the good thief


Does anyone pray to the good thief? He may not exactly be a saint, but we know he’s in heaven. It occurred to me that it might make sense to pray to him for sincere contrition.

Or am I crazy? :slight_smile:



I haven’t, but sure you can. He’s in Heaven; thus, he is a saint.


Is that the “official” definition of sainthood? So we can pray to anyone who we believe to be in heaven?

So much to learn… :hypno:


He is a saint, St. Dismas :slight_smile:


Prayer to Saint Dismas
Dear Saint Dismas, you cooperated with the grace that was yours in suffering the same fate as the Divine Master. You repented for your sins and believed, and you heard the Savior say:"
"Today you will be with me in paradise."
Obtain for prisoners the same grace to repent of their wicked ways, and obtain the same reward - eternal life with Christ.

He’s patron saint of prisoners, criminals, reformed thieves, prison ministry etc.

We know he is in heaven because Jesus said so. For the official definition of who is in heaven or for how a religious person becomes a saint - do some additional searches on the catholic-forum or


When the Church declares someone a Saint, it is the formal acknowledgment that the person is in heaven. However, there will be more people in people in the heaven than the church has declared as saints.

As to who we are allowed to pray to, I will defer to others. But since there has to be devotion to a person and recorded miracles resulting from seeking their intercession, before the church declares someone a saint, it logically follows that catholics aren’t limited the list of church approved saints to seek intercesion from.

FWIW, the good thief is a saint recoginzed by the church, also known as St. Dismas.

It occured to me that in an odd way, St. Dismas is the ultimate protestant saint. His sainthood is confirmed by the bible rather than church decree and thus from a protestant point of view inherenitly more reliable.


Yes, that is right, as private devotion anyway. But, for a person to have a public veneration (that is, in the official liturgy and calendar of the Church) they must be at least beatified. When a person is beatified, it means the Church has researched their life and found it to have shown heroic virtue and the local Church is givne permission to venerate the person in liturgical life–they are given the title “Blessed.” (in America, for example, one Blessed is Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha).

Canonization, however, is a mandate that the universal Church venerate the person–such individuals are given the title “Saint.”

Also, a for beatification and then for canonization there must be a verified miracle due to the saint’s intercession–proving they really are in Heaven (except for martyrs, they are automatically beatified–there martyrdom is proof enough).


Thanks very much, everybody. :slight_smile:


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