Praying to Saints
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On this faith check let’s answer the question, “why pray to a saint when you can pray straight to God?”
Of course, Catholics can and do pray straight to God. But we also pray to saints, not to worship them, but simply to ask for their prayers on our behalf, just like we ask our friends on earth to pray for us.
In the communion of saints we are spiritually connected to believers in the here and now and in the hereafter. For instance, Hebrews tells us we are surrounded by a “great cloud of witnesses,”1 who are aware of what’s going on here. We read in Revelation that the prayers of the elders and saints in heaven are ascending before the throne of God.2
The prayers of the saints are powerful because they have been perfected in God’s grace and as St. James says, “the fervent prayer of the righteous has great power.”3
Early Christian writings demonstrate that this practice was not a later corruption, but goes back to the very first centuries of Christianity. So let us join with Christians of all ages in saying “all you holy men and women, pray for us!”
1 – 12:1
2 – 5:8; 8:3; etc.
3 – 5:16