Where are statues and saints in the Bible?

Can you tell me where in the bible it says that we can or should pray to ‘saints’ or to “Mary” as I have never been taught this and it is one of the biggest obstacles towards my conversion to the Catholic faith.

Secondly, the bible states that we are not to create images nor worship them yet the Catholic faith seems to be filled with statues and images of Mary and the saints which seem to be more revered and treasured than God himself. To me, this appears to contradict the teachings of the bible? Can you explain the justification for all these images?

Thank you.

Dear E,

Where in the Bible does it say that we are to check things out in the Bible as our only resource? Where does it say in the Bible that we are to check anything with the Bible. In fact, where in the Bible do we find any mention of the Bible? The fact is, the word Bible is not found in the Bible. The only references to Scripture in the Bible are to the Old Testament because the New Testament was not compiled yet!

This is not to say, therefore, that we should not check things out in the Bible or that the Bible is not the divinely inspired Word of God. But there are a lot of non-Catholic Christian assumptions that are the result of human reasoning and interpretation. Yet Catholics are the ones that are so frequently accused of not being biblical!

In Romans 15:30 St. Paul asks that the Romans “Join me by your prayers to God on my behalf…” He is asking others to pray for him. In Col 4:3 and 1Thes 5:25 he asks for prayers as well. All we do when we pray to the saints is ask them to pray for us. We are not adoring them any more than Paul was adoring the Romans or the Colossians or the Thessalonians.

In Tobit 12:12 an angel presents Tobit and Sarah’s prayers to God. In Rev 5:8 an angel offers prayers of the holy ones to God. Have you never been asked by friends to pray for them? Whoever asked you was certainly not worshipping you.

In Exodus 20:4-5 God tells His people that they are not to carve graven images for worship. They are to worship Him alone. This is the point. He doesn’t want them to worship anyone or anything but Himself. Later in Exodus 25:18-19 He tells Moses to actually make two cherubim of beaten gold. In Numbers God tells Moses to fashion a bronze serpent and to put in on a poll. All who looked upon it were healed of their serpent bites. The bronze serpent is a clear sign of Christ on the Cross to whom we look for redemptive healing. These were images and God ordered them. Images are ok. Worshipping them is not ok. We don’t worship statues and other representations of God’s holy ones any more than we worship photographs of our loved ones.

You might want to read “Any Friend of God’s is A Friend of Mine” by Patrick Madrid. It’s available from amazon .com.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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