We celebrate National Saul Day on February 26. Saul is a male-given Hebrew name meaning “prayed for.’ This quiet, fitting name was borne by one of the great kings of Israel, and it was also the name of Saint Paul before his conversion to Christianity.
The name Saul, which would suit a long-awaited child, has recently been associated with award-winning novelist Saul Bellow. And Saul is the main character’s name in the popular American T.V. series “Better Call Saul” and is also the name of a character in a poem by John Dryden.
History of National Saul Day
The forename Saul (in Hebrew ‘Shaul,’ meaning “asked-for”) was the name of an Israelite king whose story is told in the first book of Samuel. Saul’s rule was tumultuous, despite his achievement in unifying Israel and his military capabilities. His downfall was a result of his prolonged feud with the youthful David, who finally succeeded him.
Perhaps because of this, the forename wasn’t quite as popular in ancient times as it is today. Its popularity as a Christian name was further hampered by the fact that it was St. Paul’s former name, which he bore while persecuting Christians and then renounced following his conversion to Christianity.
Between 1840 and 1920, the Saul surname was used in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Scotland. In 1880, the United States had the highest number of Saul families. There were also about 378 Saul families in Lancashire in 1891. This accounted for almost 26% of all documented Sauls in the United Kingdom.
The life expectancy for Sauls in the United States fluctuated between 1946 and 2004, with the lowest point recorded in 1953 and the highest in 1999. The average life expectancy was 69 in 1946 but rose to 76 in 2004.
By today’s naming standards, the name Saul is so vintage and rare that it’s become stylish. Saul can be the right choice for you if you want an uncommon name with some edge to it. It’s also important to note that some Sauls who have been born since the infamous Hebrew King have done an admirable job redeeming their predecessor’s wrongs.
National Saul Day timeline
The Saul family name is used in the U.S, Canada, and Scotland.
The U.S. becomes the country with the highest number of Saul families.
Saul is born Solomon Bellows on June 10.
Bellow receives the National Book Foundation's lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters award.
National Saul Day FAQs
Why did Paul change his name to Saul?
In those days, it was common for Jews to bear two names: one Hebrew and the other Latin or Greek. In the vision that led to his conversion on the way to Damascus, Jesus called him Saul twice in the Hebrew language, according to Acts of the Apostles.
Why was Saul jealous of David?
Saul made David the commander of his army, but he was enraged and jealous of David’s success, and he plotted to kill him.
How old is Saul in “Better Call Saul?”
In the show, time passes slowly, and he doesn’t reach 51 until the fourth season.
National Saul Day Activities
Post on social media
Name days are about reflection and self-love. Share fun posts about your name, its meaning, and history as you celebrate.
Use the name
Saul is still a relatively uncommon name and can be a great name choice. Name your newborn baby, or perhaps a furry little friend, Saul.
Throw a name-day party
Organize a party with your friends and share the meaning behind each other's names. Double the fun by finding other people who share your name.
5 Interesting Facts About People Named Saul
Award-winning Canadian-American writer Saul Bellow was originally named Solomon Bellows.
Nobel Prize winner
In 1976, Saul Bellow won the Nobel Prize in literature.
Saul Hudson is the birth name of the lead guitarist of the rock band Guns N' Roses Slash.
Yet another Nobel Prize winner
In 2011, Saul Perlmutter won the Nobel Prize in Physics.
The Schock Prize
In 2001, Saul Aaron Kripke received the Schock Prize in Logic and Philosophy.
Why We Love National Saul Day
It makes Sauls feel special
Name days offer us the opportunity to celebrate the bearers. If you know anyone named Saul, make sure you send them a gift or a special greeting.
It brings us closer together
The world is never more of a global community than when we find reasons to celebrate together. As Sauls find each other for this special day, they can form meaningful relationships that last a lifetime.
Learning about our origins
Name days allow us to delve a little deeper into ourselves. We learn who we were named after and what our names truly signify.
National Saul Day dates