Praying for Someone's Death


Is St. Joseph (as patron saint of a happy death) also able to pray for the death of someone? Let’s just say this person is not sick, or unhealthy, but will spread heterodoxy and needs God’s jsutice now. Can St. Joseph pray for this? Weird question, I know.



Isn’t it against Catholic nature to wish violence upon someone else?


That would be a grave sin to pray for someone’s death or ask someone else to pray for someone’s death.
The Church teaching is very clear. The end does NOT justify the means. You cannot do an evil to achieve a good.


Pray that God will correct them and prevent them from spreading evil. He doesn’t need anyone’s advice on how to do it.

Note for example Saint Paul. He was ever so much more valuable as a convert than as a dead body. :wink:


This seems to presuppose despair of the conversion of others :cool:

There was something called the Mass of St. Secaire, the purpose of which was to obtain the death of enemies. Since it was a form of black magic, it was dealt with as such :cool:
*][/LIST]Abuse of the Mass as a means of black magic tends to be frowned on :wink:

In the Middle Ages Saints were often popularly regarded as senders of various evils - a development from their being invoked against them. Whether St. Joseph was regarded in ths way, I don’t know.

The question “Can I pray for purpose X ?” can be answered by asking “Is purpose X something for which I can or would have a Mass offered ?”. If I can’t have Mass offered for somebody to die - neither can I pray for this privately. :wink: “Would I want X to be done to me ?” is another test of whether one should pray for something.


I have a related question. If someone is gravely ill, and near death, and they want to just go on ahead and die so that they can stop suffering, what should I pray for then? What if this person has become a huge burden for his family, and some of them have also wished that he would just go on ahead and die, so that they could stop suffering?


It used to be the custom to pray for a speedy recovery or a happy death for anyone who was seriously ill.


There are other ways that God can prevent the spread of heterodox doctrine than by killing the heretic. Pray that the heterodox doctrine would cease to spread but also pray for the heretic’s soul and wellbeing.


Let’s just say this person is not sick, or unhealthy, but will spread heterodoxy and needs God’s jsutice now.

**Only GOD knows who needs His justice now, not you!

Which would you rather have for yourself–God’s justice or God’s mercy? Then cut everyone the same slack you want for yourself!

This is PRECISELY the kind of thing Jesus forbade when He said, “Judge not!” (Matthew 7:1).**


Whoa! Wouldn’t it be nice to pray for a swift death of miserable people - I’m African and old Bobby Mugabe and his badly named wife, Grace must be prime candidates for prayers to die soon! No; try the Italian saying of “when a child is least lovable, they need love most” and apply it to this person. Do not allow their sin, or what you perceive as their sin, to taint you by making you angry and filling you with hatred. If you really can’t do that, remove yourself from this persons’ presence. Pray for the peace of Christ for YOURSELF. He will free you from anxiety. Read the Priest’s prayer after Our Father in the order of the Mass - it just instantly calms the spirit.


such a prayer for such an intention implies belief that death is a punishment from God, which is not in accord with Catholic teaching. God’s justice is adminstered when the person is judged at the time of death, but death is not a punishment in anticipation of that judgement. The proper prayer for such an individual is that he will respond to God’s grace and change his ways so that when he does die, it is in the fullness of God’s grace.

also such a prayer, which presumes to dictate how God will judge this person, is also wrong in and of itself because the interceder takes upon himself the role of God as judge.

the traditional prayer to St. Joseph for someone who is ill is for a happy death, leaving it to God to determine when and how that person will die. A happy death is one in which the person is in the state of sanctifying grace.

closed #12

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