Meaning: from the word
The name comes directly from the English abstract virtue noun.
Many sources suggest that Faith was not in usage as a given name till the 17th-century, when this and other virtue names became prevalent among the adherents of Puritanical Protestantism, but Faith as a given name has existed since at least the early Middle Ages , as it is the name of at least two early Christian female saints.
One early legend is found in both the Orthodox and Catholic churches, of three Greek sisters named Hope, Faith and Charity, who were martyred in the 3rd-century C.E.
Another Saint attributed with the name is Saint Foy or Saint Faith of Agen. According to legend, St. Faith was tortured to death by a hot brazier, under the reign of Diocletian in Aquitaine. The Cançon de Santa Fe is credited to be one of the earliest known works to be written in the Catalan language. The poem celebrates St. Faith in 593 octosyllabic lines.
Its Spanish and French forms were in usage on the Continent since the early Middle Ages.
Currently, Faith is 91st most popular female name in the United States, (2008). Her rankings in other countries are as follows:
- # 80 (Canada, B.C., 2008)
- # 80 (England/Wales, 2008)
- # 269 (the Netherlands, 2009)
Other forms include:
- Fe (Catalan/Spanish: FEH)
- Foi/Foy (French)
- Fede (Italian)
- Fides (Latin)
- Wiara/Wiera (Polish: used in reference to St. Faith)
- Vera Вера (Russian: usually used in reference to St. Faith)
Designated name-days are October 6, (France).
- Hallam, Elizabeth (ed.) (1994). Saints: Who They Are and How They Help You. New York: Simon & Schuster. p. 91.
- Luca Robertini, ed. Liber miraculorum sancte Fidis. (Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino, 10.) Spoleto: Centro Italiano di Studi sull’Alto Medioevo, 1994; an English translation is The Book of Sainte Foy. Translated with an introduction and notes by Pamela Sheingorn. (University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia) 1995.
- Ashley, Kathleen M.; Sheingorn, Pamela (1999). Writing faith: text, sign & history in the miracles of Sainte Foy. University of Chicago Press. p. 33.
- Butler, Alban; Farmer, David Hugh; Burns, Paul (2000). Butler’s Lives of the Saints. Liturgical Press. p. 139.