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French Language/Confirmation names for Catholics


Dear Caro,

In English speaking countries, it's common for Catholics to take an extra name (usually the name of a saint) when they get confirmed -- so, for instance, John Robert Smith becomes John Robert Francis Smith (girls also follow this custom). Sometimes people change their name legally to include the new name, though sometimes it is just adopted informally.

Would you be kind enough to tell me if this is a custom followed in France, and if so, do people usually change their name legally to include the new name?

Thank you very much for your time.

Best wishes,


Hello David,

Thank you for your question.
I am a catholic and I have been confirmed, but I have never heard of this custom in France.
Concerning the changing of names, it possible but you have to follow a judicial procedure and explain why you want to change your name (for instance, if it is prejudicial).

I hope this helps



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