[For Lutherans] Early Church condemning invocation of the Saints?

Do you have any favorite saints you ask for God to hear?

As an aside, I am currently working on a paper addressing this, trying to come up with a way to allow for the practice even given the Smallcald Articles’ rather strict wording.

Also, @Michael16 : if I am permitted to respond to your post,

I have a fondness for asking the intercession of, and praying with the BVM, St John the Baptist, and St Augustine.

1 Like

My favorite saints are the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph her spouse, Saint Benedict, Saint Antony of the Desert, Saint Ignatius de Loyola and Saint Michael the Archangel.

When I’m job searching, I also like Saint Isodore the Farmer.

This tagging feature and my struggles with it is bothering me. Hahahahaha

St. Peregrine. I’m a cancer survivor.
More regularly, it is a general prayer.

What are your thoughts on the Lutheran/Catholic dialogue statement I linked to earlier, “One Mediator, the Saints, and Mary

Actually, I have to thank you for sharing that. I am including it as a resource for my paper. Ultimately, it is a step in the right direction.

Unfortunately, considering I have a few professors who have less than favorable views of even the JDDJ, the document you shared is partly a guide on what arguments I need to avoid, or at least not dwell on.

Of course, the traditional Lutheran position on the matter is one which I have had tremendous difficulty in adopting.

Not sure where you attend school, but the ELCA approved the document, and the LCMS response’s main concern seems to be about being in fellowship following the rather “adiaphoron” approach.

Please keep me informed as to how it goes.

Clarification: Though I am ELCA, my school is LCMS. Some of my professors are more critical than the broader Synod. Sorry for the confusion.

No problem. I personally think they are locked into Luther’s hyperbole too much, instead of on what he is actually saying. Listen to the real complaint.

And although the angels in heaven pray for us (as Christ Himself also does), as also do the saints on earth, and perhaps also in heaven, yet it does not follow thence that we should invoke and adore the angels and saints, and fast, hold festivals, celebrate Mass in their honor, make offerings, and establish churches, altars, divine worship, and in still other ways serve them, and regard them as helpers in need [as patrons and intercessors], and divide among them all kinds of help, and ascribe to each one a particular form of assistance, as the Papists teach and do. For this is idolatry, and such honor belongs alone to God. 27) For as a Christian and saint upon earth you can pray for me, not only in one, but in many necessities. But for this reason I am not obliged to adore and invoke you, and celebrate festivals, fast, make oblations, hold masses for your honor [and worship], and put my faith in you for my salvation. I can in other ways indeed honor, love, and thank you in Christ. 28) If now such idolatrous honor were withdrawn from angels and departed saints, the remaining honor would be without harm and would quickly be forgotten.

He’s not really complaining about intercessory prayer. He’s complaining about all the other things wrapped around it. He uses the same approach to Purgatory.


There are times recently where I have begun to wonder if the parties during the Reformation were mostly talking past each other and reacting to misunderstandings, and passed on those misunderstandings to the next generation.

It makes me reflect, to borrow a line quoted in “How I Became the Catholic I Was” by Neuhaus: “a Lutheran who does not daily ask himself why he is not a Roman Catholic cannot know why he is a Lutheran.”

I agree. And I give thanks for people like Popes John XXIII and Benedict XVI for their efforts to overcome it.

Everyday. For me the answer is clear and precise.

This is one of the best threads i have ever read through on CAF. The humility and delivery of objective facts were done in quite a scholarly manner imo. Thank you for all the effort.

1 Like

You’re sounding so closed minded


In what ways am I sounding so close minded?

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.