17 votes
Accepted

What is the earliest known instance of a petition directed to Mary?

Sub Tuum Praesidium The earliest known, extant petition prayer to Mary the Θεοτόκος (Theotokos), or Dei Genetrix (the Greek and Latin, respectively, for 'God-bearer' or 'Birthgiver-of-God') is found ...
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  • 7,327
16 votes

According to Protestantism, what are the strongest apologetic arguments against the doctrine of Intercession of Saints?

For those denominations that take the Bible fairly literally, everyone that has ever died (with one notable exception) is still dead and buried and awaiting resurrection. For the living know that ...
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13 votes
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If Protestants won't ask dead saints to intercede because there is no mediator but Jesus then why do they ask living Christians to pray for them?

Intercession is not the same as mediation! As other answers have said perfectly adequately, there is plenty of biblical support for interceding for one another and the example of the Apostle Paul ...
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13 votes
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What is the Scriptural basis for Catholics praying to Mary and the various saints?

To answer the question, it is important to understand that Catholics (as well as the Eastern Orthodox and other eastern churches) make a sharp distinction between adoration (or worship), which is ...
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13 votes
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Are there any biblical examples of Early Church disciples praying to deceased saints in order to request their intercessory prayer?

Is there any biblical evidence that [asking dead saints for intercession] was a common practice in the early church? The New Testament contains neither any example of nor any reference to this ...
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12 votes

If Protestants won't ask dead saints to intercede because there is no mediator but Jesus then why do they ask living Christians to pray for them?

There are a variety of things going on here. (FWIW, I'm an Anglican who holds to the Catholic faith, so I'm not explaining my own beliefs here. I'll try as best I can to give a fair account of others' ...
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  • 3,818
12 votes

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints?

The earliest may not be easy to find, but I'll put a marker down. St Ephraim the Syrian, who died in 373, prayed: Ye victorious martyrs who endured torments gladly for the sake of the God and Saviour;...
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12 votes

Are there any biblical examples of Early Church disciples praying to deceased saints in order to request their intercessory prayer?

Are there any biblical examples of Christians in the Early Church communicating with dead saints in order to request their intercessory prayer? The short answer seems to be no. There are no clear ...
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  • 53k
10 votes

What is the Biblical argument used by Evangelical Christians against the Catholic doctrine of the invocation of the saints?

There are two main Protestant arguments against asking the deceased saints to intercede for us: It is seen as contradicting the Bible's prohibition on contacting the dead. These are found most ...
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10 votes

According to Protestantism, what are the strongest apologetic arguments against the doctrine of Intercession of Saints?

On an official German protestant website exactly this question was answered with the following arguments (loosely summarized in English by me): Protestants do not have a hierarchy of the deceased. ...
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8 votes
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Is the Hail Mary a prayer?

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (in particular paragraphs #2673 through #2682 which explore the words of the Hail Mary) it seems as if the Hail Mary is considered a prayer. Here are ...
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7 votes

If Protestants won't ask dead saints to intercede because there is no mediator but Jesus then why do they ask living Christians to pray for them?

I think the short answer is that there is Biblical precedent for this sort of intercessory prayer. Here are a few examples: 2 Corinthians 1:11 (ESV) You also must help us by prayer, so that ...
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7 votes

Do prayers offered to anyone but God the Father go unheard?

First of all, God is the one who decides which prayers he answers, not us. I take it for granted that he hears all prayers, and it would be presumptuous to say prayers addressed to X go unheard. ...
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  • 4,626
7 votes
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According to Catholicism, to what extent is the spiritual growth of a Christian impaired by his/her lack of devotion to Mary and the Saints?

Whether Mary is necessary to the spiritual growth of a Christian Objection 1. It would seem that the spiritual life of a Christian could be equally as rich without the admixture of devotions to the ...
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5 votes

Does canonisation make one more meritorious before God?

Canonization does not change an individual's status in the eyes of God—nothing can change that. What it does is make a declaration about what the Church thinks of them: By canonizing some of the ...
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4 votes

How did the practice of soliciting the prayers of dead saints originate?

Everett Ferguson, in "Backgrounds of Early Christianity" states that the practice of praying to the Saints originated as an answer to the hero cults and the cults of the lares in ancient Rome. The ...
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4 votes
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According to Lutherans, do angels pray for us?

Most assuredly they do. The traditional doctrinal standard for the Lutheran Churches is the Book of Concord. One of documents in the BoC is the Apology of the Augsburg Confession, also called the ...
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  • 3,538
4 votes

According to Catholicism, can the saints be given the title "co-mediator of Grace"?

Mediation is a relative term. That is you can't mediate something from yourself to someone else per se. For example, Christ mediates between God and man (being Himself both). Thus, any of us can ...
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  • 7,327
4 votes
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As a Catholic, am I obliged to believe in visions and saints?

The Church distinguishes between two ways God has spoken to the world: the "public revelation" beginning with the Old Testament prophets and culminating in the life of Jesus, and the "private ...
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  • 496
4 votes
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What are the strongest apologetic arguments in defense of the veracity of the doctrine of Intercession of Saints?

The Catholic Answers website has some good material on this. The main entry defending the doctrine is How to Defend the Intercession of the Saints. It addresses the "common" objections from ...
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  • 1,960
4 votes

Does the Catholic Church teach a specific way to pray to the saints?

Short answer, and possibly the only "approved" answer, is to check out the Proper of Saints in the Liturgy of the Hours (see universalis app). The prayers are usually short and may only ...
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  • 33.3k
4 votes

According to Catholic scholars, is Satan privy to our prayers, and can he act on them?

According to Catholic scholars, is Satan privy to our prayers, and can he act on them? The short answer is no. But he can guess what we are sometimes praying for. In any case Satan can not know what ...
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  • 53k
3 votes

Does canonisation make one more meritorious before God?

Canonization, beatification, etc., do not change one's merit. Fr. John Hardon, S.J., defines "merit" in his Catholic Dictionary: Divine reward for the practice of virtue. It is a Catholic doctrine ...
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3 votes
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Can non-Catholic Christian souls participate in Intercession?

The ability to intercede on behalf of others is a gift given by God, and so He can give it to anyone He pleases. Here is how the Catechism of the Catholic Church describes prayer of intercession: ...
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3 votes

When is the first documented case of Christians praying to the dead saints?

Saint Jerome (347-420 AD) spoke of the practice with approval, saying: "If the Apostles and Martyrs, while still in the body, can pray for others, at a time when they must still be anxious for ...
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  • 29.6k
3 votes

What are liturgical honours and privileges for the Patrons of categories of people?

What are liturgical honours and privileges for patron saints? The liturgical honours of each particular saint is that they each have a fixed day in which they may be particularly honoured at Mass or ...
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  • 53k
3 votes

Does Protestant and Christian denominations seeks the prayer of their deceased founder?

I'd like to start by pointing out a small error. 'Protestant' is a branch of Christianity, so it's not grammatically correct to talk about 'Protestant and Christian' as two different things. You might ...
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  • 29.6k
3 votes

Do Protestants think of Mary as the "Mother of All Peoples"?

I am quoting, below, from the Second Helvetic Confession which is a generally accepted statement of the Reformation : It was adopted by the Reformed Church not only throughout Switzerland but in ...
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