When we pray to Saints and Angels, how should we pray to them? Do we merely pray for their intercession? or more? Can we pray for Angels to protect us? (Yes, I know we do to St.Michael, but I feel this must be answered.) What about Saints? What can we pray to them for exactly?
As regarding the saints you can for the most part ask anything of them you would ask of the angels, which in turn is for the most part anything. Angels and saints, and each angel and saint is different it is true, but in general they are after all, like you – you can pray to God for anything, and so can they, and they live in constant prayer and perfect union and Communion with God forever, at all times. Their wills are His will.
I for example, whenever I lose something, ask St. Anthony to help me find it. He can help find anything that is lost or sought, material or intellectual. If he does not help me, I generally believe it is something that it is not the right time for me to find.
Most everyone approaches St. Anthony for help with this.
I would not normally think to ask, hmm, St. Joseph of Copertino to help me find something instead of St. Anthony, unless I thought for some reason he was especially fitting to ask, or perhaps I was praying to him at the time. He might be more helpful for a poor student before an exam.
At one time St. Anthony lost a particularly valuable spiritual book. . . and found it again, the story is told, and since then he has become a patron of finding what is lost. St. Joseph was blessed by God to succeed at an important examination he had almost no normal chance at success at.
You should become friends with the saints and come to know what they are like, and so you will know who is best to ask about or for help about some matter, because God gave that saint particular graces in that area, made that saint with a talent dealing with such matters in a way that gives glory to Him – just like he made you and me, for a particular place in Heaven.
They all have Christ in them and show forth Christ’s love in a particular way He made them to particularly show. Unlike us, who have yet entered into the humility and self-effacement where our personalities are what they should be before God, and instead have them discolor and get in the way of the pure light of Christ - the saints shine forth His light in the way they were made to, finally, and beautifully. And that love is sometimes particularly felt in prayer, and so, God willing we may come to know them like we know family members on earth, there is a particular color to their memories that reminds us of them.
Ancient Prayer to St. Joseph
O St. Joseph whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the Throne of God, I place in you all my interests and desires. O St. Joseph do assist me by your powerful intercession and obtain for me from your Divine Son all spiritual blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having engaged here below your Heavenly power I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most Loving of Fathers. O St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you and Jesus asleep in your arms. I dare not approach you while He reposes near your heart. Press him in my name and kiss His fine Head for me, and ask Him to return the kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls, pray for us.
11th century prayer
Inviolate, spotless and pure art thou,
O Mary Who wast made the radiant gate of the King.
Holy mother of Christ most dear,
receive our devout hymn and praise.
Our hearts and tongues now ask of thee
that our souls and bodies may be pure.
By thy sweet sounding prayers
obtain for us forgiveness forever.
O gracious queen, O Mary,
who alone among women art inviolate.
Inviolata, integra, et casta es Maria,
quae es effecta fulgida caeli porta.
O Mater alma Christi carissima,
suscipe pia laudum praeconia.
Te nunc flagitant devota corda et ora,
nostra ut pura pectora sint et corpora.
Tu per precata dulcisona,
nobis concedas veniam per saecula.
O benigna! O Regina! O Maria,
quae sola inviolata permansisti.
Prayer to St. Rita
I greet you, Rita, vessel of love,
woman of peace and model of all virtues,
faithful disciple of Jesus.
Saint of the family and of forgiveness,
help us to have faith that everything
is possible for God
and always aid us in every need.
Prayer to St. Pius X
Glorious Pope of the Eucharist, St. Pius X, you sought “to restore all things in Christ.” Obtain for me a true love of Jesus so that I may live only for Him. Help me to acquire a lively fervor and a sincere will to strive for sanctity of life, and that I may avail myself of the riches of the Holy Eucharist in sacrifice and sacrament. By your love for Mary, mother and queen of all, inflame my heart with tender devotion to her.
Blessed model of the priesthood, obtain for us holy, dedicated priests, and increase vocations to the religious life. Dispel confusion and hatred and anxiety, and incline our hearts to peace and concord, so that all nations will place themselves under the sweet reign of Christ.