Scriptures on praying to saints (SPLIT)


#1

What are the key scriptures that teach us to pray to saints, and what they are able to do for us ? What did Christ say on the subject of how & whom to pray to ?


#2

SAINTS

Mk 12:26-27… "not God of the dead, but of the living…” (saints are living too!)

John 14:12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

Rev 5:8 … Elders in heaven hold prayers before the throne of God

Rev 8:3-4 … prayers of “all the holy ones” go up before God upon His throne.

From the Catholic Catechism: 2683. “The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom, [Cf. Heb 12:1 .] especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were ‘put in charge of many things.’ [Cf. Mt 25:21.] Their intercession is their most exalted service to God’s plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”

INTERCESSION GENERALLY:

Eph 6:18; … Paul asks for intercessory prayer and watchfulness of the Ephesians for the holy ones.

Rom 15:30; … Paul asks for the prayers of the Roman Church (intercession)

Col 4:3,4 … Paul asks for Collosians’ prayer (so that God may open a door for us …) intercession.

… and of course Paul was praying for them in intercession too. :slight_smile:

Christ told us to pray “OUR Father …” Community. The saints are a part of that community and are not left out. We pray TO God and WITH the saints … but when Paul was asking for the Ephesians, Romans, and Colossians to pray for him … he wasn’t giving them God’s place, but recognizing them as part of the body of Christ.

So … members of the body of Christ can pray for us … and be asked to pray for us.
Asking a friend for help does not offend God either … unless one then believes the friend then IS God. The Lord actually loves it when we help one another … and the Good Samaritan parable and the parable of the goats (and sheep) at judgement demonstrates that He EXPECTS us to help one another.

In heaven the saints don’t CEASE to do God’s will, they are more conformed to it than ever. They are more aware of God’s plan and support it.

Jesus gave the Church the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and told the apostles “who hears you hears me …” so when the Church speaks on a matter, Jesus speaks.

Addressing a saint with a request is just addressing one of his deputies. They have powers themselves now … but it is ultimately Christ’s power. This is allowed and encouraged and shows great faith in the Resurrection of Christ and his holy ones.

Saints – Catechism of the Catholic Church

  1. The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness… They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus… So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.” [LG 49; cf. **1 Tim 2:5.

]

1 Tim 2:5 5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human,

so it is IN Christ that the saints shown intervening at the throne in Revelation – and as part of the body which He is the head - proffer the “prayers of the holy ones.” And not of course “in opposition to” or “in competition with” that one mediator (Jesus).

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,

Paul (a still living “saint” at this point), offers his sufferings up to God as a sacrifice on behalf of the Colossians. Jesus left some of the work of Christ to the Church. Part of how the saints serve God in heaven are to agree with His ongoing work and participate in it.


#3

[quote="CaptFun, post:2, topic:310901"]
SAINTS

Mk 12:26-27... "not God of the dead, but of the living...” (saints are living too!)

John 14:12 Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father.

Rev 5:8 ... Elders in heaven hold prayers before the throne of God

Rev 8:3-4 ... prayers of "all the holy ones" go up before God upon His throne.

INTERCESSION GENERALLY:

Eph 6:18; ... Paul asks for intercessory prayer and watchfulness of the Ephesians for the holy ones.

Rom 15:30; ... Paul asks for the prayers of the Roman Church (intercession)

Col 4:3,4 ... Paul asks for Collosians' prayer (so that God may open a door for us ...) intercession.

... and of course Paul was praying for them in intercession too. :)

Christ told us to pray "OUR Father ..." Community. The saints are a part of that community and are not left out. We pray TO God and WITH the saints ... but when Paul was asking for the Ephesians, Romans, and Colossians to pray for him ... he wasn't giving them God's place, but recognizing them as part of the body of Christ.

So ... members of the body of Christ can pray for us ... and be asked to pray for us.
Asking a friend for help does not offend God either ... unless one then believes the friend then IS God. The Lord actually loves it when we help one another ... and the Good Samaritan parable and the parable of the goats (and sheep) at judgement demonstrates that He EXPECTS us to help one another.

In heaven the saints don't CEASE to do God's will, they are more conformed to it than ever. They are more aware of God's plan and support it.

Jesus gave the Church the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven and told the apostles "who hears you hears me ..." so when the Church speaks on a matter, Jesus speaks.

Addressing a saint with a request is just addressing one of his deputies. They have powers themselves now ... but it is ultimately Christ's power. This is allowed and encouraged and shows great faith in the Resurrection of Christ and his holy ones.

1 Tim 2:5 5 For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human,

so it is IN Christ that the saints shown intervening at the throne in Revelation -- and as part of the body which He is the head - proffer the "prayers of the holy ones." And not of course "in opposition to" or "in competition with" that one mediator (Jesus).

Colossians 1:24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church,

Paul (a still living "saint" at this point), offers his sufferings up to God as a sacrifice on behalf of the Colossians. Jesus left some of the work of Christ to the Church. Part of how the saints serve God in heaven are to agree with His ongoing work and participate in it.

[/quote]

CaptFun ---

I see only 2 that might apply, Rev 5:8 & 8:3-4.

And, even they are far from clear....and certainly don't suggest a picture of One SuperSaint like Mary, in the Primacy position.

So, I really don't see it ... it must be All from tradition.


#4

Also, when we consider that St John taught we ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PRAY FOR ANOTHER'S MORTAL SINS, ...then, at best, another here on Earth, or in Heaven, could only provide us intercessary help in regards to Venial sins, and reduce our time in Purgatory, provided we lacked any unconfessed Mortals !!


#5

Ah. You wanted it completely spelled out in the perfect “proof text”? It’s nice when we can do that … but on that basis I couldn’t prove the Trinity either. Except by putting scriptures together and noting that there is a Father, a Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Actually scripture is PART of Church tradition. The Church pre-dated the New Testament being written and then canonized … and it wasn’t until the 1450’s that the Bible was mass produced via the Gutenberg Bible … written in Latin.

Church authority does not derive from Scripture but Christ. Though it is recalled in scripture.

Actually, Catholics don’t HAVE to pray to saints at all. It’s not part of the creed. But we may.

My conversing with you here is not an affront to God. Although I could be praying. And maybe that WOULD be better. :slight_smile:

Nor would asking you to pray for me. Or asking you for help of some kind “when God’s help would be sufficient!”

Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah though they were “dead”*.

Luke 9:28 About eight days after he said this, he took Peter, John, and James and went up the mountain to pray.

29 While he was praying his face changed in appearance and his clothing became dazzling white.

30 And behold, two men were conversing with him, Moses and Elijah,

31 who appeared in glory and spoke of his exodus that he was going to accomplish in Jerusalem.

  • Elijah didn’t “die” as Moses did … but was taken up in a whirlwind. Nevertheless here they are “in glory” even before this “exodus” he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem.

Why Jesus included them in His work is His business. Regarding that “exodus” …

Matt 27:50 But Jesus cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

51 And behold, the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 31 The earth quaked, rocks were split,

52 tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.

53 And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.

These had the miraculous power to appear to people. And were not “dead but living”.
And as you noted, other saints present prayers to the throne in heaven.

Revelation 6:11 When he broke open the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered because of the witness they bore to the word of God.

10 They cried out in a loud voice, “How long will it be, holy and true master, before you sit in judgment and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?”

11 Each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to be patient a little while longer until the number was filled of their fellow servants and brothers who were going to be killed as they had been.

Saints in heaven make requests of God. The requests are granted but in God’s time.

In Genesis 3:15 God tells the snake (Satan) : I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel."

The Biblical capitalization of He refers to Jesus. The woman He was the offspring of was Mary. “Most blessed among women.” Whose “Let it be done unto me according to your word” (Yes) cancelled out Eve’s rebellion.

Revelation 12 picks up the story of the snake and the woman again. The serpent, now grown to a dragon confronts the woman about to give birth. It recalls Herod trying to kill the Child Jesus (the coming King). John alludes to Jesus’ power and ascension into heaven. The dragon then turns to attack “the woman” but heaven protects her. He then turns to her “other offspring.”

These are those who (like Mary) accept Christ as their savior and keep his commandments. Thereafter come the visions of the beasts assaulting mankind.

Revelation 12 also recalls heavenly battles with Satan being cast out of heaven by other Angels. So Angels as well as saints have “powers”. And use them to serve God … and sometimes man too if it is in harmony with God’s plans for us.

Actually your questions are calling me to remember many fine lessons from scripture - even if we never agree on the place of saints in our lives. Ah well. Life is short.

Hopefully we will BE with the saints when our time here has ended. And we will know more about the Lord then – than we do now. :slight_smile:


#6

[quote="brb3, post:4, topic:310901"]
Also, when we consider that St John taught we ARE NOT ALLOWED TO PRAY FOR ANOTHER'S MORTAL SINS, ...then, at best, another here on Earth, or in Heaven, could only provide us intercessary help in regards to Venial sins, and reduce our time in Purgatory, provided we lacked any unconfessed Mortals !!

[/quote]

That might be a case of John telling people not to cast their pearls before swine. I agree that deadly sin is mentioned there - and maybe John was alluding to inveterate sinners with no intention or inclination to repent (rather than a believer who had fallen badly).

Jesus does go after that lost sheep though, and great sinners have repented of mortal sins. St. Mary Magdalen comes to mind.

St. Augustine's mother supposedly prayed for him while he was living in the state of mortal sin ... and he came around and thanked her.

Her prayers and saintly life example converted her pagan husband before his death.

catholic-saints.info/roman-catholic-saints-m-r/saint-monica.htm


#7

Very well explained. And as an adjunct I would like to add the following.

“Holy Writ does not explicitly refer to the veneration and invocation of saints, but it asserts the principle out of which Church teaching and practice developed. Our right to venerate the saints can be deduced from the veneration offered to the angels as attested by Holy Writ. (Cf. Jos 5,14; Dn 8,17; Tob 12,16.) The ground for veneration of the angels is their supernatural dignity, which is rooted in their immediate union with God (Mt 18,10). Since the saints are immediately joined to God (I Cor. 13,12; I John 3,2), it follows that they too are worthy of veneration.”

“St. Augustine defends the veneration of the martyrs against the reproach that it is an adoration of men. As the purpose of this veneration he mentions imitation of their example, utilisation of their merits, and the grace we receive from God through their intercession (Contra Flaustum XX 21).”

The above is from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ott, p.318


#8

Firstly, you chaps are really knowledgeable on scripture!!!!!

Secondly, i guess when praying to a Saint am i right in saying that one doesnt pray to the saint but through the saint to god?


#9

[quote="brb3, post:3, topic:310901"]
CaptFun ---

I see only 2 that might apply, Rev 5:8 & 8:3-4.

And, even they are far from clear....and certainly don't suggest a picture of One SuperSaint like Mary, in the Primacy position.

So, I really don't see it ... it must be All from tradition.

[/quote]

Yes...from our Jewish roots..........calledtocommunion.com/2012/08/relics-saints-and-the-assumption-of-mary/


#10

[quote="ajecphotos, post:8, topic:310901"]
Firstly, you chaps are really knowledgeable on scripture!!!!!

Secondly, i guess when praying to a Saint am i right in saying that one doesnt pray to the saint but through the saint to god?

[/quote]

Jesus said of a child that their angel in heaven sees God face to face, meaning they are privy to knowing what happens to this child because they are in constant contact with the all knowing God. So those who are in heaven do have knowledge of us on earth, such as Jesus said of this child's angel.

So we do pray to the saint, for example, St. Jude or St. Joseph or St. Michael, or ....
We ask them mainly for spiritual help, guidance, strength, by asking(praying) to God with us.
It would be something similiar if I were to ask you to pray for me. The only difference is that they are in heaven. They do have knowledge of our requests since they are in constant contact with an all knowing God just like the child's angel.

Another point of consideration is that they are now very holy, since nothing can enter heaven which is unclean. They are spotless in their souls and one with God. So asking them for assistance in our need is having the holiest people ask for us. And we know that if God listens to anyone, it is to those who have been faithful to him.


#11

Thanks. Nice reply. :thumbsup:


#12

The reason the church holds Mary is such a high position as a saint is because she is the mother of God. Since that is a very singular distinction, which is the highest title and role possible of any human being, then the church holds Mary as above all the saints in honor and grace. She is the modonna, her arms cradeling Jesus, and her body and mind giving him love and affection, and especially life, as only a mother can do.

The bits and pieces of scripture knowledge are there but we need to put them together to see her high role.

Just some thoughts.


#13

[quote="fred_conty, post:7, topic:310901"]
Very well explained. And as an adjunct I would like to add the following.

"Holy Writ does not explicitly refer to the veneration and invocation of saints, but it asserts the principle out of which Church teaching and practice developed. Our right to venerate the saints can be deduced from the veneration offered to the angels as attested by Holy Writ. (Cf. Jos 5,14; Dn 8,17; Tob 12,16.) The ground for veneration of the angels is their supernatural dignity, which is rooted in their immediate union with God (Mt 18,10). Since the saints are immediately joined to God (I Cor. 13,12; I John 3,2), it follows that they too are worthy of veneration."

"St. Augustine defends the veneration of the martyrs against the reproach that it is an adoration of men. As the purpose of this veneration he mentions imitation of their example, utilisation of their merits, and the grace we receive from God through their intercession (Contra Flaustum XX 21)."

The above is from Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Ott, p.318

[/quote]

This is helpful !! Makes a lot of sense.


#14

[quote="fred_conty, post:12, topic:310901"]
The reason the church holds Mary is such a high position as a saint is because she is the mother of God. Since that is a very singular distinction, which is the highest title and role possible of any human being, then the church holds Mary as above all the saints in honor and grace. She is the modonna, her arms cradeling Jesus, and her body and mind giving him love and affection, and especially life, as only a mother can do.

The bits and pieces of scripture knowledge are there but we need to put them together to see her high role.

Just some thoughts.

[/quote]

More good thoughts !! So, we have to infer the teachings on Mary, no real proof.


#15

[quote="brb3, post:3, topic:310901"]
CaptFun ---

I see only 2 that might apply, Rev 5:8 & 8:3-4.

And, even they are far from clear....and certainly don't suggest a picture of One SuperSaint like Mary, in the Primacy position.

So, I really don't see it ... it must be All from tradition.

[/quote]

No, it is not from lower-case "t" tradition but from Sacred Tradition. Sacred upper-case "T" Tradition is sacred because it is truth revealed to us by God.

tradition with a lower-case "t" = things we have always done
Tradition with an upper-case "T" = revealed truth

The former can change while the latter cannot because the latter is truth revealed to us by God through his Church.

That which comes to us from Sacred Tradition is revealed truth just as much as that which comes to us from Sacred Scripture. Both are sacred because both are revealed truth. So if Sacred Tradition tells us that it is OK and effective to pray to the saints or Sacred Scripture tells us that it is OK and effective to pray to the saints, then it is still revealed truth, part of the deposit of faith.

The Magisterium is the interpreter of the deposit of faith. The Magisterium is not wrong when it teaches the faithful to make novenas to saints.

-Tim-


#16

Intercessory prayer is explicit in Sacred Scripture.

**Now when you, Tobit, and Sarah prayed, it was I who presented the record of your prayer before the Glory of the Lord; and likewise whenever you used to bury the dead. *(Tobit 12:12)*

To anyone who says that it doesn't count because Raphael is an angel and not a person, I reply "So what?" Both are spiritual beings without bodies. So what?

-Tim-


#17

[quote="brb3, post:1, topic:310901"]
What are the key scriptures that teach us to pray to saints, and what they are able to do for us ? What did Christ say on the subject of how & whom to pray to ?

[/quote]

Christ speaks through his Church, through legitimate authority in the Church.

The Church is the mouthpiece of Christ.

What does the Church say?

-Tim-


#18

[quote="brb3, post:14, topic:310901"]
More good thoughts !! So, we have to infer the teachings on Mary, no real proof.

[/quote]

Mary is only one of many truths that are not spelled out with technical precision in the bible.

For instance, the Trinity is another, the humanity and divinity of Jesus is another, to cite just two important ones.

I'm sure you know that there were many versions of what the Trinity is, like, one person, two persons, three persons, and then the identity of those persons varied as well. The church then after 2-3 hundred years decided to settle the question so we might have peace and unity and a liturgy that was the same in the worship of the Trinity. This was no small or easy question and it was decided by a council.

Some truths of faith take time to find their exact true meaning. Others truths come to light when foundation truths are defined.

So the question of Mary is not the only one like this. The church over the centuries came to realize her high position and made her a place in the divine liturgy.

I think one problem that christians have with regard to understanding holiness is that too often christians have high regard for people in the lime light. Even those who seem to be charitible are not always judged correctly. For it isn't what is seen, but what is unseen.
Holiness is interior tho it does sometimes shine before men as well. Mary is one of these who seems insignificant, and played little part in her son's public ministry. But then again holiness is not always seen. I could carry on with this but I think you can see what I'm saying. Mary is holy beyond others, not because she was public, but because she was Jesus Mother, full of holiness, full of prayer, and mulling these events over in her heart by comtemplation and oneness with God.

Just some thoughts.


#19

[quote="TimothyH, post:17, topic:310901"]
Christ speaks through his Church, through legitimate authority in the Church.

The Church is the mouthpiece of Christ.

What does the Church say?

-Tim-

[/quote]

Well, some of our beliefs are Traditions, and some tradition (optional).....I have a hard time knowing when the t is capped !


#20

[quote="brb3, post:1, topic:310901"]
What are the key scriptures that teach us to pray to saints, and what they are able to do for us ? What did Christ say on the subject of how & whom to pray to ?

[/quote]

...here we are talking about the Communion of the Saints (the Church acting as a Single Unit: the Mystical Body of Christ)... and it is Christ Himself that sets the very first modal:

Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers to his harvest.' (St. Matthew 9:37)

...Jesus, being God, had no need to counsel His Disciples to pray for additional workers; and as it is Jesus Himself that brings to mind the lack of "qualified" servants all He had to do was Call more people to His Ministry... yet, Jesus decided to delegate even this important task to His Disciples...

...then there are the various instances where Jesus prays to the Father... as the Third Person of God, there's no real need for Jesus to pray to God... but as He said to John the Baptist: "...it is fitting that we should, in this way, do all that uprightness demands."

Jesus, as the Son of Man, came also to show us the Path to Yahweh God, "Abba!" As the Good Son, Jesus must not only point the Way to the Father but actually, as Scriptures state, humbly submit to the Father, relinquishing His Divinity and His Rightful Place next to God.

...the Apostles (Christ's Disciples who are sent to Preach the Gopel and Initiate people into the Faith: the Body of Christ) quickly begin to use this Communion of the Saints, as attested to by the Acts of the Apostles; the Church, as with other Teachings, eventually (Saint Nicetas of Remesiana (ca. 335–414) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communion_of_saints ) adopted a terminology that explains/encompasses this Catholic practice.

Maran atha!

Angel


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