Question regarding prayers to Mary and saints


#1

Hi,
Posting a question, and wanted to know more on what the catholics believe.

Question:
Is Mary and the saints humans or not?

  • it seems based on my observation, and reading in this forum they are treated more than humans or has powers beyond what mere humans/dead humans can do. They can seem to hear millions/billions of prayer at a time.

Do they have the power of omnipresence(as God does)? If they are humans, at most they can only hear one prayer at a time. Not to be disrespectful, but to me its like praying to them are like a lottery? So how do you think are these prayers heard?


#2

The saints are not omnipresent, and they can hear the prayers which God allows them to hear.

We pray to them so that they can intercede to God in our behalf. We basically ask them to pray for us.


#3

You can find the answers here:

https://www.catholic.com/tract/praying-to-the-saints


#4

They are human who have seen God. I don’t know whether they can hear more that one prayer at a time. If they can it is a gift from God.


#5

semper_catholicus : thank you very much for the reply.

God did tell us in the bible to pray for one another. But i have not seen any verses that God commands / tells us christians to ask help for prayer on dead saints. Reading on the bible, if i were one of the early Jews, i would have asked prayer from Abraham (as it is their forefathers), but i have not seen them do it, nor find passages for it.

edwest211: thank you for the link,

will try to research on Revelation 5:8 as mentioned in the article, then get back to you on this.


#6

Theo2: thank you for replying.

“If they can”…thats the thing…isnt it more of a speculation? either can be true of false.
Here’s what I think,
if its not true, then we have wasted that particular prayer.
if its true, then carry on.

its a 50/50 chance, those are not good odds specially if your prayer is a very important one right?


#7

That’s exactly it. You’re very welcome.


#8

I believe no prayer to be wasted since God knows all things. Just fun speculation but He could put the saints on overtime. :grinning:


#9

That would be a good sight to see when we get to heaven, making saints work overtime !! =)

Regarding prayers, God did specifically mention:
1 John 5:14-15
“14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”

from what i understand and read in this passage, I’m not sure why we need to opt out from the best option, of praying to Him directly, rather than being prayed for by saints who have passed on (still looking for this verse, cant find any command that we can do it - need help if you have sources)?


#10

Pray to Jesus that is the best prayer. God knows our prayers before we pray. We can not change God. He wants us to pray for what He has planed for us,


#11

Mary and the Saints are human, yes. (Excluding Sts. Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, the three archangels that we know of.) They are not omnipresent, nor are the omnipotent, nor are they omniscient. Those attributes belong to God alone. But we believe that they can hear all of our prayers because of grace that God gives to them. We don’t know all the details.

It is important to remember that even if every human being on Earth prayed to Mary at once, Mary would not have to be omniscient to hear all of the prayers. 7 billion is a large number, but it is nothing compared to infinity, which is what omniscience entails. Omniscience isn’t “knowing a bunch”, it’s “knowing all.”


#12

Amen to that.

so if we have this truth, as mentioned in the bible, I cant find a reason why go for another option then? and that option, as mentioned earlier, as i see it(personal opinion) has a 50/50 chance? (lesser chance if you look at the number of prayers requested at one time)

(sorry, too many questions, but i believe having these questions will help us establish our footings, as mentioned in the bible in 1 John 4, is to test it)


#13

I’m continuing Anglican.
Luke 15:7

7Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

Joy in heaven would include the saints there. How they would know I can’t speculate, but obviously, they are aware.


#14

Hi Agatha,

Thank you for the reply.

from what you’ve mentioned: “But we believe that they can hear all of our prayers because of grace that God gives to them”
heres my reply: from what I read, the grace of God that has been given to the saints(and believers) is the salvation through the death of Christ on the cross. Have not come across any verse that says we have been given grace to hear prayers of all believers.

(not being rude or smart aleck) - you might say, I have faith/believe that it is.
But as per the bible: Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

  • from this i can deduce that faith is based on truth(assurance of things), the conviction (proof based belief)
  • thats why we believe in Christ, his ministry, His resurrection, because there are proof historically (reading jew historians accounts), bible accounts, physical proof and etc.

So my question is: where is the proof that God gave them this ability(to hear all the prayers of believers)? I would appreciate it if you can show me this.


#15

Hi JonNC,

Thanks for replying. Very true, they are aware. But it does not say about prayer requests, just says about a sinner who repents.


#16

What you are missing is that Catholic doctrine and teaching is NOT solely Biblical. It also relies on the teaching authority of the pope and tradition. Catholic tradition has held for 2000 years that those closest to God on earth, now saints in heaven, have the ability to intercede for us. This is the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. For some reason Protestants typically believe that once someone makes it to heaven, they forget about us or ignore us here on earth. Not so in Catholic teaching. We are “surrounded by a cloud of witnesses” and intimately bound together in love. We pray to the saints in heaven for their help, and they respond in love. We equally pray for the souls in purgatory, and they pray for us. We are all in Communion with each other.

There is ample evidence of the earliest Christians preserving relics of the martyrs and saints, building churches over their homes or the place of their martyrdom, and asking their intercession. Are you familiar with the thousands of Catholic saints? Try loading the free app, Laudete, and start reading the Saint of the Day.

The “proof” you are looking for is in the experience of 2000 years of Catholics having their prayers answered and drawing closer to Jesus through the intercession of the saints, as well as the many, many apparitions of Mary and the saints to people confirming that prayers have been heard. Have you read about some of these?

Please consider consulting the Catechism of the Catholic Church for far more in-depth answers than we can give you here on this subject. I don’t have one handy but perhaps others can direct you to specific chapters.


#18

Abraham was not in heaven but sheol before Christ ascended and removed the veil to the Holy of Holies.


#19

Hi limoncello4021,

Thanks for the reply and for your thoughts.

From what you’ve mentioned its from authority of the pope and traditions. i have some questions. Not to bash or degrade, but heres what i found out:
Regarding the pope: Please read on bloody mary story:


pope - did not disagree with the heresy acts(execution of protestants for their beliefs). If this was done today, it would definitely be wrong. You might say, it was right then. my followup would be, where do we draw the distinction of right and wrong?
my take : all of us makes mistakes, as mentioned in Romans 3:23. i dont think popes are exceptions.

Regarding tradition:
traditions changes. one is praying to mary. from what ive read, it started with Pope Pius v on 15th century. if it started on that time, how about those prayers said before 15th century? Were their prayers not as important as now as they dont have mary? And yet on those times we can see believers who have continued on with their prayers answered without Mary’s intercession.
My take: this is for me shaky ground, as it changes, not a good reliable source.

But what i did find is that Bible has not been changed.


#20

correct, and when Christ said it was finished, the curtain that separated the holy of holies has been torn signifying that Christ atonement was all in all enough to appease Gods wrath, and that we can go to God directly as said.
Hebrews 4:16
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


#21

We have been praying to Mary since the days of the catacombs before there was a bible. Don’t know where you are getting your info from.


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