
Sant'Aquila Aquila Latin for 'eagle'. Not a modern first name, probably because it is masculine but looks feminine. Always venerated with his wife Priscilla as SS Aquila and Priscilla.
Sant'Atanasio Athanasius Greek, 'deathless'.
Sant'Aurea Aurea Latin, 'golden girl'.

BEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Bacco Bacchus Latin mythological origin (see Dionysius). Means 'kiss' in modern Italian, by coincidence. Venerated jointly as Sergius and Bacchus.
Santa Balbina Balbina Latin origin. Means 'little stutterer.' An uncommon name, not in English, but the Greek equivalent is Barbara. Classical Latin has Balbus and Balba. 
Santa Barbara Barbara Greek, 'foreign girl'.
San Barnaba Barnabas Aramaic, 'Son of Consolation'. Originally a nickname (his real name was Joseph).
San Bartolomeo Bartholomew, Bart Originally Aramaic, found in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Arabic among other languages. Means 'son of Talmai (the farmer)'. Common in the Middle Ages, despite originally being a surname.
San Basilio Basil Greek basileos, 'emperor'.
San Benedetto Benedict Latin origin, means 'Blessed.'
San Benedetto Giuseppe Labre Benedict Joseph Labre First: Latin origin, means 'Blessed.' Second: Hebrew origin, means 'the Lord increases." The surname is French, and does not mean 'lips'.
Santa Bernadette Bernadette As in English, the Italian has kept her standard French name. However, her real name was Maria Bernada Sobirós in her local dialect and Bernadeta was her childhood nickname.
San Bernardino Bernardine 'Little Bernard' (see below).
San Bernardo Bernard Originally Germanic, meaning 'Hard as a bear'. The saint's ancestors were Burgundian barbarian invaders.
San Biagio Blaise Possibly from the Latin blaesus 'lisper' (this is uncertain). Relics of his are at San Carlo ai Catinari
Santa Bibiana Bibiana, Vivienne Latin origin, probably from viva 'alive'. The English form comes from the French, and is not to be confused with 'Vivian' which derives from a French bishop and was originally for boys. The confusion has led to Vivian being unisex in modern English.
San Bonaventura Bonaventure Latin, 'future things are good'. His real name was John, but St Francis nicknamed him when he cured him as a toddler. The name looks feminine in Italian, but is not (Latin neuter plural).
San Bonifacio Boniface of Tarsus Latin bonum fatum, 'good fate'. The Roman St Boniface was not the German missionary St Boniface.
Santa Bonosa Bonosa Uncertain meaning; perhaps Latin 'good mouth'. Not an English name. She is very obscure, and is not the same as a saint at Louisville KY, USA.
Santa Brigida Bridget In Rome, this refers not to the Irish saint but to the Swedish one named after her. Gaelic, meaning 'power'.
San Bruno Bruno German, meaning 'brown'. Not common in English.

CEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Caio Caius, Gaius The Latin Gaius was one of the oldest and most common Classical names. A very old guess is that it is cognate with gaudere, 'to rejoice'. The two English forms are a reminder that the Latin C comes from the Greek gamma.
San Callisto Callistus Greek kallistos, meaning 'the most beautiful'. His relics are under the high altar of Santa Maria in Trastevere.
San Camillo de Lellis Camillus de Lellis An ancient Roman name, of uncertain meaning (possibly Etruscan). The surname was originally French, apparently. His relics are at La Maddalena.
San Carlo Borromeo Charles Borromeo The original Germanic name was Carl, meaning 'free man' (not a serf or a slave). The English derives from the French. His heart is in this church.
San Carlo da Sezze Charles of Sezze

Like all Franciscan friars, he had his surname replaced by the name of the town that he came from.

Santa Caterina da Alexandria Catherine of Alexandria Greek origin, from katharos meaning 'pure'. Alexandria is the city in Egypt.
Santa Caterina da Siena Catherine of Siena Took her name from the above. Most of her is at Santa Maria sopra Minerva, but her left hand is at Santa Maria del Rosario a Monte Mario.
Santa Cecilia Cecily, Cecilia Early Latin, deriving from caecus 'blind'. The form 'Cecily' is traditional English, but obsolescent nowadays.
Beata Celestina Donati Celestina Donati "Heavenly one" (often known as 'Maria Anna', her baptismal name).
San Celso Celsus Latin, 'eminent'. The identity of the Roman St Celsus is very uncertain.
San Cesareo Caesarius Latin, from the famous family of Caesar. (The saint is an obscure martyr of Terracina.)
Santa Chiara Clare, Claire Latin, 'bright girl'.
San Cipriano Cyprian Latin, 'from Cyprus'.
San Ciriaco Cyriac Possibly from Greek kyrios, 'lord'. There is serious confusion between this name and the Latin Quiricus.
San Cirillo Alessandrino Cyril of Alexandria Greek kyrillos, 'lordly'.
San Cirillo, Apostolo dei Slavi Cyril, Apostle of the Slavs Always venerated as SS Cyril and Methodius. A relic of his is at San Clemente.
San Claudio Claude, Claudius Early Latin, from claudus 'lame'. The name arrived in English via French, hence Claude, but the two forms tend to be distinguished in modern English.
San Clemente Clement Latin Clemens, meaning 'mild'.
San Cleto Cletus Short for Greek anakletos, 'invoked'.
San Corbiniano Corbinian From Latin corvus, 'crow'.
San Cornelio Cornelius A name used by the gens Cornelia, deriving from the Latin cornu, 'horn'. His relics are at Santa Maria in Trastevere, with some apparently at Santi Celso e Giuliano. Oddly, despite being a famous pope he has no church in Rome.
San Cosma Cosmas From Greek kosmos, 'universe'. Always venerated as SS Cosmas and Damian.
San Cosimato Little Cosmas (see above) No such saint -the diminutive was applied to a church in Rome.
Santa Costanza Constantia, Constance An historical mistake for the 4th century imperial princess Constantina, who was not at all saintly. From Latin Constans, 'steadfast'.
San Crisante Chrysanthus Greek, meaning 'golden flower'. Always venerated as SS Chrysanthus and Daria.
San Crisogono Chrysogonus Greek, meaning 'golden birth'. 
San Crispino da Viterbo Crispin of Viterbo An early Latin name from crispus, 'curly haired'.
Santi Crispino e Crispiniano Crispin and Crispinian Always venerated together. The two names have the same origin -see above.
San Cristoforo Christopher Greek christoforos, 'Christ-bearer'. (Despite his popularity, his only place of worship in Rome is extremely obscure.)

DEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Damaso Damasus Possibly means 'inhabitant of Damascus'. His relics are at San Lorenzo in Damaso
San Damiano Damian From the Greek, meaning 'tame'. Always venerated as SS Cosmas and Damian.
Santa Daria Daria From the name of Persian emperors. Always venerated as SS Chrysanthus and Daria.
San Dionigi Areopagita Dionysius the Areopagite; Denis, Dennis, Sidney, Sydney. A disciple of St Paul at Athens. There was a malicious early mediaeval campaign in France to conflate him with Pseudo-Dionysius and Denis of Paris.
San Domenico di Guzman Dominic Originally Latin dominicus, meaning 'of the Lord'.
San Domenico Savio Dominic Savio The surname allegedly means 'wise'.
Santa Domitilla Domitilla From Latin domitius, 'tamed'.
Santa Dorotea Dorothy From Greek dorotheos meaning 'god's gift'.

EEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Sant'Edith Stein Edith Stein Apparently from the Germanic 'riches from war'. The surname means 'rock'. Oddly, her church in Rome uses her baptismal name and not her name in religion (Teresa Benedicta of the Cross).
Sant'Egidio Giles Apparently originally Greek aigidion, meaing 'young goat'. The deviant English form comes from the French Gilles.
Sant'Elena Helena,

Helen, Ellen

From Helen of Troy. The traditional English Nellie suffered badly when it became a 19th century term for what little girls have between their legs.
Sant'Eligio Eligius, Eli Latin, 'choosable' (not Classic). The uncommon English Eli derives from the French Eloi.
Sant'Elisabetta Elizabeth Hebrew Elishaba', 'my God is (the underpinning of) an oath'. Nowadays always venerated as SS Zechariah and Elizabeth, parents of St John the Baptist.
Sant'Elisabetta D'Ungheria Elizabeth of Hungary The two Elizabeths are often confused.
Sant'Emerenziana Emerentiana From the Latin, 'fully deserving'. Not an English name.
Sant'Enrico Henry Germanic, 'home ruler'.
Sant'Erasmo Erasmus, Elmo Greek erasmios, 'beloved'. 'Elmo' comes from the French Elme.
Sant'Ercolano Herculanus From the mythological Hercules. This saint at Ostia is very obscure.
Sant'Ermete Hermes From the god Hermes.
Sant'Eufemia Euphemia Greek, 'well spoken'.
Sant'Eugenio Eugene Greek, 'well born'.
Sant'Eurosia Eurosia From Greek,'eloquent'.
Sant'Eusebio Eusebius Latin, meaning 'devout', deriving from the Greek. The saint is an obscure Roman martyr.
Sant'Eustachio Eustace Greek, 'fruitful'.

FEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Fabiano Fabian Latin, apparently 'one who grows beans'.
San Faustino Faustinus From Latin faustus, 'lucky'. Always venerated as SS Faustinus and Jovita.
Santa Faustina Kowalska Faustina Kowalska Her church in Rome has kept the Polish spelling of her surname, despite the lack of 'K' and 'W' in Italian.
San Fedele da Sigmaringa Fidelis of Sigmaringen Latin, 'faithful'. Sigmaringen was his German birthplace, and Italian altered the spelling to preserve the hard G.
San Felice da Cantalice Felix of Cantalice Latin, 'happy'.
Santa Felicita Felicity Latin, 'happiness'.
San Ferdinando Re Ferdinand the King Germanic, apparently 'protection-ready'.
San Filippo Apostolo Philip the Apostle From Greek, 'friend of the horse'. Famous as the name of the father of Alexander the Great.
San Filippo Neri Philip Neri Neri literally means 'blacks', as use of online translation software is liable to show you.
Santa Francesca Cabrini Francesca Cabrini Derived from 'Francis'.
Santa Francesca Romana Frances the Roman Her surname was Bussa De' Leoni, but her enormous popularity in the city resulted in the name by which she is always known.
San Francesco di Paola Francis of Paola Named after the following. Paola is in Calabria where he was born, and his real surname was Martolilla. As with other saints named after places in this way, 'of X', the Italian provides a variant da Paola which introduces a definite article.
San Francesco d'Assisi Francis of Assisi He was baptized 'John', but was nicknamed 'Frenchy' and the name stuck.
San Francesco di Sales Francis de Sales He was from a Savoyard noble family, which took its name from a village called Sales. (Back then, Savoy was independent.)
San Francesco Saverio Francis Xavier His real name was Francesco de Jasso y Azpilicueta, but he took the name of his birthplace. This word is Navarro-Aragonese, from the Basque Etcheberri or 'New House'. The 'X' should be pronounced 'sh', a sound not found in Italian.
San Frumenzio Frumentius From the Latin frumentium, 'corn'.
San Fulgenzio Fulgentius Latin fulgens, 'shining'.
Santa Fumia Euphemia? No such saint; thought to be St Euphemia (see Sant'Eufemia, above).

GEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Gabriele Arcangelo Gabriel the Archangel Hebrew, 'God is my strength'.
San Gabriele dell'Addolorata Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows The Italian Addolorata for 'Our Lady of Sorrows' is a name in its own right, paralleling the Spanish Dolores.
San Gaetano Cajetan Unusually for his era he was not named after a saint but after a place, Gaeta.
Santa Galla Galla An ancient Roman name, from gallus 'cock' (the bird).
San Gallicano Gallicanus Latin, 'of Gaul'.
San Gaspare del Bufalo Gaspar del Bufalo Because he was born on the Epiphany, he was baptised as Gaspar Melchior Balthazar -the Three Wise Men. His surname means 'buffalo'.
San Gaudenzio Gaudentius Latin gaudens, 'rejoicing.
San Gelasio Gelasius From Greek, 'laughter'.
Santa Gemma Galgani Gemma Galgani 'Gemstone'.
San Gerardo Maiella Gerard Majella Germanic, 'hard spear'. The surname comes from a mountain range called Maiella -note the 'J', not found in standard Italian.
Beato Giacomo Cusmano James Cusmano Usually referred to as Giacomo, even in English.
San Giacomo il Maggiore James the Great The name was originally Jacob, Hebrew of uncertain meaning. The traditional English version is so deviant that 'James' and 'Jacob' are now regarded as different names in modern English. A similar thing has happened in Spanish with Diego (from Sant Iago) and Iacobo.
San Giacomo il Minore James the Less Overshadowed by 'the Great', and the only apostle without a church at Rome dedicated to him by name. His relics are at Santi Apostoli.
Santa Gianna Beretta Molla Jane Beretta Molla Gianna is short for Giovanna, the Italian feminine form of John. The traditional English version is Jane. When she married she added her husband's surname to her own instead of replacing it.
San Gioacchino Joachim Hebrew, 'he whom the Lord has set up'.
San Giorgio George Originally Greek, meaning 'worker of the earth'. Hence in English, 'peasant'; in Italian, terrone.
San Giosafat Josaphat Originally Hebrew, meaning 'The Lord judges'.
Santa Giovanna Antida Thouret Jane Antide Thouret She was French, and her first name was Jeanne in that language. Different languages have very different feminine forms of 'John' (see below).
Giovanni John, Ian (Scotland) John is from the Hebrew, originally Yohannan meaning 'God is gracious'. It used to be the most popular male name in English, but has suffered a complete collapse of popularity. Italian has no 'H' sound, so has replaced it with a 'V' (Russian did the same -Ivan).
San Giovanni XXIII Papa Pope John XXIII The Italian is pronounced Ventitreesimo. His relics are at St Peter's.
San Giovanni Battista John the Baptist In English, 'Baptist' is never used in a name unlike Italian Giovannibattista.
San Giovanni Battista de La Salle John Baptist de La Salle He is enshrined in his sanctuary church.
San Giovanni Berchmans John Berchmans He was Flemish. The surname, of uncertain meaning, is impossible to pronounce in Italian or English. The 'ch' is a guttural.
San Giovanni Bosco John Bosco Bosco simply means 'wood' (a place where trees grow).
San Giovanni Calabria John Calabria Despite his surname, he was from Verona.
San Giovanni Calibita John Calabytes He was a 5th century saint of Constantinople, with a surname meaing 'hut dweller' because he was a beggar living in one.
San Giovanni Crisostomo John Chrysostom His surname means 'Golden Mouth' in Greek.
San Giovanni della Croce John of the Cross The Carmelites have a tradition of replacing their surnames with 'of' and some attribute of redemption.
Santi Giovanni e Paolo John and Paul They are always venerated and described together.
San Giovanni Evangelista John the Evangelist People called Giovanni in Italian are usually named after this saint, in distinction from Giovanni Battista. English does not do this.
San Giovanni Leonardi John Leonardi His relics are at Santa Maria in Campitelli.
San Giovanni Maria Vianney John Mary Vianney English persists with the unpleasant nickname of Curé d'Ars ('Priest of Ars'), from before he was canonised. Please avoid using it -it's stupid.
San Giovanni Nepomuceno Neumann John Nepomucene Neumann Named after St John Nepomuk.
San Giovanni Paolo II Papa Pope John Paul II His relics are at St Peter's. It is very likely that a proper new church dedicated to him will be built in Rome, rather than this obscure place of worship.
Santa Giovita Jovita Derived from Jove, the god Jupiter. Venerated as SS Faustinus and Jovita.
San Girolamo Jerome Although he was a Latin, he had a Greek name Hieronymos, 'holy name'.
San Girolamo Emiliani Jerome Emiliani Emiliani was his surname, and does not refer to Emilia Romagna.
San Giuda Taddeo Jude (Thaddeus) He has the same name as Judas Iscariot. English has dealt with this by using a different form of the name, while Italian adds what is thought to be an alternative name from the New Testament.
Santa Giulia Billiart Julia Billiart She was French.
San Giuliano Julian Latin, meaning 'belonging to Julius' (i.e. a slave or freedman). 
San Giulio Julius I, Pope After Julius Caesar.
San Giuseppe Joseph Hebrew, meaning 'God will increase'.
San Giuseppe Cafasso Joseph Cafasso His surname derives remotely from the Hebrew Kaiaphas, hinting at Jewish ancestry.
San Giuseppe Calasanzio Joseph Calasanz The surname is Spanish.
San Giuseppe Cottolengo Joseph Cottolengo His surname has become an Italian term for an asylum for the physically and mentally handicapped.
San Giuseppe da Copertino Joseph of Cupertino He came from Copertino in Puglia. For some reason the English has a variant spelling of this.
San Giuseppe Moscati Joseph Moscati His surname is odd -mosca is Italian for 'fly' (the insect).
San Giustino Justin Martyr Latin iustus, 'righteous'. He is always given the surname 'Martyr' in English.
San Gregorio VII Papa Gregory VII, Pope From the Greek, meaning 'watcher'.
San Gregorio Barbarigo Gregory Barbarigo Derived from Latin barbatus, 'bearded'. The legend of the Venetian noble family is that the name came from a 9th century naval warrior who collected beards to keep a body count.
San Gregorio Magno Gregory the Great One of the few popes referred to as 'the great'.
San Gregorio Nazianzeno Gregory Nazianzen Named after a little town called Nazianzos in what is now Turkey.
San Gregorio Taumaturgo Gregory the Thaumaturge The surname means 'Miracle Worker'.
Beato Guido Vescovo Guy the Bishop He was bishop of Acqui. The name was originally Germanic Wido, 'wood', and came to English through French (both that language and Italian replace initial 'W' with 'Gu').

IEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Sant'Igino Papa Hyginus, Pope Greek hygieinos, 'healthy'.
Sant'Ignazio di Antiochia Ignatius of Antioch The name is of obscure Latin origin, possibly meaning 'fiery one' (from ignis).
Sant'Ignazio di Loyola Ignatius of Loyola He was not named after the above saint, but after St Iñigo.
Sant'Ilario di Poitiers Hilary of Poitiers Latin hilarius, 'cheerful'.
Sant'Ildefonso Ildephonsus From the Gothic 'eager for war.
Sant'Innocenzo I Papa Innocent I, Pope From the Latin innocens, 'not causing harm' (the modern English word has mutated its meaning).
Sant'Ippolito Hippolytus Greek, 'He who lets loose a horse'.
Sant'Ireneo Irenaeus From Greek, 'peace'.
Sant'Isidoro Agricoltore Isidore the Farmer Greek, 'strong gift'.
Sant'Isidoro di Siviglia Isidore of Seville Confused with the above at Rome.
Sant'Ivo Yves of Brittany Yves is French; in English, either this version or Ivo is used. It is thought to come from ancient Celtic for 'yew tree'.

JEdit

Italian has no 'J', but there is one saint at Rome who is an exception.

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Josemaria Escrivá Josemaria Escriva His name is 'Joseph Mary' or 'Giuseppe Maria', but Opus Dei has succeeded in insisting on the original Spanish. Italian has trouble with the final acute accent on the surname, so you will find the mistaken Escrivà.

LEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Lazzaro Lazarus Originally from the Hebrew, via the Greek; Eleazar means 'God has helped'.
San Lauro Laurus Latin, 'bay-tree'.
San Leonardo di Noblac Leonard of Noblac Germanic, 'brave as a lion'.
San Leonardo da Porto Maurizio Leonard of Port Maurice He is enshrined at San Bonaventura al Palatino.
San Leonardo Murialdo Leonard Murialdo Named after Murialdo.
San Leone Magno Leo the Great Latin, 'lion'.
San Leopoldo Mandic Leopold Mandić He was a Croat born in Montenegro. His birthplace was called Castelnuovo di Cattaro, but is now Herceg Novi. As a friar he answered to Leopoldo di Castelnuovo when alive, but politics made his surname more preferable. Note that the Italian tends to lose the accent on the final 'C'.
San Liborio Liborius The meaning is uncertain. A guess is that it comes from Latin liber 'free', but it might have come from a non-Latin word.
San Lino Linus From Greek linos, 'flax' (hence 'linen').
San Lorenzo Lawrence The name has something to do with a bay-laurel tree, and seems to refer to the ancient town of Laurentium.
San Lorenzo da Brindisi Lawrence of Brindisi His surname was Russo.
San Luca Luke Apparently from Greek Loukas, 'from Lucania'.
Santa Lucia Lucy From Latin lux, 'light'.
San Luigi IX Louis IX The name ultimately derives from that of the first king of the Franks to convert to Christianity. His name was Khlodovekh, with two guttarals; Latin scribes found this impossible, and rendered it as Clovis. This became Louis in French, and Ludovic in German. In English distinctions are now made between Ludovic, Louis and Aloysius (which derives from the Spanish), all of which can be Luigi in Italian (although Ludovico is found as well).
San Luigi Gonzaga Aloysius Gonzaga His family hated the French so much that, when he was canonized, they insisted on Aloysius instead of Louis.
San Luigi Grignion de Montfort Louis Grignion de Montfort The French play status games over having 'de' in a surname, which hints at noble origins. The saint's surname was Grignion, and he was born in Montfort-sur-Meu. He was not a nobleman.

MEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Macuto Malo His name was Breton, Mac'h Low meaning (apparently) 'Hostage of Light'. This mutated into Maclou, and the two variants gave Latin Maclovius and Macutus. The former led to the French Malo, and the latter to the Italian.
Santa Maddalena di Canossa Magdalene of Canossa She is not "Mary Magdalen'. The Italian tendency is to refer to the saintly penitent as Maddalena only, out of respect for the name of Mary.
San Magno Magnus Latin, 'great one'.
Santa Marcella Marcella Latin 'warlike', from Mars the god of war.
Santi Marcellino e Pietro Marcellinus and Peter See above. Always venerated together. Their relics are in this church.
San Marcello Marcellus See above.
Santi Marco e Marcelliano Mark and Marcellian Easily confused with other saints. Always venerated together.
San Marco Evangelista Mark the Evangelist Latin, meaning 'belonging to the god Mars'.
San Marco Papa Mark, Pope Historically confused with the above two Marks.
Santa Margherita da Cortona Margaret of Cortona She lived and died at Cortona. Her surname appears to be unknown.
Santa Margherita di Antiochia Margaret of Antioch Latin, 'pearl'. One of the most popular girls' names in England in the past, with deviant pet forms: Maggie, Meg, Peggie. The magpie bird is named after her ('Maggie the Pie').
Santa Margherita-Maria Alacoque Margaret-Mary Alacoque Always 'Margaret Mary', not 'Margaret'.
Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello Mary Domenica Mazzarello Her surname derives from Italian mazza, 'club.
Santa Maria Egiziaca Mary of Egypt The confusion between her and St Mary Magdalene has had a long and invincible history in the West (Eastern Christians know better).
Santa Maria Goretti Mary Goretti She is usually referred to as 'Maria' in English as well.
Santa Maria Josefa del Cuore di Gesù Mary Josepha of the Heart of Jesus She was Spanish, hence Josefa not Giuseppina. Her surname was Sancho de Guerra.
Santa Maria Maddalena Mary Magdalene Mary from Magdala. In Italian often referred to as La Maddalena, out of respect for the name of Our Lady. There is an alternative English spelling of Magdalen -without final 'e' for the Oxford college, with for the Cambridge one. These two institutions preserve the old English pronunciation of Maudlin, which gave rise to the girl's name Maud.
Santa Maria Maddalena De' Pazzi Mary Magdalen De Pazzi She was from a noble Florentine family with a very odd name -pazzo means 'mad'.
Santa Maria Rosa Molas Mary Rose Molas She was named after St Rose of Lima, the first girl Rose. The latter's Native American wet-nurse nicknamed her, because she thought her newborn face looked like one (pink and wrinkled rather than beautiful).
Santi Mario e Compagni Martiri Marius and Companions, Martyrs An ancient Roman name, of uncertain meaning (see here).
Santa Martina Martina From Mars, the war-god. A special patron of Rome, unfortunately rather neglected nowadays.
San Marone Maro, Maron From the Syriac, 'rejoicing'. Maron is the correct form -the shorter English version, which is the more common, is wrong and is the result of a mistaken back-formation from Maronite.
Santa Marta Martha Aramaic, 'lady'.
San Martino Martin From Mars, god of war.
San Martino Primo Papa Martin I, Pope His relics are at San Martino ai Monti.
Santi Martiri Canadesi Holy Canadian Martyrs
Santi Martiri Coreani Holy Korean Martyrs
Santi Martiri dell'Uganda Holy Martyrs of Uganda
Santi Martiri Inglesi Holy English Martyrs
San Massimiliano Kolbe Maximilian Kolbe From Latin maximus, 'greatest'.
San Massimo Vescovo Maximus the Bishop Latin, 'greatest'.
San Matteo Evangelista Matthew the Evangelist From a Hebrew word meaning 'gift of God', via the Greek and then Latin Matthaeus.
San Mattia Matthias Actually means the same as the above; the two saints are easily confused in Italian. The Latin Matthias is kept in English, as the language has made an effort in distinguishing the two.
San Maurizio Martire Maurice the Martyr From Latin maurus, 'Moor' and hence 'dark skinned'.
San Mauro Abate Maurus the Abbot As above. The French have Maur.
Santa Melania Juniore Melania the Younger Greek, 'dark'. Juniore is an odd word to use, not standard Italian.
San Melchiade Melchiades, Miltiades Greek, 'red earth'. Named after Miltiades.
San Metodio Methodius From Greek methodos, 'method'. Always venerated as SS Cyril and Methodius.
San Michele Arcangelo Michael the Archangel Italian gives a choice of Angelo or Michele for this saint, something that English does not do ('Angel' is not a traditional name in English, although it is creeping in for girls -especially among poorer people.)
Santa Monica Monica The name is ancient North African, either Berber or Punic in origin, and the meaning is unknown.

NEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Nereo Nereus Latin, from a god of the sea. Venerated as SS Nereus and Achilleus.
San Nicola Nicholas Greek, 'victory of the people'.
Beato Nicola de Rupe Nicholas von Flüe His surname means 'crag'.
San Norberto Norbert Germanic, 'north bright'.

OEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Ognissanti All Saints
Sant'Omobono Homobonus Originally Italian, meaning 'good man'. The Germans, who hate Latinisms, call him Gutman.
Sant'Onofrio Humphrey, Onuphrius From Ancient Egyptian, meaning 'habitually good'. The traditional English version is so deviant that most people don't recognize the connection.
Sant'Orsola Ursula Latin ursus, 'bear'.
Santi Ottavio e Compagni Martiri Octavius and Companions, Martyrs From Latin octavus, 'eighth'.

PEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Pancrazio Pancras Greek pancratios, 'all-powerful'.
San Pantaleo Pantaleon, Panteleimon Greek panteleimon, 'all-merciful'. Both this and the mutated Latin form are used in English.
Santa Paola Romana Paula of Rome Latin, 'little girl'.
San Paolo Paul An ancient Latin name, originally from Paulus meaning 'little'. This is a good example of the apostles using nicknames for themselves -his proper name was Saul.
San Paolo della Croce Paul of the Cross He is enshrined at Santi Giovanni e Paolo
San Paolo Primo Eremita Paul the First Hermit Eremita is one of those Italian words that looks feminine but can be masculine.
San Pasquale Baylon Paschal Baylon From late Latin paschalis referring to Easter.
Santa Passera Cyrus and John The Italian has mutated unrecognisably, so a mistaken idea emerged that this church was dedicated to a female saint. Not so. The word means 'hen sparrow'.
San Patrizio Patrick Latin patricius, 'patrician'.
San Pellegrino Peregrine Late Latin peregrinus, 'pilgrim'. There is a suspicion that this is all that the original name of the church meant -'church for pilgrims'.
Sante Perpetua e Felicita Perpetua and Felicity Latin 'everlasting' and 'happiness'. Always venerated together.
Santa Petronilla Petronilla Latin, 'little Peter girl'.
San Pier Damiani Peter Damian Pier is a pet form equivalent to the English 'Pete'. Its use in a church dedication is surprising. His surname is unknown -'Damian' was the name of a brother who rescued him from childhood abuse.
Beato Pier Giorgio Frassati Peter George Frassati
San Petronio Petronius An ancient Roman family name, perhaps from petro 'yokel' or 'stupid country person'.
San Pietro Peter From the Greek petros, 'rock'. Another apostolic nickname -his proper name was Simon.
San Pietro Canisio Peter Canisius His Dutch name was actually Peter de Hondt, or 'of the dog'. It was Latinised for all purposes, even in the Dutch language.
San Pietro Chanel Peter Chanel Originally Pierre Chanel -he was French.
San Pio V Papa Pius V, Pope Latin pius, usually rendered as 'pious' although the exact Latin meaning does not have an English equivalent.
San Pio X Papa Pius X, Pope
San Pio da Pietrelcina Pius of Pietrelcina The originally Italian Padre Pio or 'Father Pius' is proving very resilient in English, despite being inappropriate after his canonisation. The native Italian San Padre Pio is simply stupid.
San Policarpo Polycarp Greek, 'much fruit'.
San Ponziano Pontian Either from the Greek pontos, 'marine, or inhabitant of Pontus.
Santa Prassede Praxedes From Greek, 'capable'.
San Primitivo Primitivus Latin, 'first made'.
Santa Prisca Prisca From Latin priscus, 'ancient'.
Santa Priscilla Priscilla Latin, meaning literally 'little venerable girl'. Always venerated with her husband Aquila.
Santi Protomartiri Romani Holy First Roman Martyrs Usually called 'Protomartyrs of Rome' in English.
Santa Pudenziana Pudentiana, Potentiana From Latin pudens, 'decent'.

QEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Santi Quaranta Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, now Sivas in Turkey.
Santi Quattro Coronati Four Holy Crowned Ones 'Crowned' refers to the tradition that they were beheaded.
San Quirico Quiricus Also called Cyricus. From the Greek kyrios, 'Lord'.

REdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Raffaele Arcangelo Raphael the Archangel Hebrew, 'healer of God'.
San Raimondo Nonnato Raymond Nonnatus Germanic, 'protection of counsel'. The surname is Latin for 'not born' is because his mother died in labour and he was cut from her womb.
Re Magi Kings Magi (Three Wise Men) From Old Persian magush, 'sorcerer'. The biblical text simply has the Greek version magoi without reference to number or status, but the tradition that there were three of them comes from the three gifts that they brought.
San Remigio Remigius From Latin remedium 'cure'.
Santa Restituta Restituta Latin, 'restored'.
Santa Rita Rita Her name is a pet form of Margherita, 'Margaret'.
San Roberto Bellarmino Robert Bellarmine Germanic, 'fame is bright'.
San Rocco Roch Comes from the French for 'rock'. In English it has been rendered as 'rock' in the past, but it is not a modern name.
San Romano Romanus Ostiarius Named after the legendary founder of Rome. Ostiarius is Late Latin for a church doorkeeper.
San Romualdo Romuald Germanic, 'fame of the ruler'.
Santa Rosa da Viterbo Rose of Viterbo Not necessarily named after the flower. Alternative meanings from the Latin ros are 'dew' or 'rosemary'.
Santa Rosalia Rosalia Latin, 'rose festival'.
Sante Rufina e Seconda Rufina and Secunda The first is Latin for 'redhead'. The second means 'second girl', either as a name because she was the second bay girl of the family or as a label ('second martyr') because her real name was unknown.

SEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Saba Sabas, Sabbas Aramaic sabba', 'elder'. The second English version is hence more correct.
Santa Sabina Sabina From the Sabines, an Italian tribe before Rome became great.
San Saturnino Saturninus After the god Saturn.
Santa Scolastica Scholastica Latin for a female orator (not Classical).
San Sebastiano Sebastian From the Greek sebastos 'venerable'.
Santa Serena Serena The saint is a fictitious figure, an alleged Christian wife of the emperor Diocletian.
San Sergio Sergius An ancient Roman name of uncertain origins -possibly Etruscan. Venerated as SS Sergius and Bacchus.
Santi Sette Dormienti Holy Seven Sleepers
Santi Sette Fondatori Seven Holy Founders
San Silvestro Silvester, Sylvester From the Latin silvestris, meaning 'tree-covered'. The alternative English versions are roughly equal in popularity.
Santa Silvia Sylvia From Latin silvis, 'wood'.
San Simeone Profeta Simeon the Prophet Hebrew Shime'on, one of the twelve sons of Israel. The original meaning is uncertain, although the Hebrew verb shama' 'to hear' has been traditionally associated with it.
San Simone Apostolo Simon the Apostle Same name as above. The difference is only that 'Simeon' was a Greek transliteration (Greek lacks the 'sh' sound) and 'Simon' was a Greek adaptation.
Santa Sinforosa Symphorosa
San Sisto II Sixtus/Xystus II The Latin Sixtus does not mean 'boy number six' (that would be Sextus), but is an old Latin corruption of the Greek Xystos meaning 'polished'.
Santa Sofia Holy Wisdom From Greek sophia, 'wisdom'. The church is dedicated to an attribute of the Holy Spirit, not to a saint.
San Stanislao Stanislaus Old Slavic, 'become glorious'.
Santo Stefano Stephen, Steven From the Greek stefanos, meaning 'crowned'. The two English versions are equally popular.
Santa Susanna Susanna, Susan From Hebrew shoshannah, 'lily'. The shorter form is more popular in English.

TEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Tarcisio Tarcisius From original Latin Tarsicius, 'inhabitant of Tarsus'.
Santa Tecla Thecla From Greek theoklea, 'glory of God'.
San Teodoro Theodore From Greek 'god-given'.
Santa Teresa d'Avila Teresa of Avila Uncertain meaning, perhaps from Greek therismos 'harvest'. The Church prefers 'Teresa of Jesus', her name as a Carmelite. 'Teresa of Avila' (after her birthplace) is a common name for her, but is in the Franciscan tradition and hence erroneous in the eyes of the Carmelites. So, the dedication of her Roman church is a surprise.
Santa Teresa del Bambin Gesù Teresa of the Child Jesus This is her correct name. English has tended to distinguish between the two Teresas by calling her Thérèse (French). Also, she is often called 'of Lisieux' (her birthplace). Devotees of her may be aware that she had 'of the Holy Face' added to her name as a nun. There seems to have been something wrong with this, because the Roman Martyrology ignores it.
Santa Teresa di Calcutta Teresa of Calcutta Interestingly, Italian has kept to the traditional English 'Calcutta' and has ignored the Indian wish that the place be called Kolkata.
San Timoteo Timothy From Greek timotheos, 'honouring God'.
San Tommaso Apostolo Thomas From the Aramaic, meaning 'twin'. This is certainly another apostolic nickname, and his real name is unknown.
San Tommaso d'Aquino Thomas Aquinas From Aquino. The peculiar English version has had a long history, despite past attempts to substitute 'Thomas of Aquino'.
San Tommaso di Canterbury Thomas Becket He is always known as'Thomas Becket' in English, not 'of Canterbury'.
San Tommaso Moro Thomas More The Italian has presumed that the surname means 'Moor' or 'dark-skinned', but probably meant 'moor' as a place where heather grows.
Tommaso da Villanova Thomas of Villanova Named after his birthplace, Villanueva de los Infantes. Strangely, the Italian version Villanova has become standard in English, too.

UEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

Sant'Ugo Vescovo Hugh the Bishop Germanic, 'centre of consciousness'. Pronounced hyoo in English.
Sant'Urbano Urban Latin urbanus, 'of the city of Rome'. There is serious doubt that the saint associated with the Via Appia was the pope.

VEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Valentino Valentine Latin, from valens meaning 'strong'. The popularity of St Valentine's Day in English-speaking countries, as a celebration of touchy-feely romance, has destroyed it as a name.
San Venanzio Venantius From Latin venatio, 'hunt'.
San Vigilio Vigilius From Latin vigil, 'awake'.
San Vincenzo de' Paoli Vincent de Paul The Italian has Italianized the French surname.
San Vincenzo Pallotti Vincent Pallotti
San Vitale Vitalis Latin, 'lively'. There is historical confusion over the identity of the saint, also commemorated by the Basilica of San Vitale at Ravenna.
San Vito Vitus Latin, from vita, 'life'.
San Vittorino Victorinus Latin, from victor which has the same meaning in English.
 

ZEdit

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

San Zaccaria Zechariah Hebrew, 'the Lord has remembered'.
Beato Zefferino Gimenez Malla Zephyrinus Gimenez Malla Greek, 'west wind'.
San Zotico Zoticus Greek, 'full of life'. The saint was an obscure martyr enshrined here.

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.