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List of saints by Italian name

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This list of saints by Italian name is an aid to readers who would like to understand the origins, meanings and translation of Italian/Roman saint's names.

Italian name English name

Meaning & Description

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 a pagan hero.

Sant'Agapite Agapitus

Greek, meaning 'beloved'. Found in Spanish as Agapito, but not an English name.

Sant'Agata Agatha  Greek, meaning 'good'.
Sant'Agnese Agnes

Greek, meaning 'holy'.

Sant'Agostino Augustine/Austin Latin, from augere 'to increase', hence means 'great' or 'magnificent'.
Sant'Ambrogio Ambrose Latin, but of Greek origin; means 'immortal'.
Sant'Anastasia Anastasia Greek origin, meaning 'resurrection'. Common in Italian, modern Greek and Russian.
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.

Sant'Angelo Angel -meaning Michael Greek origin, meaning 'messenger'. In English he is always referred to as Michael the Archangel.
Sant'Anna Maria Taigi Ann Mary Taigi Of Hebrew origin. Ann comes from Hannah, which translates into "He (God) has favored me." 'Taigi' is a surname with no certain meaning.
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'Apollinare Apollinaris Of early Italian origin. No certain meaning, although it might have been derived from Apollo.
San Bacco Bacchus Latin mythological origin. 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. 
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 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'.

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).
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 Callisto Callistus Greek kallistos, meaning 'the most beautiful'.
San Camillo de Lellis Camillus de Lellis An ancient Roman name, of uncertain meaning (possibly Etruscan). The surname was originally French, apparently.
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.
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.
Santa Cecilia Cecily/Cecilia Early Latin, deriving from caecus 'blind'. The form 'Cecily' is traditional English, but obsolescent nowadays.
San Cesareo Caesarius Latin, from the famous family of Caesar. (The saint is an obscure martyr of Terracina.)
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 Crisogono Chrysogonus Greek, meaning 'golden birth'. 
San Damaso Damasus Possibly means 'inhabitant of Damascus'.
San Domenico Dominic Originally Latin dominicus, meaning 'of the Lord'.
Santa Dorotea Dorothy Originally Greek, dorotheos meaning 'god's gift'.
Sant'Egidio Giles Apparently originally Greek aigidion, meaing 'young goat'. The deviant English form comes from the French Gilles.
Sant'Eusebio Eusebius Latin, meaning 'devout', deriving from the Greek. The saint is an obscure Roman martyr.
San Felice da Cantalice Felix of Cantalice Latin, 'happy'.
Santa Felicita Felicity Latin, 'happiness'.
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 Romana Frances the Roman Derived from 'Francis'.
San Francesco a Paola Francis of Paola Named after the following.
San Francesco d'Assisi Francis of Assisi He was baptized 'John', but was nicknamed 'Frenchy' and the name stuck.
San Gaetano Cajetan Unusually for his era he was not named after a saint but after a place, Gaeta.
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 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'.
San Giovanni Battista John the Baptist John is from the Hebrew, originally 'Yohannan' meaning 'God is gracious'. In English, unlike Italian Giovannibattista, 'Baptist' is never used in a name.
San Giovanni Calabita 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 Evangelista John the Evangelist 'John' used to be the most popular male name in English, but has suffered a complete loss of popularity.
San Girolamo Jerome Although he was a Latin, he had a Greek name Hieronymos, 'holy name'.
San Giuliano Julian Latin, meaning 'belonging to Julius' (i.e. a slave or freedman). 
San Giuseppe Joseph Hebrew, meaning 'God will increase'.
San Giuseppe Calasanctius Joseph Calasanz The surname is Spanish.
San Gregorio Magno Gregory the Great From the Greek, meaning 'watcher'.
Sant'Ignazio da Loyola Ignatius of Loyola The name is of obscure Latin origin, possibly meaning 'fiery one' (from ignis).
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'.
San Lazzaro Lazarus Originally from the Hebrew, via the Greek; Eleazar means 'God has helped'.
San Lorenzo Lawrence The name has something to do with a laurel tree, and seems to refer to the ancient town of Laurentium.
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 Marco Evangelista Mark the Evangelist Latin, meaning 'belonging to the god Mars'.
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 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.
San Nereo Nereus Latin, from a god of the sea. 
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.
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 Pietro Peter From the Greek petros, 'rock'. Another apostolic nickname -his proper name was Simon.
Santi Quattro Coronati Four Holy Crowned Ones 'Crowned' refers to the tradition that they were beheaded.
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 Silvestro Silvester/Sylvester From the Latin silvestris, meaning 'tree-covered'.
San Sisto II Sixtus/Xystus II The Latin Sixtus means originally 'boy number six', but this pope's name was actually the Greek Xystos meaning 'polished'. The mistake has had a long history.
Santo Stefano Stephen/Steven From the Greek stefanos, meaning 'crowned'.
San Tommaso Thomas From the Aramaic, meaning 'twin'. This is certainly another apostolic nickname, and his real name is unknown.
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 Vito Vitus Latin, from vita, 'life'.

The Lord Jesus ChristEdit

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 unfamilar 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". 

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