Why Pray to Mary and the Saints?

Not having been raised Catholic, I can relate to the question that is often asked, “Why do Catholics pray to Mary?” A good way to respond to someone asking that question is to first explain the Catholic understanding of the Communion of Saints. People questioning the idea of praying to a saint perceive that those who are dead in Christ are disconnected from those on earth, so to pray to someone who is dead seems like a useless proposition. Non-Catholics are quick to pray for one another, but to pray for the dead or ask the intercession of those who are dead is not only foreign, it’s a bit suspect.

Painting by Pietro Perugino (1497), sourced from Wikimedia Commons.

So in order to explain why we pray to Mary and the saints, they need to understand that there is a connection between the Body of Christ that is already in heaven and those who are still on earth. Though a person is no longer living on earth, that does not mean they are not living. Catholics understand that we have a relationship with those who are living in heaven, and that during the Mass heaven and earth connect.

Once that difference is explained, you can make the connection that praying to Mary or the saints is like asking a friend here on earth to pray for you. Catholics also believe that a saint in heaven has a better connection to Christ, since they are right there with him.

Part of the problem of explaining the communion of saints to non-Catholics is that the Bible that they use does not have the books that mention praying for the dead and asking for the intercession of angels, so trying to quote those Scriptures will not be accepted.

However, there are some verses in Revelation that talk about the prayers of the saints. For example, Revelation 5:8:

And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding   a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

And Revelation 8:3-4:

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.

 Of course for those in heaven there is no need for prayers, so the prayers of the saints are for those on earth. If saints are praying for us, why not implore them with something specific? That is how we on earth ask each other. If the Body of Christ is not separated, then it would be wrong to say we can’t ask members of the Body of Christ in heaven to pray for us, because that would be a denial of the unity of Christ.

It can also be helpful to point out the role of Bathsheba in the Old Testament as the Queen Mother to Solomon, who interceded for people on their behalf. So too the Queen Mother of heaven can intercede for us.

One through Love

Romans 8:35-39 talks about all of us being together in the love of God. If nothing can separate us from God’s love, how can we be separate from one another who are held together in God’s love?

In Mark 12:24-27, Jesus talks about the resurrection and proclaims that God is a God of the living, not of the dead and that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob still live. This Scripture verse reinforces that those who die in faith are not dead. If they are not dead, then they are part of the kingdom of heaven, which is both in heaven and on earth. And so it follows that if we are connected, we can ask for the prayers of those in heaven who are part of God’s kingdom.

So once you can show people that it is biblical to pray to the saints, then you can easily point out that since Mary is the mother of Jesus, surely she can intercede for us as well.

It is a great blessing to have a host of heaven to pray for us as we labor and struggle here on earth.

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Emily Cavins

Emily received her BA in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Minnesota and is a tour leader of annual pilgrimages to Israel and other Bible related destinations. Her most recent publication is Lily of the Mohawks: The Story of St. Kateri, the first Native American Saint from North America. She is the developer of the “Great Adventure Kids” bible study materials. She co-wrote the “Walking Toward Eternity: Making Choices for Today” Bible Study Series One and Two with her husband, Jeff. She is also the author of “Catholic Family Night,” a series of lessons covering all three liturgical reading cycles with one lesson per week throughout the entire year. Emily lives in Minnesota with Jeff, her husband of over 30 years.

  • Brian Senny Poljak

    Great article Mary. Thank you!

  • Rio Bigasan

    Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior intercedes for us! Not Mary or the saints.
    Jesus tell us How and to whom to pray to “Our Father which art in Heaven….”
    Who to pray for! Which ones Self &one another!!! AMEN
    May the HOLY SPIRIT of TRUTH
    Set you free from all unrighteousness.

  • St8kout

    I was raised Catholic but I became a born again Christian at age 24 on April 14, 1974, and started reading the Bible for the very first time, (the Bible was never part of Catholic upbringing).

    A few points in a nutshell:
    -Peter: “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.” In the Bible, EVERY believer is a saint. Writers of the New Testament books refer to all the believers as saints.

    -Mary knew she was a sinner and needed a Savior. “and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,”

    -Mary is not a mediator. Only Jesus is qualified for that. Timothy 2:5 “There is one God. There is also one mediator between God and man—the man, the Messiah Jesus.”

    -Jesus is the ONLY way anyone can come to God, and that is because He alone paid the price for total forgiveness of sins. He alone was sinless and able to pay that price; not Mary, not Peter or any of the rest of the apostles.

    -Revelation 19:10. “Then I bowed down at the angel’s feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Do not worship me! I am a servant like you and your brothers and sisters who have the message of Jesus. Worship God, because the message about Jesus is the spirit that gives all prophecy.”

    -John 14:13-14 “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (Nothing is ever said about asking Jesus through His mother. Ask HIM directly. You talk to God, in Jesus’ name.)

    • harlen

      You preach…..but you haven’t read the posts above or you could not be so misinformed.

  • eddymul


  • eddymul


  • Dogmeat

    Im Catholic everyday I pray to God, Jesus and Mary. If praying to Mary is against God’s wishes then guess Im going to hell then.

    • Donnie Braschio

      I refuse to call you by that name sir/maam, but there are plenty of people from any belief we can name that say the same. Ignorance of earthly law does not excuse us of the consequences, do why would we knowingly reject God’s word, the scripture Matthew Ludu quoted above which describes the intentions of God toward the matter?

    • Mekiah Jennings

      Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! Come to Jesus and ask him for forgiveness :) Eternal life is not by our works but by God’s grace. Eternal life is a gift. Even if you have Jesus in your life you will still fall and make mistakes but God will work through you to help you become more like him. It is not about working for heaven but about loving God. No sin after you accept Jesus and trust in him will never snatch you out of God’s hand. Once you are saved you are always God’s child. Focus on Jesus as your lord who can take ALL your sins away past,present, and future except for thinking that you would lose salvation if you fall or get into a major addiction with sin. I am a christian and it happens to me all the time but I know that Jesus has me and he is always willing to help me no matter what mistakes I make whether it is purposeful or repeating sins. By God’s strength we can rely on his grace not by our works to be his child.

      • Jose Samilin

        Remember salvation is a gift and when you make sin (a mortal sin), you are separated from God and are destined to hell. There is no insurance you can buy.

      • Jose Samilin

        “No sin after you accept Jesus and trust in him will never snatch you out of God’s hand. Once you are saved you are always God’s child.” Please provide scripture to support, (be sure) one that cannot be reputed by another scripture.

    • Jose Samilin

      Not God wishes, but wishes of people who doesn’t know better. They should study the bible like in the eyes of a detectives, searching not only what are explicit but also those implicit in the bible.

  • onesmartbroad

    I think it is great- and I mean that truly and without sarcasm-that those who do not honor Mary or any other saint in heaven come to sites such as this and post their opinions. I think this is evidence of our intrinsic search for meaning as humans and our desire to know God which is a gift from Him. He called us first. I think deep down we desire a better understanding of this Queen Mother whom Christ gave to us as he died on the cross. We have a desire to be loved and to belong to this ecclesiastical family, and having the Church Triumphant praying for us and desiring our holiness is a fantastic thing! It just may be that Mary, who loves you no matter what you believe, has called you here for answers and understanding. May you be blessed with both.

    • Donnie Braschio

      All Christians give honor to Mary as the earthly mother of Christ. Those who claim faith in Christ and in his sacrifice alone give honor to God Almighty through Christ the Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph and Mary are people of honor, but Mary was not the mother of God. She was the bearer of Christ in the womb, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit. The concept of an immaculate conception of Mary is the where many Christians disagree with the RCC position. It is simply not Biblical. The Catholic Christian (and Orthodox) dependence on tradition to support doctrine is where it begins to err.

      • onesmartbroad

        Where in the Scripture does it tell us that ONLY biblical teachings are to be observed? Christ did not teach sola scriptura because there was nothing yet written down in the NT nor did he teach that one day when the Scriptures are written, they are the ONLY source of theological understanding. In fact, oral tradition was responsible for the passing on of the faith for many years. The term Holy Trinity is not biblical, yet you believe it it. Tradition taught the doctrine of faith long before it was written down. The erring is where protestants want to be their own authority on what is literal, what is figurative, what should be interpreted through a cultural modern lens, etc. For instance, how do you justify divorce? That is clearly against the will of God AND IT IS BIBLICAL? If you cannot commit to what is biblical, yet claim sola scriptura, you confuse others and lose footing in the credibility arena.

        • Jose Samilin

          This is correct, Sola Scriptura is unbiblical. By Protestant, making the bible as their sole authority is not consistent with 1 Timothy 3:15 …. the church of the living God is the pillar and foundation of truth. It did not say that the Bible is the pillar and foundation of truth?

          • Donnie Braschio

            Which church? Oh… the cgurcg of Antioch, of course… no the church in Jerusalem… no the Alexandrian… but you claim only the Roman Catholic. That is unacceptable, SIR!

          • Jose Samilin

            Then tell me which church that has the claim to have link in Christ possessing these divine characteristics, namely, the church is one, the church is holy, the church is heralded throughout the world, and the church is Apostolic.,

          • Donnie Braschio

            I asked the question. I don’t claim my church is exclusive Jose. You answer the question- of course did because you bought their excuse hook, line, and sinker. 2 Tim 3:16 my friend

          • Jose Samilin

            My friend Donnie, nothing is bought here because these characteristics were inherently manifested by a true church founded by Christ, not hidden and can be physically proven. Incidentally, please give more of those characteristics, not only your claim as not being exclusive, which partly be considered within called heralded….. and seem your church has Christ, since wherever Christ is there, there is Catholic and were heralded throughout the world whose Head is Christ. Donnie, you’re about there, please tell us more so I could be of help to discern them. Thanks.

          • Jose Samilin

            Donnie, my dear, as to your cited proof, 2 Timothy
            3, 16-17 on Sola Scriptura, here,“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
            The problem with using 2 Timothy 3:16-17 as a proof text is that no Catholic denies that all scripture is inspired by God. That’s not the question. The question is whether only scripture is inspired by God. For a Protestant to cite this verse is, in fact, to beg the question.: The operative word is “only” a negative proposition that is limiting, suppose I found one? Donnie, you can go out to the world, dig and dig, hoping not to find one. I can find one guided by John 21:25, And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books …. Sorry, Donnie, that won’t work!!

          • Donnie Braschio

            You are right Catholics agree that scripture is inspired but they ignore the part where it says: that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

          • Jose Samilin

            Catholic teaching, nothing is rejected. Please help me find any official proclamation that such was rejected. The Catholic church proclamation, Ex Cathedra is infallible on faith and moral, but not outside it Just find any official church proclamation and on some later date, such was revoked. I am glad to find any if you happen to have one. Catholic Church is present in the first century, in the second century, etc., etc to the tenth century, etc., etc. to the 20th century, to the 21st century, till the end of age as guided by the Holy Spirit, according to the promise, that Jesus will be with them till the end of age. Donnie my friend please tell me any other church existing now among the over 36,000 Protestant denomination, competing among themselves in beliefs and doctrine could ever surpassed the Catholic Church. Outside the church there is no salvation, only in Christ Jesus.’

          • Jose Samilin

            Donnie my friend, [lease I have to explain. My concern that I might offend non christians when I said, Outside the church there is no salvation. Here I explain: Our point is this: When the Church infallibly teaches extra ecclesiam, nulla salus, it does not say that non-Catholics cannot be saved. In fact, it affirms the contrary. The purpose of the teaching is to tell us how Jesus Christ makes salvation available to all human beings. Extra ecclesiam, nulla salus does not mean that only faithful Roman Catholics can be saved. The Church has never taught that. So where does that leave non-Catholics and non-Christians?

            Jesus told his followers, “I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16). After his Resurrection, Jesus gave the threefold command to Peter: “Feed my lambs. . . . Tend my sheep. . . . Feed my sheep” (John 21:15–17). The word translated as “tend” (poimaine) means “to direct” or “to superintend”—in other words, “to govern.” So although there are sheep that are not of Christ’s fold, it is through the Church that they are able to receive his salvation.

            People who have never had an opportunity to hear of Christ and his Church—and those Christians whose minds have been closed to the truth of the Church by their conditioning—are not necessarily cut off from God’s mercy. Vatican II phrases the doctrine in these terms:

            Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their consciences—those too may achieve eternal salvation (LG 16).

            Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery (Gaudium et Spes 22).
            The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

            Every man who is ignorant of the gospel of Christ and of his Church but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity (CCC 1260).
            Obviously, it is not their ignorance that enables them to be saved. Ignorance excuses only lack of knowledge. That which opens the salvation of Christ to them is their conscious effort, under grace, to serve God as well as they can on the basis of the best information they have about him.

            The Church speaks of “implicit desire” or “longing” that can exist in the hearts of those who seek God but are ignorant of the means of his grace. If a person longs for salvation but does not know the divinely established means of salvation, he is said to have an implicit desire for membership in the Church. Non-Catholic Christians know Christ, but they do not know his Church. In their desire to serve him, they implicitly desire to be members of his Church. Non-Christians can be saved, said John Paul, if they seek God with “a sincere heart.” In that seeking they are “related” to Christ and to his body the Church (address to the CDF).

            On the other hand, the Church has long made it clear that if a person rejects the Church with full knowledge and consent, he puts his soul in danger:

            They cannot be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church was founded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or remain in it (cf. LG 14).

          • Donnie Braschio

            You have stated the contradiction. I agree with the RCC on most points other than this assumption that RCC is THE Church, praying to saints, immaculate conception of Mary and the apostolic authority given to the pope. I can agree with what is biblical, the teachings of the apostles only.

            On points on the validity of scripture, the teachings of thr Old and New Testament, the immaculate conception of Jesus Christ, the oneness of God in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all are Biblical. These are not merely Catholic, but very much founded on scripture itself, the working of God in creation, in the words of Christ and testimony of the apostles. Take care Jose.

          • Jose Samilin

            Thanks Donnie on points agreeable to you.
            On others you disagree as you mentioned RCC assumption that RCC is THE Church, praying to saints, immaculate conception of Mary and the apostolic authority given to the pope. I can agree with what is biblical, the teachings of the apostles only.
            Here is my commitment to you Donnie as a friend. I will be kind and patience without any string attach to respond to all to the best of my ability as lay Catholic pastoral worker, only I am asking you to re write your question in a simple way, possibly number it starting from one (1) that for each question contain only one single point, clearly stated. Please avoid compound question, better assign to a next number. You can get as much number as you can, then give me time to reply. I am a retired person and if I focus on these question, I am sure I can do it, keeping our friendly relation intact. I hope you could give me your time. Thank you.

          • Jose Samilin

            You mentioned “merely Catholic” where there is no such thing. If there is any that you are aware of as indicated on official proclamation of the Catholic Church, kindly write it here with proper reference on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, or any other official documents of the church. In so far as you have not written here any your statement is considered mere hearsay.

          • Donnie Braschio

            Don’t know what you mean. Are you saying those things I mentioned are not Catholic teaching? I was saying they are- many from your own comments. “Merely Catholic” just meant thise topics were held by many churches in addition to the Catholic church- points of unity.

          • Jose Samilin

            Donnie, yes, they were teaching proclaimed by the Catholic Church, but because of the universality of the church (catholic not Catholic) the teachings were intended for all believers of Jesus Christ who is the anointed one from Nazareth. They were not proclaimed for Catholic believers only. So all proclamations by the Pope Ex-Cathedra, no where you could find in any generations that such were exclusive for Catholic believers only. The reason why you don;t believe the doctrine of Immaculate conception of Mery, Co-Mediatrix of Mary, the Trinity, etc., etc. is because either, firstly, you don;t study the underlying scriptures cited, deeper into the explicit and implicit meaning of the passages and your biases prevailed because of what your Pastor have said. Surely, no where you would go, if you go deep into the scriptures, you become Catholic. So study the Bible with open heart and open mind and also the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many social teachings promulgated by the early Fathers and Doctors of the Church and Papal encyclicals and the Documents of the Vatican 2, they were all biblical based and centered in Christ, it won’t harm you. I think Donnie, this is a good time for you to read again my earlier posting in this forum, remove your bias and not consider them as mere diatribe, but check it with your Bible, it will surely help you much in understanding the scriptures.

          • harlen

            Christ only established one Church…..on Peter

      • Jose Samilin

        Mary who gave birth to the incarnate Son who is God, makes Mary the Mother of God. In denying Mary as the mother of Jesus who is God, where in the bible denying the flow of Mary’s blood to Jesus? Surely the blood of Jesus came from Mary who is sinless, otherwise, Mary’s blood will not flow to Jesus. Sin and grace will not stick together, as oil and water.

        • Donnie Braschio

          So then what about Mary’s mother, whose blood flowed into “sinless Mary”? Then Mary’s grandmother.and great grandmother are sinless, and if so, it would only mean humanity is sinless. See what I did there? If eternal God the Son can be conceived into human Mary by Holy Spirit, can Holy Spirit not grow the same child without the flow of blood from Mary? You have added to what scripture tells us about Mary’s blood being holy.

          • Jose Samilin

            Your logic and any other human expertise cannot limit the omnipotent power of God. So no amount of explanation for you to dispute can deny Mary’s blood flowed to Jesus. No scripture, you reputed nothing. Sorry, Sir!

          • Donnie Braschio

            But the truth is, you are not basing the RCC teachong on scripture! You are basing on tradition only. You are claiming God’s power caused Mary’s blood to flow into Jesus. That teaching is the one with NO SCRIPTURE, but only the “traditions of men”. THERE is scripture for you. The omnipotent power of God in Christ’s can heal you and me of our sins and diseases, but scripture clearly tells us that Christ was not born of the will of a man. In your definition, Mary was born of God, of holy blood from heaven. If she were conceived by the Holy Spirit, what canonized scripture do you find that in? If she were truly conceived of the Spirit, she would have to be the 4th person in God. That is the lie you cannot accept because you are so afraid of admitting the falsehood of the RCC teaching, so you appeal to God’s omnipotence. GOD can do anything, my friend, but he doesn’t contradict his word. Scripture points to One God is 3 persons in scripture, not 4.

          • Donnie Braschio

            It’s clear you’re in denial of the truth. Christ is Lord, Son of God. Mary AND Joseph were his wonderful EARTHLY surrogates. The same omnipotent power of God you appealed to conceived Christ in a woman and came to be the ONLY sinless human, and therefore only one worthy to bear the sin of humanity on the cross of Calvary. The only way, truth, and life. That is the pure truth of God’s holy word. There is salvation in no other name, is what Apostle Peter in Acts 4:12 told us so clearly. You cannot apporoach the throne of grace by any other name, the writer of Hebrews told us clearly in Heb 4:16. Not Mary, not Joseph, not Allah, Peter, Anthony or Muhammad. Only Jesus, the precious Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

          • Jose Samilin

            Except your alleged denial of truth on me which I never did but your own word alone,, everything else you said were agreeable

          • Jose Samilin

            Donnie, good question. If any, I did not based on RCC teaching, but based on truth the Jesus, by mystery of hypostatic unon, He is truly man and truly God. I can only say that scripture alone refute your Sola Scriptura as your sole authority. (1 Tim. 3:15). …… the church of the living God is the pillar ans foundation of truth. NOT THE BIBLE. As your further proposition on 4th person and your alleged RCC falsehood, please reconcile yourself with the scripture. since RCC alone can have the claim of Apostolicity..

        • onesmartbroad

          Testing on the Shroud shows us Jesus’ DNA. This is contrary to what some on this thread have alleged, which is that Mary was merely a ‘rent a womb’ and not His Mother. If that were true he would not have human DNA in his blood. Obviously, in order to be part man He needed a human to contribute to his physical human nature.

          • Jose Samilin

            I agree. There is good possibility to this human DNA in the Shroud is Jesus’ but researcher do not give full assurance in view of the fact that controversy remains to present and unsettled. A researcher, Farey said he’s about 40 percent convinced the shroud is authentic and about 60 percent inclined to believe it is a forgery.

          • Donnie Braschio

            If he is God and Man, would he in human form not have human blood? Also, Jose’s response is also valid.

  • http://www.rcatchisson.com RC Atchisson

    Timothy 2:5?

    • David Kilby Editor of TGA Blog

      RC Atchisson, if you read the whole paragraph (1 Timothy 2:1-7) you will notice that St. Paul means there is only one who can pay the debt or “ransom” that severed the relationship between God and man. If Catholics were saying that we can receive salvation through Mary and the saints then the accusation of idolatry would be valid. But that’s not the case. We merely ask for their intercession, a word that is actually mentioned just before 1 Timothy 2:5 in 1 Timothy 2:1:

      “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men.”

      We so often take soundbites from Scripture and base our theology on them. If you read the passage as a whole you will see what is really being said. Also read Revelation 7:13-15, and Revelation 8:3-4, where St. John describes the prayers of the saints before the throne of God:

      “Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, ‘Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come? I said to him, ‘Sir, you know.’ And he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

      Therefore are they before the throne of God,
      and serve him day and night within his temple;
      and he who sits upon the throne will shelter them with his presence…

      “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.”

      Clearly the saints are still at work praying before God, so why wouldn’t I want my prayers to be mingled with theirs? They are before God’s throne while I’m still here on earth bound by cloudy perceptions of the spiritual world. Can you now see where Catholics are coming from when they pray to Mary and the saints?

      • http://www.rcatchisson.com RC Atchisson

        Thanks for the thoughtful response. To me, even the name of a prayer dedicated to the Blessed Virgin’s honor — the Hail Mary — would appear to be, on its face, a direct call to action: to hail her. Unless I am reading them wrong, that seems to be in direct contradiction to your points. Your well-posited argument would also seem to indicate that we have a need to reach out to anyone other than Christ himself, our ultimate intercessor with God. I say that with Hebrews 4: 14-16 in mind. I appreciate your having taken the time to address my question.

        • David Kilby Editor of TGA Blog

          You’re welcome, but you are still misunderstanding us. You’re not reading my points entirely wrong, but you are misinterpreting the word “Hail” which does not in any way mean “worship.” It means to call out to someone to attract attention: as in “the crew hailed a fishing boat,” or “she raised her hand to hail a cab.”

          Even the medieval sense of the word, when people said “hail the king” did not mean they were worshiping the king but honoring him. If Catholics are being accused of honoring the mother of Jesus then we are guilty as charged. Even with that being the case though, the “Hail Mary” is a prayer of intercession that asks Mary to “pray for us sinners” and the word “Jesus” is at the very center of the prayer because he is the one we are asking Mary to place our petitions before.

          Regarding intercession, as others have mentioned in this thread, asking for the intercession of Mary and the saints is no different than asking a friend to pray for you. Do you not ask friends to pray for you and do the same for them? And I am not saying there is a need to reach out to anyone other than Christ for answers to prayers. In fact, by asking Mary and the saints to intercede for me I am reaching out to Christ more than I can possibly reach out to him on my own. Instead of having just my own prayer to him, I also have the prayers of all those I asked to intercede for me who are before the throne of God.

          Catholics are not idolaters and we are not misinterpreting Scripture. We are believers in Christ just as you are and while our ways of worshipping him may differ from yours, in my opinion they augment the effectiveness of our prayer life. You may value your personal relationship with Christ and feel that it is all you need in your spiritual life. For Catholics, our relationship with our Lord and Savior is both personal and communal. We go to him directly and pray to him alone just as much as you do, but we also meet him and converse with him within the communion of fellow believers here on earth and in heaven.

        • onesmartbroad

          I do not have a need to reach out to anyone other than Christ, but I have a desire. Christ gave His mother to ME as he was dying for ME. I accept that wonderful gift and if you got to know her you would better understand the power in her intercession. Don’t you ask your friends and prayer groups to pray for you or a sick relative? You do it for prayer support because prayer works. It moves the hand of God. How much more powerful is a heavenly intercessor’s prayers! We pray through the Holy Spirit; no one seems to doubt His impact. I feel the same way about Mary because she has brought me closer to Jesus than I could have done so on my own at breakneck speed.

          • http://www.rcatchisson.com RC Atchisson

            I guess good for you that you feel that way. I just still tend toward the fact that I trust in God’s Word, and His Word would seem to contradict certain practices and ideas. In any event, I truly hope you continue to feel as close to the Lord as you do now. Continued blessings to you.

          • Donnie Braschio

            On the cross Jesus gave his mother to JOHN to care for.


    Mary was not assumes into heaven either so its really weird,no scripture in the bible claims that?
    Being caught up in Mary and saints,you have Jesus the closest being to God and you would rather call on Mary and the saints?

    • onesmartbroad

      Can you show me in the Bible where it says Sola Scriptura?

      • Jose Samilin

        That is exactly the problem with the Protestant claim in making the Bible as their only sole authority because the bible says otherwise. John 21:25New International Version (NIV)25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    • Christ only

      John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son,whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
      This verse says that God gave his son to die for us so christ would be the we worship not idols nor Saints nor Mary.
      But let our Brothers and Sisters decide which to choose pray to Through Christ or to Mary and Saints.

    • harlen

      Revelation 11:19 following (Ignore added chapter divisions) shows Mary assumed into heaven.
      It also shows her as The Ark of The New Covenant (See my post above).
      It also shows her as The New Eve. (In the conflict God prophesied in Genesis between The Woman & The Serpent/Dragon/Satan

  • Jose Samilin

    TO SUSAN D HARRIS, THIS WILL ANSWER YOUR QUESTION IF MARY (AS DEAD) CAN HEAR US, ON QUESTION OF NECROMANCY AND ETC. PLEASE BEAR WITH ME AND KINDLY UNDERSTAND BELOW. Thanks again to Catholic Answers. to whom all credits be due, helping us understand our faith through their research. The historic Christian practice of asking our departed brothers and sisters in Christ—the saints—for their intercession has come under attack in the last few hundred years. Though the practice dates to the
    earliest days of Christianity and is shared by Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, the other Eastern Christians, and even some Anglicans—meaning that all-told it is shared by more than three quarters of the Christians on earth—it still comes under heavy attack from many within the
    Protestant movement that started in the sixteenth century.

    Can They Hear Us?

    One charge made against it is that the saints in heaven cannot even hear our prayers, making it useless to ask for their intercession. However, this is not true. As Scripture indicates, those in heaven are aware of the prayers of those on earth. This can be seen, for example, in
    Revelation 5:8, where John depicts the saints in heaven offering our prayers to God under the form of “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” But if the saints in heaven are offering our prayers to God, then they must be aware of our prayers. They are
    aware of our petitions and present them to God by interceding for us.

    might try to argue that in this passage the prayers being offered were
    not addressed to the saints in heaven, but directly to God. Yet this
    argument would only strengthen the fact that those in heaven can hear
    our prayers, for then the saints would be aware of our prayers even when
    they are not directed to them!

    In any event, it is
    clear from Revelation 5:8 that the saints in heaven do actively
    intercede for us. We are explicitly told by John that the incense they
    offer to God are the prayers of the saints. Prayers are not physical
    things and cannot be physically offered to God. Thus the saints in
    heaven are offering our prayers to God mentally. In other words, they
    are interceding.

    One Mediator

    charge commonly levelled against asking the saints for their
    intercession is that this violates the sole mediatorship of Christ,
    which Paul discusses: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator
    between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

    asking one person to pray for you in no way violates Christ’s
    mediatorship, as can be seen from considering the way in which Christ is
    a mediator. First, Christ is a unique mediator between man and God
    because he is the only person who is both God and man. He is the only
    bridge between the two, the only God-man. But that role as mediator is
    not compromised in the least by the fact that others intercede for us.
    Furthermore, Christ is a unique mediator between God and man because he
    is the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 9:15, 12:24), just as Moses
    was the mediator (Greek mesitas) of the Old Covenant (Gal. 3:19–20).

    intercession of fellow Christians—which is what the saints in heaven
    are—also clearly does not interfere with Christ’s unique mediatorship
    because in the four verses immediately preceding 1 Timothy 2:5, Paul
    says that Christians should interceed: “First of all, then, I urge that
    supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all
    men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a
    quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is
    good, and pleasing to God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved
    and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:1–4). Clearly,
    then, intercessory prayers offered by Christians on behalf of others is
    something “good and pleasing to God,” not something infringing on
    Christ’s role as mediator.

    “No Contact with the dead”

    Fundamentalists object to asking our fellow Christians in heaven to
    pray for us by declaring that God has forbidden contact with the dead in
    passages such as Deuteronomy 18:10–11. In fact, he has not, because he
    at times has given it—for example, when he had Moses and Elijah appear
    with Christ to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt.
    17:3). What God has forbidden is necromantic practice of conjuring up
    spirits. “There shall not be found among you any one who burns his son
    or his daughter as an offering, any one who practices divination, a
    soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a
    wizard, or a necromancer. . . . For these nations, which you are about
    to dispossess, give heed to soothsayers and to diviners; but as for you,
    the Lord your God has not allowed you so to do. The Lord your God will
    raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your
    brethren—him you shall heed” (Deut. 18:10–15). TO BE CONTINUED….

    • Jose Samilin

      God thus indicates that one is not to conjure the dead for
      purposes of gaining information; one is to look to God’s prophets
      instead. Thus one is not to hold a seance. But anyone with an ounce of
      common sense can discern the vast qualitative
      difference between holding a seance to have the dead speak through you
      and a son humbly saying at his mother’s grave, “Mom, please pray to
      Jesus for me; I’m having a real problem right now.” The difference
      between the two is the difference between night and day. One is an
      occult practice bent on getting secret information; the other is a
      humble request for a loved one to pray to God on one’s behalf.

      Overlooking the Obvious

      objections to the concept of prayer to the saints betray restricted
      notions of heaven. One comes from anti-Catholic Loraine Boettner:

      then, can a human being such as Mary hear the prayers of millions of
      Roman Catholics, in many different countries, praying in many different
      languages, all at the same time?

      “Let any priest or
      layman try to converse with only three people at the same time and see
      how impossible that is for a human being. . . . The objections against
      prayers to Mary apply equally against prayers to the saints. For they
      too are only creatures, infinitely less than God, able to be at only one
      place at a time and to do only one thing at a time.

      then, can they listen to and answer thousands upon thousands of
      petitions made simultaneously in many different lands and in many
      different languages? Many such petitions are expressed, not orally, but
      only mentally, silently. How can Mary and the saints, without being like
      God, be present everywhere and know the secrets of all hearts?” (Roman
      Catholicism, 142-143).

      If being in heaven were like
      being in the next room, then of course these objections would be valid. A
      mortal, unglorified person in the next room would indeed suffer the
      restrictions imposed by the way space and time work in our universe. But
      the saints are not in the next room, and they are not subject to the
      time/space limitations of this life.

      This does not
      imply that the saints in heaven therefore must be omniscient, as God is,
      for it is only through God’s willing it that they can communicate with
      others in heaven or with us. And Boettner’s argument about petitions
      arriving in different languages is even further off the mark. Does
      anyone really think that in heaven the saints are restricted to the
      King’s English? After all, it is God himself who gives the gift of
      tongues and the interpretation of tongues. Surely those saints in
      Revelation understand the prayers they are shown to be offering to God.

      problem here is one of what might be called a primitive or even
      childish view of heaven. It is certainly not one on which enough
      intellectual rigor has been exercised. A good introduction to the real
      implications of the afterlife may be found in Frank Sheed’s book
      Theology and Sanity, which argues that sanity depends on an accurate
      appreciation of reality, and that includes an accurate appreciation of
      what heaven is really like. And once that is known, the place of prayer
      to the saints follows.

      “Directly to Jesus”

      may grant that the previous objections to asking the saints for their
      intercession do not work and may even grant that the practice is
      permissible in theory, yet they may question it on other grounds, asking
      why one would want to ask the saints to pray for one. “Why not pray
      directly to Jesus?” they ask.

      The answer is: “Of
      course one should pray directly to Jesus!” But that does not mean it is
      not also a good thing to ask others to pray for one as well. Ultimately,
      the “go-directly-to-Jesus” objection boomerangs back on the one who
      makes it: Why should we ask any Christian, in heaven or on earth, to
      pray for us when we can ask Jesus directly? If the mere fact that we can
      go straight to Jesus proved that we should ask no Christian in heaven
      to pray for us then it would also prove that we should ask no Christian
      on earth to pray for us.

      Praying for each other is
      simply part of what Christians do. As we saw, in 1 Timothy 2:1–4, Paul
      strongly encouraged Christians to intercede for many different things,
      and that passage is by no means unique in his writings. Elsewhere Paul
      directly asks others to pray for him (Rom. 15:30–32, Eph. 6:18–20, Col.
      4:3, 1 Thess. 5:25, 2 Thess. 3:1), and he assured them that he was
      praying for them as well (2 Thess. 1:11). Most fundamentally, Jesus
      himself required us to pray for others, and not only for those who asked
      us to do so (Matt. 5:44).

      Since the practice of
      asking others to pray for us is so highly recommended in Scripture, it
      cannot be regarded as superfluous on the grounds that one can go
      directly to Jesus. The New Testament would not recommend it if there
      were not benefits coming from it. One such benefit is that the faith and
      devotion of the saints can support our own weaknesses and supply what
      is lacking in our own faith and devotion. Jesus regularly supplied for
      one person based on another person’s faith (e.g., Matt. 8:13, 15:28,
      17:15–18, Mark 9:17–29, Luke 8:49–55). And it goes without saying that
      those in heaven, being free of the body and the distractions of this
      life, have even greater confidence and devotion to God than anyone on

      Also, God answers in particular the prayers
      of the righteous. James declares: “The prayer of a righteous man has
      great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with
      ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three
      years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again
      and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit” (Jas.
      5:16–18). Yet those Christians in heaven are more righteous, since they
      have been made perfect to stand in God’s presence (Heb. 12:22-23), than
      anyone on earth, meaning their prayers would be even more efficacious.

      others praying for us thus is a good thing, not something to be
      despised or set aside. Of course, we should pray directly to Christ with
      every pressing need we have (cf. John 14:13–14). That’s something the
      Catholic Church strongly encourages. In fact, the prayers of the Mass,
      the central act of Catholic worship, are directed to God and Jesus, not
      the saints. But this does not mean that we should not also ask our
      fellow Christians, including those in heaven, to pray with us.

  • Mary

    Emily, Solomon did not honor Bathsheba’s request. The man Bathsheba was interceding for was the same man that Solomon had put to death. Stop kidding the catholics and start telling them the truth.

  • Mary

    Praying to Mary is idolatry.

    • SusanDHarris

      Actually it’s necromancy and is forbidden in the Bible. I really love many aspects of the Catholic faith, but Mary was NOT a supernatural being. She was mortal. She is dead. Talking to her is WRONG. It’s like waiting for Houdini’s message to come through.

      • Transmuto

        What do you mean she is dead? so she is not in Heaven? are people in Heaven dead?

        • Donnie Braschio

          To the thief on the cross, Jesus said, “Today you will be with me in Paradise.” If you recall Jesus’ parable on Lazarus the beggar, he was in “Abraham’s bosom”. When the rich man asked Abraham to let Lazarus go back and warn his family about the place of suffering, there was no acceptance given. There was no intercession offered. This concept of saints who have died being intercessors is not seen anywhere in accepted canon.

          • Donnie Braschio

            Also, there is tge concept that once we die we rest from our labor (see Heb. 4:3, Heb 4:11, Matthew 25:23) . Our intercession, our struggles of life are over and we await the resurrection of the body spoken of in various passages in the New Testament when Jesus returns. We as Christians await that great hope of the coming of Christ, along with all saints (those having received Christ’s atonement).

          • ImpervertedOkeiDVJ

            Problem being that Hades(sheol) encompasses Paradise and Hell.
            Hades is under the Earth. Heaven is above us not under us. Those in Heaven are alive not dead. As the article explains the presence of saints is evident in Revelation. Furthermore Jesus speaks with Moses and Elijah while still doing ministry on Earth, was that necromancy to call upon them? Hebrews 12: 1 says we are surounded by a great could of witnesses, Hebrews 12: 22-24 speaks of us being drawn to the saints like we are drawn to God and Jesus, which means we can interact with them. It puts emphasis on this newness by pointing out that we are under a new covenant. Meaning that it is richer. The communion of saints is affirmed by respected early Church fathers like Origen and Clement of Alexandira.

          • Donnie Braschio

            Or you suppose the above. That is a very natural view of realms that are spiritual and scripture gives us no clear indication one way or another. Since you went there, think of the earth hanging in space… which way is up, and which is down?

          • overtaxed77

            Show me in the King James Bible where God says we should pray to Mary, it doesn’t…Mary was a sinner just like you and me….we are to worship God and God alone, he makes that very clear! We are also suppose to confess our sins to God not to a priest, a priest cannot forgive you of your sins only God can. If someone offered me a million dollars to convert back to catholicism I would turn them down.

          • Eddy Mulyono

            > Show me in the King James Bible where God says we should pray to Mary, it doesn’t…

            Show me in the King James Bible where God says we should
            check in the King James Bible whether we should pray to Mary, it doesn’t… :)

            I personally prefer the original Hebrew and (Koinate) Greek rather than the English translation :)

            Since Jesus is “Son of David”, perhaps we can look into the Old Testament for an interaction of “Son of David” (Solomon) and “Bathsheba the mother of Solomon” in

            1 Kings 2: 13-21


            (that request was denied, but, it show that the mother of the King can
            “speak for thee unto the king”: Adonijah to Bathsheba to Solomon)

            Perhaps we can look into in the New Testament for an interaction of Jesus “Son of David” and Mary “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43) in

            John 2:1-11


            (that request was granted, it showed that the mother of the King can “speak for thee unto the king”: “wedding-organizer” to Mary to Jesus)

            > we are to worship God and God alone, he makes that very clear!


            Though, as Christians imitate Christ, some Christians also imitate Christ in His honoring of His mother

            Exodus 20:12:


            > a priest cannot forgive you of your sins only God can.

            It seems Jesus has given His apostles power to “remit” sins in John 20:23:


            > If someone offered me a million dollars to convert back to catholicism I would turn them down.

            What if Jesus offered His Body and Blood and eternal Life? :)
            (and the fullness of Truth, et cetera)

            John 6:53-58

            I took His offer :)

          • harlen

            “Show me in The King James Bible”……… where it says what books should be in The Bible?
            (This was discerned by Catholic Bishops in Councils…..1300 years before Luther took out 7, on his personal sayso!)
            Show me where it says Sola Scriptura? (It doesn’t)
            So “Show me in the Bible” cannot possibly be true.

            But I can show you Mary in Heaven in The Bible (Rev 11:19 following ……N.B. There are no chapter divisions in the original)
            I Can show you Mary interceding with Jesus for people in need (Read Luke’s Gospel; Cana marriage. Jesus first miracle done at her request.)
            Look up Gebirah (The Davidic King’s Queen, was his MOTHER…. who was intercessor never refused).
            I can show you the Petrine ministry (Matt 16:18 Compare Is 22:20-23) Davidic King’s had a STEWARD to rule in their stead, who carried The Keys as authority
            I can show you The Real Presence (Read John 6 and let it speak for itself)
            I can show you where the bible denies Sola Scriptura in many places
            And where it says “The Church is the pillar & ground of truth” (Not the bible; that wasn’t complied by The Catholic Church for another 350 years!)

            Protestants deny the plain meaning of scripture when it looks “Catholic”
            They then say; “show me exactly where in the Bible” for this that & the other Catholic doctrine ……even though Catholics can prove that, although “All scripture is true” ……”Not all truth is in scripture”

            Be consistent.
            If you want EXPLICIT scripture bible-refs to believe something…..
            REJECT Sola Scriptura;
            REJECT faith alone:
            REJECT Eternal security:
            REJECT The Rapture:
            REJECT Me-&-my-Bible

            Believe in what is clearly EXPLICIT in scripture
            BELIEVE Christ founded One Church
            BELIEVE He said it would never be overwhelmed and fail
            BELIEVE He said he would always be with it
            BELIEVE He reinstituted the office of King’s Steward (Papacy)
            BELIEVE In The Real Presence
            BELIEVE He gave power to forgive sins (or retain them) to His Apostles.
            BELIEVE They chose successors

            In fact, you don’t believe “The Bible”. You believe what somebody tells you it means.
            You have rejected His Church, to listen to the opinions of men as to what it means

          • overtaxed77

            You wrote quite a few words but didn’t answer the question. There is only one God and only God can hear and answer prayers.

          • harlen

            Did you read my words?

            (1)Do you ask people to pray for you?
            If so, does God get angry that you’re taking attention from Him.
            Or does he delight in you “loving one another” thus?

            If you ask friends to pray for you now…..why would you stop asking them when they are with God?

            (2)Are you American & Protestant? They have changed the meaning of the word “Prayer” meaning exclusively “talking to God”.
            To pray also means just “to ask”.
            I pray you will understand.

            (3)Your question was “Show me in the bible….”

            I challenged your implicit (& incorrect) presupposition (Sola Scriptura)……
            So I asked you where in the bible it says everything is in the bible ……Nowhere!
            In fact it says just the opposite!

            “Hold fast to traditions, whether oral or by letter”
            2 Thess 2:15

            “Shun those acting not according to tradition” 2
            Thess 3:6

            “No prophecy is a matter of private” interpretation
            2 Pet 1:20

            “Hold fast to the traditions, just as I handed them on to you” 1 Cor 11:2

            “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
            written. Amen.” John 21:25

            Sola scriptura is NOT in the bible! In fact it is
            contradicted by the bible repeatedly, and finally the bible says …..”The Church” (not the bible) is the source of truth!
            “The Church of the living God, the pillar and
            foundation of the truth” 1 Timothy 3:15

            (4)The Bible contains no table of contains within itself. So it cannot even say what it is!
            To decide what New Testament era writings were to be included (and a great many were left out) required a HIGHER authority……i.e. “The Catholic Church” established by Christ and given all authority by him.

          • overtaxed77

            If you pray to Mary you must think she is a God!

          • harlen

            I’m very clear what Mary is.
            Your statement is only true if you rigidly insist “prayer” is always and everwhere something you only do towards God.

            But “to pray to” has other meanings for all historic Christians.

            Did you read my reply at all please?

            Read (2) & (1) in my reply

            When we “pray” to any saints we are simply “continuing to talk to our brothers & sisters in christ who are now with God in Heaven”

            The Church, (the Body of Christ) exists both sides of physical death. Our relationships in Christ are unaffected by death.
            So, if you can “ask” people to pray for you now, you can “ask” them, when they are with God (It’s totally illogical not to!). But then you might say I “prayed” to St Joseph, or Mary, etc. for their help.
            It’s all about LOVE.
            “Love One Another”……does not stop at the grave! Why would it?
            Do you imagine Heaven is just “Me-&-Jesus”?

            It’s a funny idea Protestants have of God…..that he gets really upset if we intercede for one another with Him.
            If you have children do you get angry if they plead with you for each other?

            For Jesus first miracle at Cana…..Luke tells how the people in difficulty (Wedding hosts without wine)….went to Mary (Or she saw their need) and she interceded with her son.
            If Luke was a Protestant he would have had them go “straight to Jesus”
            To understand Jesus’ feigned reluctance & demurral look up Gebirah (and use Catholic sources….. unless you are just seeking to shore up your misinformation)

          • harlen

            I’m very clear what Mary is.
            Your statement is only true if you rigidly insist “prayer” is always and everwhere something you only do towards God.

            But “to pray to” has other meanings for all historic Christians.

            Did you read my reply at all please?

            Read (2) & (1) in my reply

            When we “pray” to any saints we are
            simply “continuing to talk to our brothers & sisters in christ who are now with God in Heaven”

            The Church, (the Body of Christ) exists both sides of physical death. Our relationships in Christ are unaffected by death.
            So, if you can “ask” people to pray for you now,
            you can “ask” them, when they are with God (It’s totally illogical not to!). But then you might say I “prayed” to St Joseph, or Mary, etc. for their help.
            It’s all about LOVE.
            “Love One Another”……does not stop at the grave! Why would it?
            Do you imagine Heaven is just “Me-&-Jesus”?

            It’s a funny idea Protestants have of God…..that
            he gets really upset if we intercede for one another with Him.
            If you have children, do you get angry if they plead with you for each other?

            For Jesus first miracle at Cana…..Luke tells how
            the people in difficulty (Wedding hosts without wine)….went to Mary (Or she saw their need) and she interceded with her son.
            If Luke was a Protestant he would have had them go “straight to Jesus”
            To understand Jesus’ feigned reluctance & demurral look up Gebirah (and use Catholic sources….. unless you are just
            seeking to shore up your misinformation)
            Here….. read this if you genuinely want to understand

    • Jose Samilin

      explain concerning Idolatry and Worship. (I would be borrowing from
      Catholic Apologetic organization, Catholic Answers, Inc, for whom all
      credits be due) In my initiative to explain I would encourage open
      heart and mind, and not allowing malice in our heart but pure love of
      our fellowmen. The word “worship” has undergone a change in meaning in
      English. It comes from the Old English weorthscipe, which means the
      condition of being worthy of honor, respect, or dignity. To worship in
      the older, larger sense is to ascribe honor, worth, or excellence to
      someone, whether a sage, a magistrate, or God.

      many centuries, the term worship simply meant showing respect or honor,
      and an example of this usage survives in contemporary English. British
      subjects refer to their magistrates as “Your Worship,” although
      Americans would say “Your Honor.” This doesn’t mean that British
      subjects worship their magistrates as gods (in fact, they may even
      despise a particular magistrate they are addressing). It means they are
      giving them the honor appropriate to their office, not the honor
      appropriate to God.

      Outside of this example,
      however, the English term “worship” has been narrowed in scope to
      indicate only that supreme form of honor, reverence, and respect that is
      due to God. This change in usage is quite recent. In fact, one can
      still find books that use “worship” in the older, broader sense. This
      can lead to a significant degree of confusion, when people who are
      familiar only with the use of words in their own day and their own
      circles encounter material written in other times and other places.

      Scripture, the term “worship” was similarly broad in meaning, but in
      the early Christian centuries, theologians began to differentiate
      between different types of honor in order to make more clear which is
      due to God and which is not.

      As the terminology of
      Christian theology developed, the Greek term latria came to be used to
      refer to the honor that is due to God alone, and the term dulia came to
      refer to the honor that is due to human beings, especially those who
      lived and died in God’s friendship—in other words, the saints. Scripture
      indicates that honor is due to these individuals (Matt. 10:41b). A
      special term was coined to refer to the special honor given to the
      Virgin Mary, who bore Jesus—God in the flesh—in her womb. This term,
      hyperdulia (huper [more than]+ dulia = “beyond dulia”), indicates that
      the honor due to her as Christ’s own Mother is more than the dulia given
      to other saints. It is greater in degree, but still of the same kind.
      However, since Mary is a finite creature, the honor she is due is
      fundamentally different in kind from the latria owed to the infinite

      All of these terms—latria, dulia,
      hyperdulia—used to be lumped under the one English word “worship.”
      Sometimes when one reads old books discussing the subject of how
      particular persons are to be honored, they will qualify the word
      “worship” by referring to “the worship of latria” or “the worship of
      dulia.” To contemporaries and to those not familiar with the history of
      these terms, however, this is too confusing.

      attempt to make clear the difference between the honor due to God and
      that due to humans has been to use the words adore and adoration to
      describe the total, consuming reverence due to God and the terms
      venerate, veneration, and honor to refer to the respect due humans.
      Thus, Catholics sometimes say, “We adore God but we honor his saints.”

      many non-Catholics have been so schooled in hostility toward the Church
      that they appear unable or unwilling to recognize these distinctions.
      They confidently (often arrogantly) assert that Catholics “worship” Mary
      and the saints, and, in so doing, commit idolatry. This is patently
      false, of course, but the education in anti-Catholic prejudice is so
      strong that one must patiently explain that Catholics do not worship
      anyone but God—at least given the contemporary use of the term. The
      Church is very strict about the fact that latria, adoration—what
      contemporary English speakers call “worship”—is to be given only to God.

      one should know it from one’s own background, it often may be best to
      simply point out that Catholics do not worship anyone but God and omit
      discussing the history of the term. Many non-Catholics might be more
      perplexed than enlightened by hearing the history of the word. Familiar
      only with their group’s use of the term “worship,” they may misperceive a
      history lesson as rationalization and end up even more adamant in their
      declarations that the term is applicable only to God. TO BE CONTINUED

      • Jose Samilin

        Continued: Wanting to attack the veneration of the saints, they may declare that only God should be honored.

        of these declarations are in direct contradiction to the language and
        precepts of the Bible. The term “worship” was used in the same
        way in the Bible that it used to be used in English. It could cover
        both the adoration given to God alone and the honor that is to be shown
        to certain human beings. In Hebrew, the term for worship is shakhah. It
        is appropriately used for humans in a large number of passages.

        example, in Genesis 37:7–9 Joseph relates two dreams that God gave him
        concerning how his family would honor him in coming years. Translated
        literally the passage states: “‘[B]ehold, we were binding sheaves in the
        field, and lo, my sheaf arose and stood upright; and behold, your
        sheaves gathered round it, and worshiped [shakhah] my sheaf.’ . . . Then
        he dreamed another dream, and told it to his brothers, and said,
        ‘Behold, I have dreamed another dream; and behold, the sun, the moon,
        and eleven stars were worshiping [shakhah] me.’”

        Genesis 49:2-27, Jacob pronounced a prophetic blessing on his sons, and
        concerning Judah he stated: “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your
        hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall
        worship [shakhah] you (49:8).” And in Exodus 18:7, Moses honored his
        father-in-law, Jethro: “Moses went out to meet his father-in-law, and
        worshiped [shakhah] him and kissed him; and they asked each other of
        their welfare, and went into the tent.”

        Yet none of these passages were discussing the worship of adoration, the kind of worship given to God.

        Honoring Saints

        how honor is given. We regularly give it to public officials. In the
        United States it is customary to address a judge as “Your Honor.” In the
        marriage ceremony it used to be said that the wife would “love, honor,
        and obey” her husband. Letters to legislators are addressed to “The
        Honorable So-and-So.” And just about anyone, living or dead, who bears
        an exalted rank is said to be worthy of honor, and this is particularly
        true of historical figures, as when children are (or at least used to
        be) instructed to honor the Founding Fathers of America.

        practices are entirely Biblical. We are explicitly commanded at
        numerous points in the Bible to honor certain people. One of the most
        important commands on this subject is the command to honor one’s
        parents: “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long
        in the land which the Lord your God gives you” (Ex. 20:12). God
        considered this command so important that he repeated it multiple times
        in the Bible (for example, Lev. 19:3, Deut. 5:16, Matt. 15:4, Luke
        18:20, and Eph. 6:2–3). It was also important to give honor to one’s
        elders in general: “You shall rise up before the hoary head, and honor
        the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord”
        (Lev. 19:32). It was also important to specially honor religious
        leaders: “Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron [the high priest],
        to give him dignity and honor” (Ex. 28:2).

        The New
        Testament stresses the importance of honoring others no less than the
        Old Testament. The apostle Paul commanded: “Pay all of them their dues,
        taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to
        whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due” (Rom. 13:7). He also
        stated this as a principle regarding one’s employers: “Slaves, be
        obedient to those who are your earthly masters, with fear and trembling,
        in singleness of heart, as to Christ” (Eph. 6:5). “Let all who are
        under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor,
        so that the name of God and the teaching may not be defamed” (1 Tim.
        6:1). Perhaps the broadest command to honor others is found in 1 Peter:
        “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor” (1
        Pet. 2:17).

        The New Testament also stresses the
        importance of honoring religious figures. Paul spoke of the need to give
        them special honor in 1 Timothy: “Let the presbyters [priests] who rule
        well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor
        in preaching and teaching” (1 Tim. 5:17). Christ himself promised
        special blessings to those who honor religious figures: “He who receives
        a prophet because he is a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward, and
        he who receives a righteous man [saint] because he is a righteous man
        shall receive a righteous man’s reward” (Matt. 10:41).

        if there can be nothing wrong with honoring the living, who still have
        an opportunity to ruin their lives through sin, there certainly can be
        no argument against giving honor to saints whose lives are done and who
        ended them in sanctity. If people should be honored in general, God’s
        special friends certainly should be honored.

        Statue Worship?

        who do not know better sometimes say that Catholics worship statues.
        Not only is this untrue, it is even untrue that Catholics honor statues.
        After all, a statue is nothing but a carved block of marble or a chunk
        of plaster, and no one gives honor to marble yet unquarried or to
        plaster still in the mixing bowl.

        The fact that
        someone kneels before a statue to pray does not mean that he is praying
        to the statue, just as the fact that someone kneels with a Bible in his
        hands to pray does not mean that he is worshiping the Bible. Statues or
        paintings or other artistic devices are used to recall to the mind the
        person or thing depicted. Just as it is easier to remember one’s mother
        by looking at her photograph, so it is easier to recall the lives of the
        saints by looking at representations of them.

        use of statues and icons for liturgical purposes (as opposed to idols)
        also had a place in the Old Testament. In Exodus 25:18–20, God
        commanded: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work
        shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub
        on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece with the
        mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim
        shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with
        their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the
        faces of the cherubim be.”

        In Numbers 21:8–9, he
        told Moses: “‘Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one
        who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.’ So Moses made a bronze
        serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would
        look at the bronze serpent and live.” This shows the actual ceremonial
        use of a statue (looking to it) in order to receive a blessing from God
        (healing from snakebite). In John 3:14, Jesus tells us that he himself
        is what the bronze serpent represented, so it was a symbolic
        representation of Jesus. There was no problem with this statue—God had
        commanded it to be made—so long as people did not worship it. When they
        did, the righteous king Hezekiah had it destroyed (2 Kgs. 18:4). This
        clearly shows the difference between the proper religious use of statues
        and idolatry.

  • George

    Emily, I would appreciate knowing citations from the deuterocanonical books.

  • Jose Samilin

    Thanks Emily for a simple but vivid means to explain to all of us why we ought to pray to Mary, through the “Body of Christ.” Of course there are other approaches, like like understanding first the majestic role of Mary in the salvation history in relation to the New and Old Covenants, etc. But yours is the most simple way and most concern us as part of the Body of Christ, the Church and the Head is Jesus Christ itself.

    Let us get back to the question, why pray to Mary? In fact, the very people questioning this comes directly from Non-Catholics teachers or Pastors that rejected the Church established by Christ and profess mastery of the Scriptures but dimly understand what is in the Scripture truth about the “Body of Christ.” Emily’s way to enlighten us about the question that will led us to the answer and therefore, giving us understanding on this matter in Scriptures. If they have (sic) the mastery of Scriptures and proud to teach Bible truth, why then they openly question and trying to prove themselves right, its “idolatry,” Wrong!! The answer is these teachers and Pastors had already been rejected by them these passages in the Bible, so how could grace comes to them to be given by the Holy Spirit when the evil of sin had consumed them to reject Christ teaching in the Bible? Sorry to go a bit too far, but no that’s being part of it, a little jolt needed. Non-Catholics should face it ,”head-on in humility” otherwise, they were heading to the tendency of natural flesh without life.

    Yes, we are member of the Body of Christ but where do we belong on the three types of Body of Christ, which is the Church, namely; Church Militant, Church Suffering or Purgatory or purification and lastly the Church Triumphant and the cooperation of these three called the “Communion of Saints” We, the who are still living are the Church Militant, who are like in the military we are always struggling to fight against the attack of the evil ones.

    As explained by Emily above, please re-read Emily’s writings above and that answer why we ought to pray to Mary, most essentially, rather than going straight to Jesus which you cannot tolerate like the occasion of the Israelite in Mount Sinai.

    • SusanDHarris

      But wait …. all the Catholics say “We don’t PRAY to Mary.” Yeah. Right.

      • Jose Samilin

        Since you are interested on knowing answers to the many controvertial topics on Mary here is a website: catholic.com

        • SusanDHarris

          What I read online is often different than what someone tells me one-on-one. Like “We don’t pray to Mary” being oft repeated. I read – but cannot reconcile praying to a dead woman, though she is/was blessed among women.

          • Jose Samilin

            Susan, the answers were posted above. Thanks for this opportunity to explain our faith on Mary.

          • SusanDHarris

            I’m sorry. I really wish I could be Catholic cuz it’s so much more interesting than Protestantism. But they think saints have a better chance of getting through to Jesus “since they’re right there with him?” That is the silliest thing I’ve ever heard! It actually made me laugh out loud. Jesus is right here with me right now. I don’t need an intercessor that is in closer proximity like taking a space shuttle to heaven. Well I’ll leave you alone and good luck to you – but many people say you DON’T pray to Mary – the mortal dead woman who we aren’t supposed to pray to, yet you are at odds with many in your faith when you say you do. I think I need to go to something besides Bible Study for Catholics This stuff isn’t even logical. Thank you for responding.

          • Jose Samilin

            You’re welcome. I hope to have enlighten you with explanation on the biblical citation confronting the question of our faith. It is not really to abandon the faith would be the right answer when you are confronted with difficulties but to persevere to learn in order to overcome those difficulties, just like when you were saddled with difficulties in mathematics to find the right answer, you do not need to abandon it because the answer is right there, you just need to keep in studying it. Thank you Susan, more power to you in all your future endeavors and trust the Holy Spirit to guide you.

          • Dan

            This theology debate can go on forever. Let me add from my experience. Having dabbled into occults including witchcraft and spritualism to undo witchcraft that was done to me, I’ll tell you praying to a deceased person is necromancy, whether saints or Mary. I’ve seen things way too many supernatural answers to prayers directed to saints or “dead ancestors” and I’ll confirm. You start praying to them, I doubt God is the one that answers, more like demons (familiar spirits). I say this from experience. I was baptized and raised Catholic and became secular for awhile and recently born again due to these experiences. Try fighting demons asking for Mary or the saints for help, doesnt work at all, the name of Jesus does. If fighting demons doesn’t clearly show what kind of prayers are effective then what does?

          • Renee

            Does everything have to be logical? What is Faith to you?

          • Donnie Braschio

            You are going through great task to defend something that is clearly the same as worship and making requests of Mary and the specific saints. Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians are addressed to saints. In that case we can pray to all of them, not just to ones venerated by the RCC. You may say that is fine, but then that brings it all the more clear that this is a practice brought into the church from the ancient animist practices, ancestral incantations from all over the world, most every tribal group if we back far enough.
            Is this not what God was so angry with in the practices of the pagan nations in the the Old Testament, starting in Noah’s era?

          • Jose Samilin

            Donnie, as to worship, its fully explained above, the practice of incantation, etc,. were also discussed, and what else. Please, I do not need them to write here again. If anything more, kindly use my email: josesamilin181@yahoo.com

          • Donnie Braschio

            I read the diatribe. It is merely explaining away what it is: idolatry. No need to further discuss. I wrote above why the scriptures (and the early church, nor Hebrew practice which Jesus followed in earthly life) do not follow that pattern, which was derived purely from the Gentile practice of ancestral worship, end of story, no matter how you try to state it.

          • Jose Samilin

            Very good, Donnie, i understand
            that you persevere for your spiritual growth and as lay Catholic i will try to work with you, not only for your benefit but also in my own faith too. Firstly, on the question of worship, what is it to want me to clarify. Secondly, on Jesus practice while on earth, what is it today in our current generation have changed or is there a change after Jesus ascended t o heaven. I will only deal on Hebrew history of Jesus time but merely to bring connection of our present generation practice. So is that the thing you want? Or anything that bother you in the Catholic faith, so we could obey Christ teaching. Please let me know. The reason we need to localize or be specific so that I could be of help to you. Thanks.

          • Sonja Lietch

            And we all call ourselves Christian, followers of Jesus Christ the Messiah, and this is the kind of message that is sent. The bible is so open to interpretation that we need to trust Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide and convict us. As Christians we are called to seek the Holy Spirit. Lets remember that we all serve the same awesome God who sent His only son who died to save us and that He showed us so much love so that we can show others. This kind of “fighting” is what the devil absolutely loves and lives off, we need to be aware of that.

          • Donnie Braschio

            I was simply stating where I stand. That is not fighting. I am friendly with Catholics and Orthodox folks, but this is my conviction from an understanding of the scriptures. We can differ in opinion and still believe and follow Christ together. Paul and many apostles disagreed greatly about requirements for gentile converts to Christ. My stand is not a condemnation of those who practice prayer to saints. It is God who judges us, but we are to discern for ourselves what is of God or not. I have nothing against my Catholic friends who are believers in Christ.

          • overtaxed77

            If you pray to Mary you are putting Mary as a equal to God and God has told us we are to only worship him. How much more black and white can you get than that? Only God can answer prayers, please show me where in the Bible it states we should pray to Mary and she will answer our prayers…….it doesn’t!

          • Jose Samilin

            Not really!! Scripture alone forbids personal interpretation. 2 Peter 1:20-21. Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture comes from the prophet’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever brought about through human initiative, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. Sonja Liecth, you seem to reject part of this Bible.

        • John Wilson

          Jose. Jesus did not instruct us to pray to Mary. It’s not something that is remotely part of the Christian faith. While Mary was blessed among women, she too, still needed a savior. Jesus teaches us that nobody comes to the father except through him. The physically dead have done their time on Earth. They are with the father or they are dead in sin. Either way, they do not intercede for us. Praying to the dead is akin to witchcraft. The Bible teaches us that there is one intercessor between us and the father…period.

          • Jose Samilin

            John, I noted all your questions were discussed above, kindly help your self so that I do not need to repeat here. if anymore that bothers you, please contact me at my email: josesamilin181@yahoo,com.

          • John Wilson

            You didn’t answer me at all. You just ran away because you can’t defend the indefensible. Pagan goddess worship and witchcraft are cornerstones of the Catholic cult, and there is no defending it with scripture.

          • Jose Samilin

            Please tell me John, what does true faith anything to do with those tradition determined by the church to be of no supernatural value? Those were exactly condemn in the bible and the Magisterium of the church. You can only talk about that to those people having your faith level. That is for personal and individual appropriation when it comes to faith.

          • John Wilson

            So you’re tap dancing around the problem now.

          • Jose Samilin

            That is something irrelevant, Sir!!

          • John Wilson

            It’s not irrelevant at all! The issue is the Catholic Cult’s teachings of witchcraft (praying to physically dead people and believing that they drink the actual blood of Jesus) and goddess worship (Mary as coredemptrix) which are both contrary to scripture and thus indefensible.

          • Jose Samilin

            Cult, witchcraft, goddess worship, etc, etc can’r be found as teaching of the Catholic Church from the Catechism of the Catholic Church. If that is your faith, not mine, so I am citing categorically my religious freedom. I’ll be very specific now to you, THEY WERE TRULY IRRELEVANT, SO MR. JOHN WILSON “JUST SHUT UP.” IS THAT CLEAR??

          • John Wilson

            So you’re also willingly blind to scripture too… Interesting. You can keep your prayers to Mary (goddess worship), prayers to the dead (witchcraft), and keep “killing” Jesus weekly to drink his blood (witchcraft, idolatry). Scripture tells us we only need one thing, and it’s not all of that. Also…mind your temper.

          • Jose Samilin

            Since you can’t show that in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, then your allegation is false. People like you who practice them were outside the Catholic Church.. So please, I am citing my religious freedom not to practice those kind that are abominable to God.. That is your own choice as your own freedom to practice Cult, witchcraft and goddess worship. I have nothing to do with that. YOU JUST NEED TO SHUT UP. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO IMPUTE THE ABOMINABLE FAITH YOU HAVE TO OTHERS. YOU NEED TO PERSEVERE IN YOUR FAITH TO BE MORE ENLIGHTENED.

          • John Wilson

            I dont need to show it in the catechism. That book is of man. I DO however see and hear plenty of Catholics and their priests practicing these heresies consistently, and it’s expressly forbidden by real scripture. I will not be silent about this. Millions of Catholics are being mislead by their cult.

          • Jose Samilin

            I have nothing further. I am done with you.

          • John Wilson

            how Catholic of you

  • maria spano

    I will love to make understand, all our brothers and sisters the beautiful, of the Catholic Faith, that we don’t worship ,Mother Mary all even the Saint’s

    • Jose Samilin

      True Maria, what a good feeling to have more friends from among our separated brothers and sisters in Christ especially if we could take our fellowship with them and have the chance to explain our veneration to Mary and the Saints citing those related bible passages as proof that we do not worship Many and that these prayers are divinely effective We ourselves should study these passages and try to develop ways to present it to them in a situation of humility and non-invasive.

    • SusanDHarris

      But it’s not a matter of WORSHIPING MARY, it’s that you talk to her at all. She is DEAD. It’s like trying to talk to anyone laying under a headstone.

      • Matthew Ludu

        Deuteronomy 18:10-13

        There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his
        daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells
        fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer or a charmer or a medium or a
        necromancer ***or one who inquires of the dead, for whoever does these
        is an abomination to the Lord.**** And because of these abominations
        the Lord your God is driving them out before you. You shall be blameless
        before the Lord your God,

        It states quite clearly talking to the dead is NOT permitted. So justying this by saying you are talking to Mary, who is dead as you quite rightly put…is not just wrong! but an abomination before God.

        I pray enlightenment for you sister in Christ.

        • onesmartbroad

          So….no afterlife? No heaven? Or is God alone in heaven?

          • Donnie Braschio

            I don’t believe that was said in Matthew’s statement, only yours, onesmart….

      • onesmartbroad

        So you don’t believe that death is a passage way to eternal life, hopefully with Christ? Do you believe in no afterlife? Jesus while dying gave us His mother from the Cross. ‘Behold your mother’ because she is the first disciple and was intimately familiar with her Son and his ministry. Why not ask her for intercession? Who better to perfect our prayers and aid us?

        • JesusIsLove

          @onesmartbroad:disqus can please give me a bible verse that state “Jesus while dying gave us His mother from the Cross.”

          • onesmartbroad

            From one of your abridged versions of the Bible:
            John 19:25-29New King James Version (NKJV)

            Behold Your Mother
            25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

      • harlen

        Who told you Mary was dead?

        Matt 22:32
        Jesus tells off The sadducees ……” I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

        Mary is no more dead than Abraham. Are you a Sadducee?

        Now Read Revelations 11:19 ….following (NB. The Chapter divisions are added for our convenience & are no part of the original)

        God’s Ark is Mary (11:19). She is the Ark of the New Covenant.
        What 3 objects were in The Ark of The Old Covenant that was so holy?

        (a)The Word of God on the stone tablets;
        (b)Manna. The bread from heaven to feed god’s people.
        (c) Aaron’s priestly Rod.

        These three (inanimate) objects made the Ark so holy that Uzzah was struck dead for touching it.

        By the power of the Holy Spirit (and with her consent) Mary gave living flesh to these three things in one person….Jesus,who is

        (a)The Living Word of God

        (b) The Living bread of Life &

        (c) The High Priest and the sacrificial lamb.

        The following verses show her as “Queen of Heaven” .

        If Jesus has “The Throne of His father David” (As promised in the Annunciation in Luke) ……His MOTHER is his QUEEN Read 1Kings & 2Kings (And look up Gebirah)

        It goes on to portray Mary as The New Eve in conflict with the Dragon/Serpent/Satan as predicted by God in Genesis. Then as mother of the redeemed & personification of The Church.