A lot of Irish women are called Majella. St. Gerard Majella is the patron saint of expectant mothers and those parents who didn’t fancy Gerardine for their daughters often went for Majella. Whenever I meet a Majella, I think, difficult birth. I am not sure whether Majella has any traction elsewhere but it continues to be a reasonably common name here for women aged 35 to 65. Goretti (another saint’s surname – St. Maria Goretti) is also a, less popular, choice for women of that age group.
You think that pair are bad? There is worse to come in this trend of using saints’ surnames as girls’ first names. My mother has a friend called LabourÃ© which is, I think, the world’s worst name, just shading Gobnait (second worst girl’s name). I am reminded of all this because there was a quote from St. Catherine LabourÃ© in the leaflet at mass on Sunday: I place myself before the good God and I say to Him: “Lord here I am, give me what You will.” If He gives me something, I am very pleased and I thank Him. If He gives me nothing, I still thank Him because I do not deserve anything.
So, not only the source of awful names but sanctimonious also. Feel free to share weird names you have known in the comments.