Can praying to Mary or the saints do anything?

So I understand praying to Mary and the Saints and asking them to pray for you but isn’t asking a saint or asking Mary to heal you or find something lost for you giving them some kind of divine authority? Same with statues… you pray to the saint not the statue right?
If some one could help me with these stumbling blocks:
1: this question
2: could Mary apparitions be satan?
3: Bowing down to images (mainly Mary)
4: the queenship of Mary
As you can see the mother of my Lord is my biggest stumbling block as is with most Protestants. I want to be Catholic but I am having the hardest time accepting Mary.
The whole ishtar thing and babylonian godess worship thing is bothering (me if someone could explain this too that would be great!).
Thank you and God bless

**1: isn’t asking a saint or asking Mary to heal you or find something lost for you giving them some kind of divine authority? Same with statues… you pray to the saint not the statue right?
Always to the saint and not the statue. Saints have ‘some kind of divine authority’ whether an individual chooses to recognize it or not. They are not identical with God, but do not forget the passage in Revelation which says (my paraphrase) “He who overcomes will sit in the throne of my Father.” Saints have overcome, and therefore share in an eternal and divine communion with the Father and Son, even though they are not Father or Son.

2: could Mary apparitions be satan?

By definition that would be a satanic apparition and not a Marian apparition. If you are asking if Satan could trick people by taking on the guise of Mary, then you might also know that Satan can appear as even an angel of light, according to the scriptures. This is why the church investigates Marian apparitions and only validates some of them as safely reliable.

3: Bowing down to images (mainly Mary)

Bow to the authority represented in the image, not the image itself. I myself have never been taught to bow before a Marian statue, although customs vary from place to place. We do not bow in submission to wood and clay, but in reverence for the sacred reality which they represent. When I fall at the foot of the cross, I do not cling to the wood, but the savior.

**4: the queenship of Mary. As you can see the mother of my Lord is my biggest stumbling block as is with most Protestants. I want to be Catholic but I am having the hardest time accepting Mary. The whole ishtar thing and babylonian godess worship thing is bothering (me if someone could explain this too that would be great!).
We call Jesus “Savior” and “Lord” even though those titles were applied to non-Christian deities well before Christianity arose. We call Mary “Queen of Heaven” even though there were deific figures who shared that title long before Mary was born. No title in Christianity is original to Christianity. We say these things because they are uniquely true, about Jesus and about Mary, though historically people have claimed they were true about others.

The intensity of Catholic reverence for Mary can be very off-putting. I used to be a Protestant, and learning to appreciate the Marian traditions of church was something that happened to me only with time and patience. God bless you as you seek his will.

Does asking for aid give someone Divine authority?

Of course not.

The teaching on intercession/Communion of saints which is what you’re speaking of is really all about the fact that life does not end at death. That we continue, that we are still all concerned with/for each other, united with each other and one in Christ.

It’s a beautiful teaching.

There are many areas in scripture that point to this : we have a “cloud of witnesses” and in revelation where it speaks of incense being offered which are the “prayers of the saints” for the people on earth.

As a Baptist I am sure a minister has prayed for you which you permitted, or a friend has asked you to pray for them…by doing so, did they give you some divine authority?

No! This teaching is all about family! We are God’s family, we are ONE with Christ…we are all parts of a body working in harmony and death is just a shadow. Love not only was able to incarnate into human flesh , but was willing to experience death out of love and is able to transend death itself! That’s the love that gives life to our family …The catholic church (catholic means "universal).

Mary holds a special place for us because she held a special place in Gods heart…really that’s the end of that story. How deeper you go with Mary will be up to you and it’s something you can look into as you move on. Please don’t let that stop you from becoming catholic. You recognize her as a great woman, Mother of Christ and that that was an important role? Then the rest is something you can sit on the back burner and as you progress…you can go deeper.

To set the record straight…the catholic church teaches that ALL worship is reserved for God alone and anything else in this matter is excommunicable! Very serious!

and as far as apparitions go…

Satan can look as anyone …even Jesus. He’s constantly trying to make the bad look good in our lives isint he?

Apparitions …or visitations by Mary, or saints or angels etc etc.
NONE are enforced on a catholic.

The church will painstakingly investigate and known and useful apparition usually for many years before it declares a vision/apparition permitted for belief.
And when it is the instance the church acknowledges such a vision, there are a few things that MUST be taken into account. 1. Does it teach anything contrary to divine revelation, scripture or church teaching? 2. Does it have a wellspring of good works and conversions - positives etc etc flowing from it…what are the “fruits” telling us.?

NO APPARITION is forced on you…the church gets involved with them because it doesn’t want to see people led astray. The church only will declare that X is worthy of belief in that it does not go against church teaching and that the message is positive for the soul.

All apparitions/visions that the church has marked as acceptable really all say the same thing: pray, stay close to Christ and His church, do penance and that we need to change and amend our lives.

That’s really it!
God bless

Lastly, if you do want to come to know Mary more. I’m more than happy to work with you! I gotta confess… I’m a “mamas boy” . She has really enriched my spiritual life and has brought me closer to her Son.

But it something you need to take in strides.

God bless you on your journey

Ohh Boy! I am just a Catholic lay person who enjoys these forums. I’ ll try to address these questions but I’m sure others will come that can tell you and help you more.

#2 There have been many appearances, interventions and miracles by the Blessed Virgin. They are happening today. Any single one of them or all of them can be rationalized as not being of God but of the evil one. Someone who does not believe can rationalize and turn anything to support their argument. Surely you have heard atheist referring to all Religious beliefs as being just a fairy tale? I feel like saying “no Virginia there is a Santa Claus.” Since it take faith to believe. If someone relates an event related to the Blessed Mother that is a known miracle do you believe them? If another laughs at it and ridicules it do you side with them? I believe but that is me. All you can do is search for valid information and then look to yourself and what you believe.
#3 kneeling down, bowing, standing or laying down to pray is your choice. As to praying to images. We don’t. An image, drawing, painting or sculpture or an artifact is used as a focus point. This is similar to focusing when meditating. We invoke a saint’s or Mary’s assistance with our prayer that is ultimately to God.
#4 Whatever term is used why would not Mary be held in high esteem? Her loving son is Jesus Christ! She is his loving mother. Who do we humans first love in this world? A loving mother. So as human who would be closest to Christ. As Catholics we do believe Mary was assumed into heaven. And, that is an honor attributed to no other.
Mary is not a goddess. She is also our stepmother (of all of us) so to speak. He son on the Cross bestowed that on her. She can intercede for us and what better help could you ask for?

Lol you are funny

I absolutely agree that praying to Mary enhances one’s spirituality. That is one of the many things I love about being Catholic, that seems to be so different from other religions- the diversity of help available in the forms of Saints or the Blessed Mother who can intercede. I’ve always thought it presumptuous to think that I can go before God first all of the time… sometimes the Holy middle man or woman only seems humble and right.

Also, as a female, I feel an additional sense of serenity and comfort when praying Hail Mary’s.

As far as the question of whether Marian apparitions are actually satan…

I wondered that for a time too. No doubt that some could be. As a previous poster said, that’s why the Church thoroughly investigates apparitions.

I think it’s pretty straight-forward that many are legitimate, if you look at the good fruits apparitions have borne. It would be pretty stupid for satan to create a Marian apparition that results in hundreds of people converting.

Well said!

jacobthompson16. You suggested you had issues with the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen.

*]The same “woman” who “all generations” shall call “blessed” (For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.—Luke 1:48b-49).

*]The same Blessed Virgin Mary who is “blessed among woman” (Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”—Luke 1:42b, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."—Luke 1:45).

*]The same Bleesed Virgin Mary who was also “blessed” by one of the few people in Sacred Scripture explicitly described as being “righteous” (Luke 2:25), the Holy Prophet Simeon (“and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, "Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also—Luke 2:34-35a).

Considering the prophetic nature of Psalm 45 . . . . .

PSALM 45:6-10 6 Your divine throne endures for ever and ever. Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity; 7 you love righteousness and hate wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows; 8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; 9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. 10 Hear, O daughter, consider, and incline your ear; forget your people and your father’s house . . .

. . . . . WHO do YOU think this Queen of Heaven who stands at the right hand of God is?

and just to SUPPORT the above… lets get right to the marrow:
Rev 12:1-6 (DR)
The Woman and the Dragon
1And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: 2And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.

3And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads, and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems: 4And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.

5And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and her son was taken up to God, and to his throne. 6And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she had a place prepared by God, that there they should feed her a thousand two hundred sixty days.

Look at the imagery used here… crowns, cloaked in Glory, Stars (12 hint), Crown, etc…
To me this is scriptural confirmation that Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Many argue (even Luther had problems with Rev for this reason) against this passage using much more elegant theology than I can - yet, they’ve never convinced me that the woman referred to isn’t Mary.

The most basic answer is that we ask for their intercession and this is based upon a biblical event.

Mary interceded on the needs of the couple. They had ran out of wine and Mary told Jesus about it and because of her concern Jesus revealed himself and turned the water into wine.

So no we dont pray to saints, but we know they have the ability to interceded for us.

As a Catholic, my greatest joy is communion with God, father, son, and Holy spirit, in the eucharist.

Mary and the saints are useful to us as role models, for sure. But “devotion” to Mary and the saints (or a particular saint) takes a certain level of spiritual maturity, and you should not feel pressured by comparing yourself to anyone else’s form or apparent level of spirituality.

I have difficulty concentrating even on the Lord’s prayer, especially the first part, which is so important. THAT is how Jesus taught us to pray and my own prayer is so focused on God, Father , Son, and Holy Spirit.

Scripture says that we don’t know how to pray as we ought. It also says of God, a humble and contrite heart I will not despise. Prayer is our best response to temptation. so, a meditation on Mary or on one or more saints combined with prayer to God sustains me, even day after day.

Pope Benedict xvi said in one of his books, we have a right and duty to pray for our daily needs, and to be thankful. It’s always time for me, it seems, to pray for all of these things.

There are a lot of prayers to Mary, in the catholic church, but Mary prayed to God, and she is our model of prayer, as I see it. You are not required to ever say a rosary in your life, but it is a beautiful prayer.

I wish I knew how to pray the Psalms, too.

You might try learning to pray the Divine Office, since it’s built around the Psalms.

I can tell you right now, that as a former Southern Baptist, I just understood it as asking someone else to pray for you. We honor Mary because she IS the Mother of God, and we believe that she was sinless due to a special grace imparted to her by God. So yes, she did need Christ’s redemption, and she got it.

After becoming Catholic, I realized more and more her importance and her role as mother of all Christians. Not mother in the creating sense, but mother in the always praying and there for us sense.

Also, becoming Catholic, I figured that if we are in Communion with God, like the Saints are, praying to a Saint is like talking to a room mate in the future. lol, so that’s one way to put it.

Hello Jacob.

First off, welcome to the Church. God bless you. Your questions are very good ones and if you do a search of previously asked questions regarding Mary, I’m sure all of them have been answered here in abundance here at CAF.

It is true that not all apparitions of Mary are authentic which is why the Church investigates them before approving them.
I’ve never bowed down to any image, even that of Christ. I venerate them which is different. It would be the same thing as asking you if you admired a photo of one of your loved ones if you were actually bowing down to it while you gazed upon it.
The King of Israel had a Queen, but it was never his wife, always his mother and Mary being the Mother of God, is also His Queen. He spoke often of a Kingdom and a Kingdom has a Queen and since Jesus had a mom, He made her His Queen.
Now the first question, no we never ask Mary or any of the Saints to do for us what God alone can do, but we do ask them for their intercession with God. It is fine to ask God, but if you have three other people asking for the same thing and they are all in Heaven while asking, you kinda see the reason. Mary and the Saints are part of the same Church you and I belong to by Baptism, but they are part of the Church Triumphant, we are the Church Militant and the Church Suffering is the poor souls in Purgatory. If you ask several folks in this life to pray for you or ask God to help you in a special, why wouldn’t you ask those who are already in Heaven for the same help? The best way to find the answer to this question is to get on your knees and pray to a Saint and ask for their help and for a sign that it is okay. Jesus understands your purely human fears and doubts and He will get you safely across the bridge into His Kingdom, but you need to have a little faith in Him and His ways.


P.S. One other thing that helped a Protestant (former now) friend of mine was this: he understood and agreed that he was a child of God, that he had a Heavenly Father but I told him a child need TWO parents, a Father and a Mother. Mary is just that, our Mother by divine adoption. It made sense to him and he got it. He accepted her as his own mom and you can too. She was good enough for Jesus, so she should be good enough for you.

I love Our Lady and the Saints! I feel like I gained so many new “friends” when I joined the church. :smiley:

The way I look at it, I can “pester” the saints and Our Lady and beg for them to ask God for things that I don’t want to keep asking God about.


I will tell you, i was raised southern baptist and have heard all the old stuff about Mary and Catholics that can be thrown at you. But, i can also say I have had prayers answered through our Holy Mothers intercession more than once. So the answer is Yes, praying to Mary and the Saints can help…IF it is Gods will.

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