Annunziata Rees-Mogg has made recent headlines recently by declaring for Farage’s new Brexit Party. I must confess that I had not heard of her – the Rees-Moggs are not a family I have the remotest interest in apart from some guilt perhaps that knowing ones enemy is always useful in warfare.
Having grown up a Catholic with a Father who was steeped in the tradition I was well aware of the naming convention used by many traditional Catholics. My first thought was that she would be born on the 25th March and called after the Feast of the Annunciation. This is indeed the case. In the old Catholic tradition your name was determined by the name of the saint on the day you were born, or the name of the major saint with a feast day closest to your birthday. My father Kevin was keen to keep the old traditions alive, despite the fact that he had been named by another tradition – taking the name of a baby who had recently died in the parish.
I was born on the 21st June and my father was keen to call me Gonzaga after the Saint Aloysius Gonzaga with a feast day of the 21st June. Fortunately my mother intervened, thinking Gonzaga a ridiculous name, and suggested I be called after St John the Baptist whose feast day was the 24th of June and highly celebrated in Ireland at the time, with bonfires being lit on St John’s Eve. They compromised on Seán Laoiseach or John Louis in the anglicised version.