Why do Catholics Pray to Mary and the Saints?


Right now I’m a non-denominational Christian. I’m really getting tired of not having one thing to “stick” too, and out of all the denominations Catholicism seems to be the way to go. The only problem is the praying to Mary and the Saints, every time I think about it this is what makes me stop. I love Jesus and God with all my heart, but the idea of praying to someone besides them seems “wrong”. Can anyone help?

Or am I confused, and do you only ask Mary and the Saints to pray for you, you don’t “pray” to them?


We don’t pray to them so much as we ask them to pray for us.
If you ask me - a flawed human being - to pray for you, how much more fitting and efficacious would it be for you to ask Mary to pray for you? She is in heaven and has been made righteous because of the sufferings of Christ. Those in heaven are no longer flawed as we are here on earth. They don’t sin - WE DO, yet we rightly as each other to pray for us.
GOD is ultimately the one that we are all petitioning. HE is the ONLY one who can do us what we are praying for.


Praying to a Saint in Heaven is no different than asking a saint on earth to pray for you. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the help, there are still some more things that are stopping me, but I have to deal with these myself. All I can ask for is some prayer.


Welcome to CAF. :slight_smile: As you can imagine, this is often asked of Catholics. I think you will find the following article helpful:



You’ve got 'em. :gopray2:


Hello Friend!

When my grandfather died, I spoke to him a great deal. He was a father-figure to me and I would sit by his graveside and talk to him. We keep a picture of him on our mantle as we love him dearly and want to remember him. I am by no means worshiping him and his picture is no different than the statues of Saints. They stir up memories for me, and good ones at that.

For Catholics, the all of those in Heaven are dear to us. Asking a Saint to pray for you is like asking a friend to pray for you when you are ill. We receive plenty of prayer requests on this forum and we certainly are not worshiping one another. Just friends asking for a special prayer at the time of need.

Peace be with you always,



Actually this is one of the beautiful things about the catholic faith: asking the saints in heaven to pray for people on this earth. And if we are honest, we need all the help that we can get sometimes. I suppose that one can look to the saints as special friends in heaven who are cheering for us all to enter heaven. And at the end of the day, that is not so bad. :slight_smile:


Remember that there are two types of prayer: Prayer of worship and adoration, and prayer of petition.

Prayer of worship and adoration is reserved to God alone (naturally!), but prayer of petition may be addressed to Mary, the saints, and, of course, God.

So long as your prayers to the Blessed Mother, the angels and the saints are not worshipping them, you are not doing anything wrong or practicing idolatry or necromancy.

In fact, it’s helpful to ask (pray to) the Blessed Mother, the angels and saints to help you love and serve God more and more.

And… we will pray for you, too!:thumbsup: How’s that?


The Apostles’ Creed instructs us that we believe in the Communion of Saints.

Some scripture might help as well. We believe in the family of God. Why would we think that the family of the eternal God would not be eternal? We are comforted by the fact that we are surrounded by a host of witnesses. Hebrews 11-12. We note that St. John observed saints who were praying for us. Rvelation 6 & 7.



Stew, you’ve been added to my adoration prayer list. I was once a non-denom, too. About 20 years ago I felt led into the Catholic Church. From the outset I had serious problems with Marian devotions. The Protestant/fundamentalist indoctrinations were not easy to overcome. I can’t tell you how to approach this in yourself, except to say, allow yourself plenty of time for “deprogramming.” There are many errors in Protestantism, and some of the worst of them involve awful teachings about Mary. In my personal journey, I faced up to this very early on and began Marian devotions, mainly the Rosary, long before I converted. I’m not saying that this is the way for you to go, too, but I can tell you this: Mary will not give you a false Jesus. She always points directly to Jesus.


Thanks for the advice. My girlfriend is Catholic, so I’ll have her help me too. And so I don’t open a new thread, I’ll go ahead and ask here, how does one go about becoming Catholic?


Think of it this way - Catholics consider Mary our Mother and the Saints are family members, as we are all members of the Body of Christ. We know, and you know as a Christian, that these people are not dead…they are alive in Heaven, enjoying the fruits of a holy life spent here on earth. Therefore, it is no more inappropriate for me to ask one of them to pray for and with me than it is innapropriate for me to ask YOU to pray with and for me.
That is what Catholics are doing.




Your confusion is found among many converts at first. Many members have replied; therefore, I would like to mention another point - ask other converts how they had to deal with this problem and how they have become to believe in the communion of Saints. I believe it will help you tremendously.

Also, besides this Catholic.com, please visit chnetwork.org You will find more converting stories.

I keep you in my prayer,
God bless!


My prayers for you :gopray2:

Remember Our Lord in the Gospels saying that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the God not of the dead but of the living? Clearly he was saying by this statement that the righteous simply never die - even when their bodies are six feet under! If they’re not dead the they are alive in Christ.

If they’re still alive in Christ they’re still members of his body. So are we here on earth, as Paul points out. So the souls in heaven, being still living members of Christ’s body, are still connected to us through Christ the head of the body.

And thus the heavenly souls still have both the capability and the obligation to work for the good of the* whole* body. They work for our good by interceding for us. It stands to reason then that we can still, as with our fellow earthly members of Christ’s body, ask for the prayers of the Saints in heaven.


Most, if not all, parishes in the U.S. have a program in place called the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). There is no committment on the part of those participating to become Catholic and they can leave any time. An inquirer would approach the local parish asking for information about the program; the link below will give you more details:



I love Jesus and God with all my heart,

If Jesus is the way, then Mary is a signpost. She points in the direction of her Son :slight_smile:


Never heard it put that way before, I like it.


Praying to saints SEEMS like necromancy to me and from my point of view.
Would it be the same to pray to my grandmother or is that forbidden? I am a big supporter of Thomas Jefferson, may he be prayed to?
Not being snotty, just honestly asking a question.


I didnt know we prayed to Mary and the Saints. I thought we asked them to pray for us or we pray with them.

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