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There have been quite a few questions on the 'orthodoxy' of praying to saints, or rather asking them to pray for us1. Also questions on why Protestants don't/should do the same. My question is slightly more practical: leaving aside whether it's 'allowed' or not: what is the basis for Catholics believing that we might even be heard?

God is omnipresent, so being able to pray to him anywhere and any time 'makes sense'. Even if the saints are currently 'alive' (rather than being in limbo awaiting judgement day), what is the 'mechanism' by which they are supposed to be able to 'hear' our requests?

1 I'm not yet convinced that this distinction is really respected in practice.

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    Surely this is a duplicate of at least one of the “Related” questions in the sidebar like 767 or 6382? There's also my answer to another question about Biblical justification – Andrew Leach May 16 '14 at 6:26
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    @AndrewLeach I don't think it does. God is omnipresent, so being able to pray to him anywhere and any time 'makes sense'. Even if the saints are currently 'alive' (rather than being in limbo awaiting judgement day), what is the 'mechanism' by which they are supposed to be able to 'hear' our requests? – Benjol May 16 '14 at 13:03
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    @Bejol The question you asked sounded like you wanted a biblical rationalization for their belief. In the comments, you are asking for something entirely different. You'll want to clarify the relationship with "elements" in your question with the details about it. – Steve May 16 '14 at 13:26
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Catholic traditions often reach deep into the Jewish roots of the faith and the answer to this question might be best supplied by looking at the Jewish teachings on Caleb who was asked to reconnoiter the land of Canaan and report back to Moses.

Caleb made a "side trip" to the graves of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob) and asked for the heavenly intercession.

As we know, Caleb is the lone voice of optimism for the potential taking of the land.

In the Jewish faith these men and women (such as the Patriarchs and Matriarchs) are called "Righteous" wherein a similar comparison could be made to the men and women of heaven that Catholics call "Saints."

  • Interesting! Can you say when exactly this tradition was first recorded? – curiousdannii May 18 '14 at 22:20

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