A major difference between Protestant and catholic is praying to Mary and the saints

A major difference between Protestant and Catholic is praying to Mary and the saints.
It seems that Mary and saints “Appear” to different people.
But the holy spirit does not appear to people.
Do you know people who have seen “Appearances” and trust these ?
It seems to be exclusively in the Catholic church that saints and Mary appear?
Can you tell the difference between answered prayer from Mary and saints. Vs answered prayer from the Holy Spirit.?

Or is it the ends justify the means?

Good questions. Might I suggest having a look at the plethora (and by that I mean at least 3,457) of threads on this topic which you might find interesting. Otherwise, I shall begin to pop my :popcorn: and pour myself a :beer: :slight_smile:

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The Holy Spirit in particular doesn’t seem to “appear” as Jesus continues to appear in His Church (for example, to Saint Faustina, or even as He did to Mother Angelica), or as the Blessed Virgin appeared as Our Lady of Fatima and Guadalupe, but this does not suggest that He is absent. Perhaps He simply prefers to “appear” in more subtle fashion, similar to how Jesus appears in the Blessed Sacrament- He is there, but the Word is silent.

Please define what you mean by “appear”. One can certainly believe or feel that Mary, a saint or the Holy Spirit is working in one’s life, without seeing a physical manifestation of Mary, the saint, or the Holy Spirit.

Also, Mary and saints help us by interceding with us before God, so whenever they are present in our life, God, including the Holy Spirit, is present also. It’s not an either-or.

I’m not sure what you mean by “The ends justify the means”. There is no unusual “means” happening here. All prayers are going to God whether you ask Mary and saints for help or not.

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Oh please! Seek understanding first - that is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Our human failing is to jump to the conclusion that anything we disagree with is wrong and we are right. Ego triumphed in the fall from grace. Humility is the opposing virtue which the devil HATES.

The Saint’s intercessory power is in the bible. Look it up - read the bible! The whole bible. If you are handicapped by a Protestant bible, it’s still in there!

Do not assume.

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Apparitions of righteous people who have died or otherwise passed from this life to the next are rare but they are mentioned in a few places in Sacred Scripture in both Old and New Testaments. Samuel appeared to the medium at Endor in 1 Samuel 28:12. Onias and Jeremiah both appeared to Judas Maccabeus in 2 Maccabees 15:12,13. Moses and Elijah both appeared to Peter, James and John in Matthew 17:3 and Mark 9:4. Many unnamed saints appeared in Jerusalem after the resurrection of Jesus in Matthew 27:53. So, I wouldn’t say such appearances are exclusively a Catholic thing.

IMO, Luther did a great disservice to the people when he took away the saints from them. Saints are our helpers, and in this difficult earthly life, we need all the help we can get.

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It was just one of many instances of Luther throwing the baby out with the bath water, and later Protestant leaders (except perhaps the early Anglicans) threw out even more babies.

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Mary and saint cannot act independently of God; they do not have innate power to answer prayer and can only do what God authorizes and empowers them to do. Thus, so-called ‘answered prayer from Mary and saints’ is really ‘answered prayer from Mary and saints and God’ or, more properly, ‘answered prayer from God through Mary and saints.’ Apart from a special revelation from God, there is no way to know for certain whether or not Mary and saints were chosen instruments through whom God answered prayer. However, if a prayer was addressed Mary and saints and it was answered, then it is not unreasonable to conclude that they were probably instrumental in the answered prayer, especially since we know from Sacred Scripture that the righteous dead are sometimes permitted by God to perform miracles. (See 1 Samuel 28-16-19; Sirach 46:20; 2 Kings 13:21; Sirach 48:14)

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