Praying to Mary and the Saints

Praying to Saints

In the creeds, Catholics profess the belief that they are in communion with the saints in Heaven who can, and do, hear our prayers.

In praying to the Virgin Mary and the saints, Catholics are not worshiping them or asking the saints to do what only God can do. To pray means to make a serious and sincere request. We ask them to join their prayers with ours and direct them toward God.

From the earliest days of the Church, Catholics have asked the saints to pray with us and for us, united together in Jesus and participating with the only Mediator between God and man. Eastern Orthodox and some Anglican Christians also pray to saints.

God wants all of his children to pray together, including those whose lives on Earth have ended and whose souls are now in Heaven awaiting the resurrection of their bodies.

None are more righteous than the saints who are in the presence of God, so their intercession is most effective.

Praying together as God’s family:

The saints care about what happens on Earth:

First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, Who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one Mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, Himself human, who gave Himself as ransom for all.

1 Timothy 2: 1-6

Catholics pray to saints but not the same way they pray to God:

The saints pass our prayers on to God:

We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are attaining their purification, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion the merciful love of God and His saints is ever listening to our prayers, as Jesus told us: Ask and you will receive. Thus it is with faith and in hope that we look forward to the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Pope Paul VI, Solemni Hac Liturgia, June 30, 1968

Catholics do not pray to dead people. The saints are alive:

Praying through those who found favor with God:

The powerful prayers of those who are closest to God:

The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were “put in charge of many things.” Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2683

A tradition in the logic of faith:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

A living person in the tabernacle:

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