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Catholics And Praying To Saints And Angels

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"Saint Michael the Archangel,

defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil."

 

Did Jesus, peace be upon him, teach Christians to his mother, Angels, peace be upon them, and patron saints? Or maybe I should say is this teaching found in the words ascribed to Jesus, peace be upon him. Did Jesus', peace be upon him, disciples teach this?  Did the early Church fathers (1st-4th century) teach this? 

 

Basically, what I am asking is, is there any historic precedent for this practice? Please don't reply by saying that the Holy Spirit has allowed it by dwelling within the Church or that the Magisterium has taught it or something like that. If there's no evidence in the words ascribed to Jesus, peace be upon him,

 

 

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Michael in Hebrew literally means “who is like God” properly given to the great archangel for he fought against Satan and his followers who rebelled against God.


Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. – Revelations 12:7-9


 

There is precedence of the faithful praying to the dead.


“Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out…In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if the were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. – 2 Maccabees 12:43-44


 

Some quotes from the Church Fathers:


 

Tertullian, Monogamy 10, 1
(post AD 213)

“A woman, after the death of her husband, is bound not less

firmly but even more so, not to marry another husband ... Indeed, she prays for
his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share
in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she
offers the Sacrifice.”


 

St Cyril of Jerusalem,
Catechetical Lectures 23 (Mystagogic 5), 10 (c. AD 350)

“Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen

asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through
their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make
mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep,
and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we
believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom
the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid
out.”

 

St John Chrysostom, Homilies
on First Corinthians 41, 5 (c. AD 392)

“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were

purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for
the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who
have died and to offer our prayers for them.”


I think there is some misunderstanding about church doctrines. The Magisterium doesn’t just one day come up with a new idea, she only teaches what has always been firmly believed since the beginning.


 

 


 

 

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The explanation I've always been taught (I was raised Roman Catholic) was "we don't pray to the saints, we pray through the saints".

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The explanation I've always been taught (I was raised Roman Catholic) was "we don't pray to the saints, we pray through the saints".

 

That's what the Idol worshipers said. We pray to God but through the idols. It is still polytheism and rejected by God and I hope the Christians seriously think about this. Jesus(as) did not pray through any saints so why should you? And how can you even know who a true 'saint' is? Only God knows what is in the hearts of man. You might think someone is so religious and righteous but inside he might be a criminal. 

 

(Post directed at Christians and not at you sister Amna4)

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The explanation I've always been taught (I was raised Roman Catholic) was "we don't pray to the saints, we pray through the saints".

 

This is exactly what I’m talking about, you’ve been fed misinformation and have left Christianity based on misinformation. Where does it say in the catechism of any other authoritative church document "we don't pray to the saints, we pray through the saints"?

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Michael in Hebrew literally means “who is like God” properly given to the great archangel for he fought against Satan and his followers who rebelled against God.

 

Then war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels battled against the dragon. The dragon and its angels fought back, but they did not prevail and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth, and its angels were thrown down with it. – Revelations 12:7-9

 

 

There is precedence of the faithful praying to the dead.

 

“Turning to supplication, they prayed that the sinful deed might be fully blotted out…In doing this he acted in a very excellent and noble way, inasmuch as he had the resurrection of the dead in view; for if the were not expecting the fallen to rise again, it would have been useless and foolish to pray for them in death. – 2 Maccabees 12:43-44

 

 

Some quotes from the Church Fathers:

 

 

Tertullian, Monogamy 10, 1

(post AD 213)

“A woman, after the death of her husband, is bound not less

firmly but even more so, not to marry another husband ... Indeed, she prays for

his soul and asks that he may, while waiting, find rest; and that he may share

in the first resurrection. And each year, on the anniversary of his death, she

offers the Sacrifice.”

 

 

St Cyril of Jerusalem,

Catechetical Lectures 23 (Mystagogic 5), 10 (c. AD 350)

“Then we make mention also of those who have already fallen

asleep: first, the patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, and martyrs, that through

their prayers and supplications God would receive our petition; next, we make

mention also of the holy fathers and bishops who have already fallen asleep,

and, to put it simply, of all among us who have already fallen asleep; for we

believe that it will be of very great benefit to the souls of those for whom

the petition is carried up, while this holy and most solemn Sacrifice is laid

out.”

 

St John Chrysostom, Homilies

on First Corinthians 41, 5 (c. AD 392)

“Let us help and commemorate them. If Job’s sons were

purified by their father’s sacrifice, why would we doubt that our offerings for

the dead bring them some consolation? Let us not hesitate to help those who

have died and to offer our prayers for them.”

 

I think there is some misunderstanding about church doctrines. The Magisterium doesn’t just one day come up with a new idea, she only teaches what has always been firmly believed since the beginning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh dear I just realised my post more or less answers the question of praying for the saints rather than to the saints. You’ll find the answer to your question in this book. Look up the chapter called “The Invocation of Saints”. It quotes the church fathers at the end of the chapter.

 

 

http://www.lumenverum.org/apologetics/DefendtheFaith/page.html

 

Just to add my comment to Revelations 12:7-9 since St Michael had won the battle against Satan once he can certainly win again which was how and why the prayer was formulated that you quoted.

 

 

Edited by Gods Servant

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I think every concern and objection you may have is covered in the book “Defend the Faith”. The author whom I personally know does a much better job in explaining Catholic doctrines than I can ever do. If you still have objections or criticism about this topic or any other topic then I don’t think I have anything else to say because the author says pretty much says everything that needs to be said about these topics covered in his book. It’s now up to you whether you accept these explanations or not but something tells me you won’t…


I don’t think there’s anything else for me to offer in this forum nor do I care to learn about Islam so I don’t see the point of hanging around here anymore. I just realised after listening to the great pope John Paul II who said may the common faith in God unite Christians and Muslims together, I’ll go one step further and say if we can’t be united in our common faith in God or work together in charity then we’ll get nowhere.


This is honestly my last post now; I have left you with this book. I’m not leaving because I’m annoyed by anyone but solely for the fact that there’s no point in arguing which religion is the right to follow.


Good bye and God bless.


Peace in Christ.

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That's what the Idol worshipers said. We pray to God but through the idols. It is still polytheism and rejected by God and I hope the Christians seriously think about this. Jesus(as) did not pray through any saints so why should you? And how can you even know who a true 'saint' is? Only God knows what is in the hearts of man. You might think someone is so religious and righteous but inside he might be a criminal. 

 

(Post directed at Christians and not at you sister Amna4)

Well from what I was taught, we are asking them to pray for us. This is how I make sure to phrase it. A true saint is what we call someone who is in heaven. The saints we usually ask to pray for us are great men and women who served God well and that the Church has said to have reached heaven.

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Younes,

      The Book of Revelation specifically sections 5;8 and Revelation 8;3-4 discusses the prayers of the saints.  Its an old practice since the book is dated between 81-96 A.D.  that would tend to point to the prayers of the saints and all that entails very early in the Church. 

 

Peace be with you.   

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It is a silly practice which people who do cannot see how they are disobeying God. If you believe God is your Creator and He is powerful then why do you feel the need to pray to anyone else but God. It is disrespectful to God but they cannot see this. 

 

In my catholic upbringing there were saints you prayed to for different things. You prayed to saint anthony if you lost something! Alhamdulilah really Alhamdulilah today i pray to Allah when I lose something because He is the one that has power over all things. 

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Neither Saint Anthony or Mary would be anything without God. When we ask them to help us, they in turn must turn to God. Any power or ability they have is by God and not of their own volition.

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The fact that anyone feels the need to pray to anyone other than God for help is worrying especially when they claim they believe there is One God. 

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The fact that anyone feels the need to pray to anyone other than God for help is worrying especially when they claim they believe there is One God.

Is it a sin to ask another person to pray for you in Islam? I'm genuinely ignorant here.

 

In Christianity, however this is recomended by Jesus.

 

 

James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.

 

Why are we allowed to ask those on Earth to pray for us, but not those who are already with Him in Heaven? Are there any who are more righteous than those who are with God?

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I think that since prayer is praised so highly on Islam it is equated with worship.

 

Prayer is also highly recommended in Christianity as well. The difference is that we pray for each other as well as with each other to our Heavenly Father. That Is we intercede for each other. And since all Christians are united to each other in the mystical body of Christ as we pray to our Heavenly Father through his Son Jesus Christ. I realize it still may seem like idol worship to Islamic eyes. However, it's not.

Peace be with you.

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If any of you have spent the time to read the quran and have some knowledge of the hadiths it is exceptionally clear prayer is only for Allah and prayer is a form of worship. Obviously prayer is seen as a form of worship because there are multiple stories in the quran in which Allah criticises people who prayed to other objects or humans and says that worship is only for Allah. 

 

“And I (Allaah) created not the jinns and humans except they should worship Me (Alone).” [ 51:56]

 

- Prayer is used to seek patience from Allah

- We pray to remember Allah e.g 20:14

- We pray to show discipline to Allah and show our faith

- There are rules for cleaning yourself when you pray because you are praying to your Creator not just any other thing.

- The supplications are directed to Allah alone 

- The first thing Allah will ask us about on the day of Judgement is about our prayers.

 

Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is none other than Allah, His Messenger, and the believers, - those who perform As-Salat (Iqamat-as-Salat), and give Zakat, and they are Raki'un (those who bow down or submit themselves with obedience to Allah in prayer). (27:55)

 

 Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my Salat (prayer), my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists). (6:162)

 

 

Heavens fire you asked is it a sin to ask someone to pray for you in Islam which is a completely different topic than the one we are discussing. The topic we are discussing now is people who themselves pray to someone other than Allah. This is completely different from asking a person to pray for them. Plus we must remember these people they considered saints are dead people!

In Islam we ask friends and family to keep us in their dua's (a prayer but not salah) especially if we are having a problem. This is an important difference because we do not pray to that person. Like sometimes I may ask Allah to help a person who I believe is having a rough time but if that persons situation gets better it is not because I prayed but because Allah took control of the situation. In Islam all power is in Allah not in us as humans. We have no special powers. I look forward to the Christians replying saying they don't believe that saints have special powers  :happy:

 

In Islam we believe Muhammad pbuh was a great person but even we cannot pray to Him because it would be a huge insult to Allah and Muhammad taught us that only He was a messenger. Prayers that ask Muhammad for help, or any other person in Islam is a huge sin.Those Muslims today that do such actions are just as bad as Christians who begin their prayers with Oh Mary mother of God...
In Islam our prayers are always directed to only Allah. 

 

And invoke not, besides Allaah, any that will neither profit you, nor hurt you, but if (in case) you did so, you shall certainly be one of the zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers).” [10:106]

 

 

And prayer is a huge topic in Islam so this short post really doesn't explain it all. But if any of you want to know more start a new topic or ask for some resources and I and other members will be happy to help. 

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And for you Christians, I want to ask what you believe is the purpose of prayer if you don't think it is a form of worship? 

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Heavens fire,

 

Like I said I know that's the Islamic tradition. However, that is only one of the ways in which Christians and Muslims differ in their faiths.

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Heavens fire,

 

Like I said I know that's the Islamic tradition. However, that is only one of the ways in which Christians and Muslims differ in their faiths.

Pardon if I gave the impression that I didn't care how Muslims view prayer. My point was that within Christianity prayer to saints is permissible.

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