16

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 in an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century (commonly dated to around A.D. 250-280 but as late as 300—I could not find a dating later than the 4th century) and ...


13

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 requesting this intercession from other (living!) saints; although there is no particular scriptural warrant to explicitly endorse asking for such intercession ...


13

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 directed only to God, and veneration, which refers to the honor given to the saints. When Catholics (and Orthodox) pray to Mary and the other saints, it is never ...


12

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' beliefs.) Idolatry Many Protestants believe that prayer should only be directed at God and that prayer to anything else is ipso facto idolatry. To pray to ...


12

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; ye who have boldness of speech towards the Lord Himself; ye saints, intercede for us who are timid and sinful men, full of sloth, that the grace of Christ may ...


10

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 clearly in the Jewish Law, which is not binding on Christians, but is still considered to be solid wisdom in this case. Do not turn to mediums or seek out ...


9

Are saints supposed to be omnipresent, or are you just rolling the dice that they are paying attention to you at that moment? No they are not omnipresent (or omniscient for that matter), only God is. But they can hear our prayers by the power of God. Since we believe they are in heaven where they dwell in God, it is not strange that they can hear multiple '...


8

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 a few excerpts: "Beginning with Mary's unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the holy Mother of God, ...


7

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. Nevertheless, Christ taught that we ought to pray the Father, in his name. Let's just do it and not wonder whether he will answer other people's prayers or not. ...


7

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 many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. Philippians 1:19 (ESV) for I know that through your prayers ...


6

As stated above by others no Catholic or Orthodox prays to a saint in the same way that he or she prays to the Blessed Trinity. In Latin for instance two entirely different words are used for the two actions. On Earth I would ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me in my hour of need. We simply believe that those in Heaven can still pray for us so we ask ...


5

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 faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God's grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of ...


5

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 revelations" of miracles, visions, etc., which have been given to various individuals throughout history since then. You are only obliged to believe in the public ...


4

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 common person readily abandoned Zeus/Jupiter for God our Father and Christ our Savior, but they were not so easily dissuaded from making offerings to the lesser ...


4

A Catholic answer to your question would be to say that "pray" has more than one sense. First, it means simply "ask", as you suggest. This is very obvious if we look at older styles of English. For example, from Hamlet: Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you (Act 3, Scene 2) Here, "pray" means "ask". "I pray you" ends up basically ...


4

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 Defense of the Augsburg Confession. It is an explanation of one of the other documents in the BoC, the Augsburg Confession. The Apology was written by Luther's ...


4

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 mediate (go between or relay something/be the instrument of confering something to someone else): 1 Timothy 2:2 First of all, then, I urge that petitions, ...


3

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: Since Abraham, intercession—asking on behalf of another—has been characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. In the age of the Church, Christian ...


3

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 themselves, how much more after their crowns, victories, and triumphs are won!" His wording indicates that it was a common practice at the time: so there is ...


3

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 that by his good works a person in the state of grace really acquires a claim to supernatural reward from God. "The reward given for good works is not ...


3

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 with a Mass in their honour in their feast days. Some saints have the special privilege of having a special blessing for something attached to them in the ...


3

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 say 'Protestant and other Christian...' (The other main branches are Catholic and Orthodox.) Now to the main question. Protestants do not in general believe ...


3

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 Scotland (1566), Hungary (1567), France (1571), Poland (1578), and after the Westminster Confession of Faith, the Scots Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism is ...


2

Some Christians do not agree with the teaching of the Catholic Church on when the judgement occurs. Where Catholics believe that some who have died have already received final judgement, and been accepted into heaven, and thus are risen from the dead, and alive, some Christians believe that judgement has not occurred, and that departed persons have not yet ...


2

I believe you're referring to the fact that a person baptized needs a "Christian Name" and that name would be their protection throughout their life. The sacrament of Baptism is conferred "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." In Baptism, the Lord's name sanctifies man, and the Christian receives his name in ...


2

In addition to lonesomeday's excellent answer I would also like to cite the following Scriptures where both Paul and James indicated that others should offer intercessory prayer for either them or others. All Scripture is quoted from the King James translation. In the following instance we see Paul asking for their prayers, to aid him in his work for the ...


2

The first case of prayer to the departed saints is documented in the divine liturgy. In the divine liturgy of St. James the Just the priest pray, [G]rant that our offering may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit, as a propitiation for our transgressions and the errors of the people; and for the rest of the souls that have fallen asleep aforetime. ...


2

What is the Biblical argument used by Evangelical Christians against the Catholic doctrine of the invocation of the saints? We can see a principle of equality with other Christians (and even angels) in our work for the Lord that would preclude elevated status for some. Revelation 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See ...


2

How many patron saints may we have at any one time even if temporarily? There seems to be no fixed rule on this subject. Before going on allow me to relate a little story. I once asked the retired Bishop James Timlin of Scranton, Pennnslyvania which patron saint he took for his Name's Day, whether it was St. James the Less or St. James the Greater. He ...


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