I am a Protestant who is considering converting to Catholicism. I have never prayed to a saint or asked one to pray for me. Is it permissible for me to do so? If so how do I go about it? Any resources or suggested reading for me on the subject of praying to saints?
So long as it does not violate a person’s conscience to do so, non-Catholics are welcome to ask Catholic saints for prayer. To do so, you simply talk to the saint, either aloud or mentally, as you would to anybody with whom you wished to converse.
It may seem strange to try to talk to someone who, seemingly, “isn’t there,” but try to think of all of the technological methods we have to talk to people far removed from us. In our modern age we have long-distance telephoning, email, and instant messaging to connect to people far away. And, even before the modern age, we had letters, which were sent off in the hopes of one day getting a response but with the knowledge that a reply might never be received. In an analogous sense, prayer to saints is a conversation started with the faith that it is being “heard” and that the “recipient” will pray for you and, perhaps, send a sign of intercession should God will it.