Intercession of Non-Saints

I have some people that I believe could be in heaven and could therefore intercede for people, but I have a dilemma that I cannot find an answer to. I understand that it is okay to ask for the intercession of non-saints, but if you ask for someone’s intercession, and they are not actually in either heaven or purgatory like you thought, what happens? Will the prayer simply go unanswered, or is it considered some form of sin, or just purely a mistake on our parts?

Edit: Another question, if I pray for said person’s canonization, as they were a public figure, will there be problems there too?

God will hear your prayer and take care of it. Prayers are never wasted. He probably just assigns your prayer request to another saint who’s available.


It would not be a sin to pray for the canonization of someone you believe is in Heaven, regardless of whether they are actually there. Every servant of God with an open cause for canonization has multiple people praying for that cause.

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Servant of God Dr. Takashi Nagai prayed for the intercession of St. Maximilian Kolbe before he even knew Father Kolbe was dead, let alone before he had been canonized.

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I would think God would smile on you as you’re acting on your hope of God’s mercy.

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Pray away, no prayer is wasted and you will find comfort in it anyway. No need to overthink it.

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