Felix Thomas Wilber
A couple weeks before we found out we were pregnant, Prim started this new game where she kept calling her cheetah lovey “my baby sister”. So when that pregnancy test showed up positive, I couldn’t help but think, “is this one of those creepy ‘kids can sense these things first’ and I was pregnant with her baby sister???”. We had a super extensive list of boys names, but they all were duds. Daniel and I had been talking baby names a bit before getting pregnant and both fell in love with the name Marigold if we had a girl. A few weeks into this pregnancy, we had our girl name set: Marigold Ines/Inez (couldn’t decide on spelling). When I was looking into the name meaning I discovered that Marigold means Mary’s Gold and is associated with Our Lady of Sorrows who’s feast day is Sept 15 and I was due Sept 18/20! I got all emotional and took it as a sign that maybe I really was having a girl and this was her name! Then I started getting emotional at the thought of NOT having a boy but also the thought OF having a boy because the name was so perfect. Basically just being a hyper emotional pregnant lady. Literally that exact night I had a dream that I was actually having a boy and woke up feeling really refreshed and loving the idea of having a boy (and a little emotional at the thought of not having a girl, haha. Woe is me.).
I initially was thinking of waiting to find out the gender until birth, but after making a trusty Pro/Con list, I knew I should find out since I was prone to end of pregnancy anxiety and the thought of not knowing would probably increase it. So around mid-pregnancy we found out we were having a boy!!
We were stoked. Although, Prim kept saying for a while, “my baby brother is my baby sister” then changed it to “my baby brother is a poopoo baby” to just “my baby brother”.
So BOY! No name stood out. We would fall in love with a name for one day then hate it the next. I reached out to the lovely Kate from Sancta Nomina to do a name consultation to hopefully get some insight and ideas for names since we were feeling like we were in such a rutt. Kate’s consultation was so great! We loved how she made the connection of our names all relating to nature. Out of her suggestions, we LOVED the name Oscar. For whatever reason, we had always said that if we got a male dog, we’d name him Oscar so we never considered it for a baby, ha!
We went on our babymoon to Paris and was hoping that being there would inspire us and guide us towards a name, but nothing. We came back home still with no name standing out to us.
I don’t remember how exactly, but the name Felix was popping back up on my radar. I think re-reading the other kid’s naming stories reminded me how Oliver Henry was almost Oliver Felix. I looked up Felix’s name meaning and fell in love.
“Happy, fortunate, lucky”
How cute it that? Plus it’s pretty universal in spelling and pronunciation around the world. Also the name of 4 popes and 67 saints, so it definitely is very Catholic. So we toyed with the name Oscar Felix or Felix Oscar, but then I kept wondering why that sounded so familiar and googled Oscar Felix and got reminded of how the 2 main characters in The Odd Couple are Oscar and Felix so I quickly nixed it. Plus, part of me was wanting the kids to all have a different first initial. I know it’s kind of silly, but after highly considering Oscar, I realized I really liked the idea of them all having a letter to themselves. Maybe I’ll change my mind with the next baby.
So Felix became the top name on our list. I was really in need of an emotional attachment to the name though, and I hadn’t had it yet but those connections did end up coming 2 ways.
The first was someone who commented on one of my posts suggesting the name Felix and referenced Felix Leseur, who I had never heard of. I immediately looked up his story and felt so moved and drawn to him. He was a prominent Atheist in Paris in the late 1880’s (FRENCH CONNECTION!) who married a devout Catholic woman, Elisabeth, in 1889. Long story short (GO READ Ven. Fulton Sheen’s account here – scroll down to his letter), Elisabeth became ill and passed away at the age of 47 and when Felix was going through her papers and journals found this letter she had written to him before she passed away:
“In 1905, I asked almighty God to send me sufficient sufferings to purchase your soul. On the day that I die, the price will have been paid. Greater love than this no woman has than she who lay down her life for her husband.”
He was furious over her piety and felt moved to go study and write against Our Lady of Lourdes to disprove it and while visiting the grotto, had an instant vision and conversion. He became a Dominican priest in Belgium and was one of Fulton Sheen’s spiritual advisors. His wife Elisabeth is under the beautification process and currently a Servant of God.
Second emotional connection happened while I was on day 2 of the Saint Anne Novena. You may remember, but I had the most beautiful and peaceful dream where I met my baby and confirmed that his name was indeed Felix.
Also, I can’t forget to mention that again, just by chance, my baby ended up with a Harry Potter name. Felix Felicis!
So we went into his birth knowing that his name was Felix, but had no middle name set. We had tossed around the idea of using Thomas as a middle name after Daniel’s father because Daniel’s middle name is after his maternal grandfather and his dad’s middle name is after his father, so it’s kind of a thing. Plus we wanted to pay homage to someone on his side of the family especially after using Lucia as a middle name for Primrose after my grandma. So when he was born, it was clear to us that this buddy boy was Felix Thomas.
I also loved the reference to Saint Thomas the Apostle, aka Doubting Thomas. I feel like I was so consumed with anxiety and fear and basically just lacking in trust at the end of my pregnancy, that I feel like I could relate so much with St Thomas’s skepticism with the Lord right in front of him.
Thomas also means, “twin” and I can’t help but feel a connection between St Thomas and Felix Leseur by them both being men who struggled with seeing the beauty of the faith right in front of them and then overcoming their doubts and becoming such devout servants of the Church. I feel like having them as patrons over my little Felix gives me such a sense of peace as Felix grows up and grows (hopefully) deeper into the faith. We love our little man so much and can’t wait to see how his personality and temperament show up to reflect his name.
You can read how the other kids got their names here: