Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?

UnknownI typed that question to get your attention.  We don’t actually pray to saints – we ask their intercession.  “Ah, but there is but one mediator between God and man, and that is Jesus,” you might say. (1 Timothy 2: 5-6)  You would be correct!  Jesus’ death on the cross was expiation for our sin.  “Expiation” means the healing of a broken relationship.  Without Christ’s mediation/interceding for us, there would be no expiation.  We would be unable to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Catholics consider the saints in heaven to be part of our big family, the Church.  There is the church militant – those of us on earth, the church suffering – those in purgatory, and the church triumphant – those who have made it to heaven.  Just as we would not hesitate to ask a friend here on earth to pray for us for a particular need, we don’t hesitate to ask our friends in purgatory or in heaven to pray for us either.

There are books and websites that help us to become familiar with the saints.  AmericanCatholic.org (Saint of the Day) is a good one.  I believe that there is an APP for iPhones as well.

Saints are recognized in the Church as role models – people who have traveled this earthly journey before us, and who have triumphed because of their great faith in Jesus.  I have many favorite saints, but my “go to guys”  for prayers are:  St. Anthony, Padre Pio, St. Therese’ and St. Theresa of Avila.  Of course, I ask Mary’s prayers daily, and often call upon the saints for whom my children were named to petition God to keep them on the right path – close to His heart!

Why not go directly to God, you might ask?  I do!  Quite often, I begin my prayers with “Dear God, or Dear Heavenly Father.”  I also often end with “In Jesus Name we pray.” (John 14:13-14)  I love the Lord’s prayer that Jesus taught us in Matthew Chapter 6. Do you notice that Jesus does not end that prayer “in Jesus name” or “in My name?”  Just thinking out loud.

My mother taught me to pray from the heart, and for that, I am so grateful. I think that there is a place for many forms of prayer – rote, heartfelt, meditation, song, etc. To help my students (who sometimes come to me only comfortable with memorized prayers), I teach them the ACTS acronym  – Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  This helps them to make a well-rounded prayer from the heart when they are at a loss for words.

Speaking of that, I love the Christian Song, Just Say Jesus.  “…When you don’t know what to say, just say Jesus.  There is power in the name, the name of Jesus…”  You can listen to it here.  Sometimes, just saying Jesus’ beautiful name in reverence is all that is needed!

About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 10, 16 and 23. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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One Response to Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?

  1. Very well done my friend.

    When I am asked this I tend to give a more symplistic answer, by pointing out that it is FAR more explainatory to claim that we pray THROUGH, rather than to. Both are correct, Mary and the Saints. I als usually add that the most common Marian Prayer is very biblical:

    Hail Mary, [Lk. 1:28]
    Full of Grace [Lk. 1:28]
    The Lord is with thee [Lk 1:27]
    Blessed are you among all women [Lk 1:42]
    And Blessed in the fruit of your womb: Jesus [Lk. 1;42]
    Holy Mary [Lk.1: 28]
    Mother of God 1:35
    Pray for us sinners [our catholic petition]
    Now and at the hour of our death
    Amen” [I BELIEVE!]

    Continued Blessings my friend,
    Patrick
    working4christtwo

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