St. Talia?

Talia is an interesting name, because it’s never been a super-popular or super-obscure name. It’s just there.

There is a St. Talia, a female martyr celebrated in Ethiopia on November 11. It’s not clear whether or not this is a different version of a name like “Tatiana,” or not.

“Talia” or “Taliya” is a fairly popular Jewish name, meaning “dew of God.” It refers to various things, but mostly to Micah 5:7, which says that Israel’s remnant dispersed among the nations will be like dew from God, or like rainshowers on the grass, waiting for no man to get moving, and prowling among them like a lion. So it’s an interesting name, because it sounds sweet and peaceful but really isn’t!

There’s also the name “Thalia” or “Thaleia,” which is Greek for “blooming, growing green, flourishing,” and is the name of the Muse of comedy and of pastoral poetry. It was also the name of a Grace, a Nereid, and a Nymph. So yup, there are lots of Christian Thalias too. Thalie is currently a very popular Christian name in France, since the 1990’s, even though it used to be very rare.

In France, girls named Thalie celebrate their nameday on July 27, the day of St. Nathalie, better known as St. Natalia of Cordova. Natalia Sabigotho was half-Moor, half-Visigoth, back in the early days of Spain’s Islamic conquest. She and her husband Aurelius (who was half-Moor, half-Hispanic Roman) were secret apostates from Islam, who knew that they might someday have to become martyrs. After their two kids were old enough, they sent the kids to safety and began living like monks. After seeing a Christian trader flogged to death, they bravely proclaimed their faith too, and were martyred together on July 27, 852.

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