I knew a couple that was trying for years to have a child. One night he told me they were feeling quite desperate about the whole thing and it was even affecting their marriage.

I suggested praying to the Blessed Mother and they both told me they did. Often. They said they held hands and prayed just about every night to the Blessed Mother for their marriage and a child. And guess what? It helped their marriage and they got pregnant. Hooray.

Due to some minor complications, they continued praying to the Blessed Mother for their child’s health every day and night. The night before they delivered they told me they prayed to the Blessed Mother. And the next day they had a baby girl. And they named her…well let’s just say not Mary. Not Maria or any variation of Mary. In fact, I looked up the name later and there’s no saint at all with that name. I asked where they got the name and my buddy’s wife said they just liked the sound of it. I, of course, smiled and said the baby was gorgeous.

Monsignor Bassano Stafferi is clearly beyond just smiling through it:

An Italian bishop has called on parents to stop giving their children “ridiculous” names and revert to traditional Christian names instead.

Monsignor Bassano Staffieri, retired bishop of La Spezia in Liguria, said that of the 500 girls born in the city this year, “not one was registered or baptised with the name Maria”. He added.”A name is not just a sound, it has a profound meaning.”

Mothers and fathers “should return to using a name like Maria, which is inspired by the Virgin Mary”, instead of opting for “exotic or strange names of which their children will later be ashamed”, the bishop said. There were signs that parents were reverting to traditional names for boys, “but this is still not the case with baby girls, alas”.

He said the reason was not so much that Italian families were abandoning the Catholic faith but rather that they did not give enough thought to baptismal names. “The problem is they do not think about what they are doing”.

The last few years we’ve seen an influx of silly baby names in direct proportion, I guess, to the number of silly adults running around. I think less silliness and more seriousness is my prescription for this foundering age. (This blog is of course excluded)

God bless the good bishop for saying the truth. Maybe it’ll give some folks pause and prevent another kid being named after fruit or some name that essentially begs for a hellish high school experience.