In every article (written by Catholics or Orthodox) that I read on praying to the Saints, in response to Protestant polemic, it is almost always inferred, suggested, that Catholics or Orthodox simply pray to the Saints in the sense of addressing them and asking for their prayers to God/Christ. But I who grew up in a Catholic milieu, in a country of Catholic history/culture, know that this isn’t really the case. The common, simple people, will ask for the intercession of the Virgin and the Saints in some instances, for instance when they say the Hail Mary, the rosary, which asks for Her intercession (…pray for us poor sinners now and at the hour of our death, amen), or when they will read a prayer on a paper or behind the image of X Saint or Angel asking for intercession, but otherwise in private generally they will ask things from the Virgin or the Saints directly. I lost something in the house, St Anthony of Padua find it for me, I want that such thing happen St … make it happen, you know what I’m saying. They request things from the Saints as they would request things from God, except they view God as God, St Mary as St Mary, and the Saints as the Saints. They understand that there’s a hierarchy of dignity.
So what does the Catholic Church say? Should Catholics in principle only ask for the “intercession” of Virgin Mary and the Saints, or Is it correct to both ask for their intercession and ask them things directly? And if the Catholic position is that both are correct, Isnt it a bit dishonest presenting to Protestant readers only one side of things? I know maybe this thread will make many uncomfortable, and please forgive me, but I need to ask this.