Article: Can we ask for the intercession of non-saints?


This topic isn’t discussed until 5 paragraphs in this article.

“One friend made the practical point that if no one ever prayed for the help of non-canonized saints, there would be no such thing as a saint recognized by the church. It takes miracles, obtained through the prayers of the faithful, for a holy person to be recognized as a saint by the church.”

This article actually speaks to a far deeper question than it may seem. What of people we knew ourselves who seemed servants of God? Could we ask for a family member who has died to pray for us? Someone we knew in our parish? Perhaps even the priest? An old friend who died? Besides someone we just heard about, in one way or another.


I would have to say that it may depend on who they were, and whether or not they lived a truly holy life. I have a couple of relatives and friends that I would consider to have lived very holy lives, but I’m not sure they’d be considered to be “saints”. However, we’re certainly able to pray to the Holy Souls in Purgatory to ask for their prayers. So, if someone seems to have lived a life that would at least be worthy of Purgatory, I think we could safely pray to them.


I would say yes to all the questions though it is not very conventional for us Catholics to do so. There were people whom we personally who fit the category of the saints, and why not?

The only thing is, we do not know that they are in heaven with God. Maybe they are still in purgatory. If they are not in heaven, then perhaps our prayers may lack any efficacy because they could not relay it to God.

Saints are those we can know for sure are in the presence of God in heaven sharing His Kingdom. There are however many people who are in heaven as well but not canonized. Of course that include those who have been in purgatory after serving their time.


Doesn’t everybody do this if they have a good reason to think Family Member is in heaven?

I ask my deceased mom to help me and pray for me on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes I also ask Dad, spouse, other deceased loved ones.

Just seems normal. I’m pretty sure that they help, too. Mom probably the most because that’s how she was, always wanting to help me whether I wanted her help or not.


I doubt that any prayer “lacks efficacy”. Would not God or Mother Mary take special care to pick up those prayers and make sure they were attended to? Perhaps even sending some help to our loved one in Purgatory? Prayers don’t ever go to some “dead letter office.”


I think that the better you know the person you’re praying to intercede for you the more likely it will be that that person will intercede on your behalf, especially if they have an interest in your prayer.


I agree that while in Purgatory, they may not be able to help. But if they are in Purgatory they will be in Heaven. And once in Heaven, they may be outside of human time, meaning they could help us in our present.


Actually, if we make it a habit to pray for the relief of the holy souls, we can also pray to them for help, whenever we might need it. They appreciate our prayers so much that they are more than willing to help us whenever we ask them for it.


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