Is it necessary for salvation to pray to Mary and the saints? If not, why not? Thanks
It’s good to ask Mary and the Saints to intercede on our behalf. For one thing, it can help limit any time in Purgatory.
If you’re going to Mass and praying along, you’re asking for the intercession of Mary, the saints, and all your brothers and sisters in Christ. Tons of times. From the beginning of Mass all the way to the end, at various bits. And you’re interceding for tons of other people, at the same time, including people who aren’t Christian.
And this is true of all Masses in all Rites that I know of, as well as the Orthodox and most Eastern denominations.
So yeah, if you can’t go to Mass and believe what is being prayed for, salvation becomes more difficult for you!
And if you don’t believe you can pray or be prayed for, or in the Communion of Saints and that we are one in Christ’s Body, you are going to feel very lonesome while you’re having a difficult time.
The short answer is no. But the question itself is faulty.
Just as Eve rebelled against God and caused Adam to become the source of sin and death for all his progeny. Mary, with her Fiat, obeyed God’s will and because of her obedience was able to deliver into this world the Redemption promised through the generations. The God man she bore lived inside her, with her, obedient to her. She stood with Him at the foot of the Cross and when He rose, she was among the first He appeared to. She was the singular person who after death, Jesus assumed body and soul into heaven. Throughout the centuries she appears when the Church is in trouble or souls in danger of damnation and she brings the world to her Son, the only salvation. The question is not…
The question is why would you want to do it without such a powerful advocate?
Our Blessed Mother and the saints are our spiritual family! I know I benefit a lot asking them to pray for me.
The Church teaches that God’s mercy cannot be limited, and thus there are extraordinary means, known only to God, by which those outside of the Church may be saved…BUT the ordinary means of salvation is through the Catholic Church. The Church gives us certain precepts, or commands, to help us on our journey of salvation. One of these precepts is to attend mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation. We are thus called to unite our selves to the prayer of the mass. As another poster pointed out, this includes intercession of Our Lady and the saints, especially on Marian feasts. So yes, in that sense, participating in the Church’s prayers which invoke Our Lady and the saints is necessary for salvation. Outside of the liturgy, the Church does not impose any particular requirements for our personal devotions…but I imagine it would be extremely difficult for most of us to avoid mortal sin without the assistance of Our Lady and the saints…
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I am not aware of any teaching of the Church that states one must pray to Mary in order to receive the salvation Jesus obtained for us by His passion and death. This is not to say, of course, that one should not as Mary was the instrument by which Grace entered the world and she continues in this role in as Papal teachings have made clear. One of many teachings:
So Pope Leo XIII, Iucunda semper, said:
“… when He [the Father] has been invoked with excellent prayers, our humble voice turns to Mary; in accordance with no other law than that law of conciliation and petition which was expressed as follows by St. Bernardine of Siena : ‘Every grace that is communicated to this world has a threefold course. For by excellent order, it is dispensed from God to Christ, from Christ to the Virgin, from the Virgin to us.’”
And since the Church teaches Mary is our spiritual mother it makes perfect sense to go to Mother especially in times of need. Having said this, I have yet to see a teaching that mandates such a requirement that one must pray to Mary to be liberated from sin. Maybe someone is aware of such a teaching.
This salvation, btw, as defined by the Church, is the liberation from all that oppresses man especially the slavery to sin and dominance of the evil one. Salvation as defined by Protestantism refers to final salvation, i.e., achieving heaven after death. This definition has been picked up by Catholic theologians which leads to much confusion of the faithful.
Well, requirement (ie obligation) is never to be taken lightly, but it’s just SUCH a waste not to.
Nope. You can be a practicing Catholic, in good standing with the Church and never say one single Hail Mary or any other prayer to any saint for your entire life. Why? Because the Church says so.
What requirement are you speaking of?
This isn’t quite true. Please see my earlier post. No, the Church does not impose any particular requirements in regards to our personal devotions and prayer life, but the Church DOES require us to attend holy mass, and at holy mass, Our Lady and the saints are invoked and honoured. Thus, at least in terms of participation in the liturgical life of the Church, prayers to Our Lady and the saints are indeed required. In addition, the Church requires us to go to confession and the Church binds us to complete any and all penances assigned to us by the priest Confessor…who among us hasn’t received Hail Mary’s as penance at some point?
The correct answer is no, trust me im officially half way thru my masters in Theology. The key is in the wording of your question which a lot of the people posting responses have overlooked. Catholics dont “pray” to Mary or saints, we ask for them to pray for us or intercede since we believe they are face to face in heaven with God. This is why many non-Catholics think we are saint or Mary worshippers, but we are not. Just as I ask you to pray for me , we ask them to pray for us. Recall the Wedding at Cana, the first sign in John’s Gospel, Jesus answered Mary’s request to help the groom from being humiliated even though He was hesitant because His hour had not yet come. But it was this sign that made the disciples believe.
The responses seem to assume you are Christian. The Church teaches that even non-christians can be saved, so there would be no assumption that such a person would pray to Mary.
The Father’s loving care surrounds Mary with the grace of Christ and the splendor of the Spirit.
Can we truly say that surrendering our gift of free will back to God is completed?
Are you so infallible that you will continue to do His will today and tomorrow?
Can you rely on your own self-control to constantly remain in a state of grace and persevere until your particular judgement?
Without help are you able to cast out the darkness of sin and despair and practice your faith conscientiously day after day?
Do you not worry about your soul with it’s evil inclinations because you have access to confession?
Is it not clear to you that holiness is the strength you need to avoid temptation?
Could you use some help in showing your love and gratitude for the mercy of Jesus?
The Immaculate Virgin already made salvation possible through her fiat.
Many Saints believed that devotion to her is necessary for salvation and sanctification.
She is alive and continues interceding for those who are still working out their salvation on earth or suffering in purgatory.
All prayer passes through Mary on it’s way to the Father whether we know it or not.
Like I said to a protestant friend the other day, “our Blessed Mother has been praying for you your whole life. You ought to talk to her once in a while.”
To my Catholic brothers and sisters I say, “consecrate yourself to Mary, most powerful Advocate, so she can guide you in imitating her in all things, especially in entrusting yourself to the will of the Sacred Heart of Jesus promptly, perfectly, and without hesitation.”
If the world bowed down to the breadth of her holiness, by leading us unerringly to her Divine Son, she could keep us all from eternal death.
Thank you for that post! Blessed Mother was saved in advance, and all that she was given at the moment of her Immaculate Conception was gratuitous. After she was born and grew in that grace she freely cooperated with the Lord and grew in every virtue, and suffered much in union with her Son.
Thanks be to the Lord for giving us His Mother at the foot of the cross, to be our spiritual mother.
The prayers of the righteous avail much, but they are not strictly necessary if you don’t need any help.
And I find it encouraging that we are 17 posts into this and someone hasn’t bashed, disrespected, or denigrated the Blessed Mother. Thanks be to God!!! lets keep it that way.
Yes…thanks be to God! Blessed Mother is a great gift to us.
Well, it would be impossible to be saved if the intercession of the Saints was necessary.
Think about it - how would the first Christian be saved?