Prayers of Intercession

Prayers of Intercession


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Prayers of Intercession

Intercession and Praying with the Saints

Prayers of Intercession

Audio - Praying with the Saints

The honor paid to angels and saints is entirely different from the supreme honor due to God alone, and is indeed paid to them only as His servants and friends. "By honoring the Saints and by invoking their intercession…the glory of God is very much increased, in proportion as the hope of men is thus more excited and confirmed, and they are encouraged to the imitation of the Saints" (Cat. of the Council of Trent, pt. III, c. ii, q.)

We can address our prayers directly to God, and He can hear us without any intervention. Nevertheless, this does not prevent us from asking the help of those who may be more pleasing to Him than we are. It is not because our faith and trust in Him are weak; nor because His goodness and mercy to us are less; rather is it because we are encouraged by His precepts to approach Him at times through His servants. As pointed out by St. Thomas, we invoke the angels and saints in quite different language from that addressed to God.

"We ask God to have mercy upon us and God to grant us whatever we require; whereas we ask the saints to pray for us, i.e. to join their petitions with ours. Nothing should be asked of the saints but their prayer for us, the question is not about the words, but the sense of the words. For as far as the words go, it is lawful to say: 'St. Peter, 'save and pity me by praying for me'; 'help me to be granted this or that by thy prayers and merits.'

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII
Copyright © 1910 by Robert Appleton Company
Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by K. Knight
Nihil Obstat, October 1, 1910. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor
Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York

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