Why don't Catholics pray to the Prophets in the OT?

I’ve always wondered about this. We Catholics ask the Saints for intersession but from what I know, the Jews ask the Prophets such as Elijah for intersession… if i recall, we can see that in the Bible and some Jews still ask Elijah to this day.

Because of that, why aren’t there any invokations to certain Prophets of the OT?

There are. All the major prophets and patriarchs, and a lot of the matriarchs, are saints of the Catholic Church and have feast days in the calendar. (King David and King Solomon, too.)

For example, St. Nahum’s Day was just the other day on December 1st. St. Adam and Eve’s Day is Dec. 24.

St. Elijah’s Day (July 20) is a very big saint day in both Catholic and Orthodox Slavic countries. (Because all the Ilya’s are named after him.) St. Elijah is also a big Carmelite saint, as he is the inspiration for all their orders.

Most OT saints are celebrated on the traditional Jewish date of their death (if there was one known back in the first Christian centuries), or on the eve of significant Christian feasts associated with them, or on the first day of the month (because they came “first!”). Usually our feast day is the same day that is used in the East, because everybody was celebrating the OT saints long before the split.

I suspect the only reason that we don’t celebrate OT saints as much as the East is that here, certain Protestant groups were only naming their kids OT Biblical names. This discouraged Catholics from giving OT names unless a local saint already had one (like St. David of Wales or St. Moses the Black). If you have fewer European people celebrating a nameday saint, the saint’s day tends to fade into the woodwork.

You can look this stuff up in lists of saints’ days. You’ll want one with alllllll the optional memorials listed, the kind that has saints for all 365 days. I don’t think any OT saints had their days moved around in the calendar changes, but some religious orders have different calendars too. Sadly, saints.sqpn.com is a little lacking in the OT area, but Google Play has lots of old saint books. Old Missals are good for saint lists also.

A lot of older saint lists use the LATIN or GREEK names of OT saints, instead of the contemporary English or Jewish names for them. So Elijah = Elias, Elisha = Eliseus, Nahum = Naum, Leah = Lia, Noah = Noe, Isaiah = Ysaye, etc. Luckily, David = David! They are usually described as “patriarch” or “prophet” or similar.

Also, Catholics who are named after an Old Testament saint often invoke their intercession. For example, I am named after the prophet Daniel, and I frequently invoke his intercession.

My parish has been known to use a version of the Litany of the Saints which includes some of the holy people of the Old Testament.

In addition to what Mintaka states above, we simply have a tendency to focus on newer saints, doctors of the Church, the Apostles and Church founders, local saints, patron saints, and founders of Religious Orders.

But that doesn’t mean that the Old Testament Saints and other early Church Saints are off limits. Simply they are not part of our collective conscience.

It’s kind of like American’s collective conscience regarding former Presidents of the United States. Americans often focus or gravitate to select Presidents, practically ignoring or forgetting others.

I hope this was helpful.

Probably we need to start a devotional movement. Advent would be a good time for it, because we have all those Jesse Trees already. :slight_smile:

It would probably be a good idea to dig up some devotional legends, visions, favors granted, etc. I’ve run across enough of 'em, but they just don’t get press.

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