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Jesus explains that God knows what we need before we pray:

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

—Matthew 6:8 (NIV)

According to Catholicism, does the same apply for the saints? Do they know what we need before we ask them? Or do we have to actually ask them so that they are able to intercede on our behalf?

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Do Mary and the other saints know what we are praying for before we ask them?

St. Thomas Aquinas say yes.

Although the saints, after this life, know what happens here below, we must not believe that they grieve through knowing the woes of those whom they loved in this world: for they are so filled with heavenly joy, that sorrow finds no place in them. Wherefore if after death they know the woes of their friends, their grief is forestalled by their removal from this world before their woes occur. Perhaps, however, the non-glorified souls would grieve somewhat, if they were aware of the distress of their dear ones: and since the soul of Josias was not glorified as soon as it went out from his body, it is in this respect that Augustine uses this argument to show that the souls of the dead have no knowledge of the deeds of the living.

The souls of the saints have their will fully conformed to the Divine will even as regards the things willed. and consequently, although they retain the love of charity towards their neighbor, they do not succor him otherwise than they see to be in conformity with the disposition of Divine justice. Nevertheless, it is to be believed that they help their neighbor very much by interceding for him to God.

Although it does not follow that those who see the Word see all things in the Word, they see those things that pertain to the perfection of their happiness, as stated above.

God alone of Himself knows the thoughts of the heart: yet others know them, in so far as these are revealed to them, either by their vision of the Word or by any other means. - Question 72. Prayers with regard to the saints in heaven

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    I don't see how the statement in bold supports your answer. In fact I'm not sure that the quotation as a whole does. – Matt Gutting Apr 21 '18 at 13:50
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Do Mary and the other Saints know what we are praying for before we ask them?

The question is asking if Mary & the saints had given the grace to understand our thoughts or indirectly had a way of knowing what's in our mind?

We know from scriptures only God can see our thoughts, and knew what's on our mind before we ask them in prayer.

But how about Mary does She know our thoughts or perhaps can see our situation from above? The answer is YES!, the proof is the account of St.James the Greater year 40 A.D

link :www.catholiccompany.com/getfed/first-marian-apparition-our-lady-pillar/

The Story of Our Lady of the Pillar After Pentecost, the 12 Apostles dispersed to preach the Gospel all over the world. St. James the Greater, on one of his apostolic journeys, preached in the Iberian Peninsula in modern-day Spain.

St. James was discouraged that the pagans of that land were not responding to the Gospel and converting to Christianity. He had only a handful of converts to show for his labors. In the face of what he thought was failure in his mission, he prayed with his disciples by the Ebro river in modern day Zaragoza.

To bring him consolation, while she was still alive and living in Jerusalem, Our Lady appeared to him and his disciples atop a pillar of jasper stone carried by angels, while holding a smaller wooden statue of herself holding the Christ Child. The date was October 12 in the year 40 AD.

What about the Saints, their role is intercessor and we must invoke their assistance. But we can see from a lot of Exorcism Accounts the Exorcist like the famous Fr.Gabrielle Amorth always exhort their assistance. Meaning from Fr.Amorth testimonies he knows that Saintly intercession was given by God a special ministry to assist the living in supernatural encounters with the evil spirits.Below is one account from thousands of accounts that Fr.Amorth encounters with the saints powerful intercession and even their realistic manifestation during Exorcism Rites.

link:churchpop.com/2015/06/07/st-john-paul-ii-romes-chief-exorcist/

Not surprisingly, ‘Jesus Christ’ is the name Fr. Amorth most often calls upon to expel demons. But he also turns to saintly men and women for their heavenly assistance. Interestingly, he said that in recent years one man – Pope John Paul II – has proved to be a particularly powerful intercessor.

“I have asked the demon more than once, ‘Why are you so scared of John Paul II and I have had two different responses, both interesting. One, ‘because he disrupted my plans.’ And, I think that he is referring to the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The collapse of communism.”

“Another response that he gave me, ‘because he pulled so many young people from my hands.’ There are so many young people who, thanks to John Paul II, were converted. Perhaps some were already Christian but not practicing, but then with John Paul II they came back to the practice. ‘He pulled so many young people out of my hands.’”

And the most powerful intercessor of all?

“Of course, the Madonna is even more effective. Ah, when you invoke Mary!”

“And, once I also asked Satan, ‘but why are you more scared when I invoke Our Lady than when I invoke Jesus Christ?’ He answered me, ‘Because I am more humiliated to be defeated by a human creature than being defeated by him.”

[See also: Why Are Demons So Afraid of Mary?]

The greatest revelation of Mary and the Saints powerful intercession is the Book 'Warnings from Beyond"...

So to answer your question, Do Mary and the other Saints know what we are praying for before we ask them?

The answer is YES! Because when we pray to them by God special grace God reveals our situation to them mystically. Mary & the Saints never fails to manifest their assistance as Fr.Amorth testifies in his Exorcism books. That's why as Catholics, devotion to Mary and Saints had grown through out the years of living our Blessed Faith in their timely assistance. God has given special ministry for the Saints particularly those Saints who had direct battle with Satan and his demons like St.Vianney, St.Padre Pio, St.Theresa of Avila,St.Gemma Galgani and the recent Great Pope in the person of St.John Paul II to assist Exorcist in liberating the soul possessed by evil spirits.

Perhaps the greatest proof that Saints can see our thoughts is the gift given to St.John Marie Vianney and St.Padre Pio whom God had given special grace to read our thoughts and even reveals our secrets even if the penitents hides them.The accounts of St.Pio and St.Vianney seeing/knowing the thoughts of the penitents in the Sacraments of Confession are numerous to mention. If God gave the living Priests this kind of gifts of knowing the thoughts of man, much more to the Saints who are now glorified in Heaven and can possessed greater gifts in their role as intercessors to assist the living as the Church acknowledge their powerful helps and called it Communion of Saints as we professed them in the Apostles Creed. Godbless!

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