The Catholic faith, or Catholicism, is a denomination of the Christian faith. The big difference between a Catholic and a Christian is that while Christians do not believe in praying to the dead, Catholics do pray to the Saints. Catholicism follows the beliefs and traditions of the Catholic Churches. It is a set of beliefs, which are recited in the form of Creeds, that reflect the devotion of the practitioners, towards God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. The Church seeks its truth through three sources; (i) The Bible, (ii) Teachings of the Church and (iii) Traditions of the Church. These three form the core element of this faith.
Catholics believed that the Word of God was revealed to humans by God himself and through the Church. The Scripture supports Their Catechism. The way the Church celebrates Mass is distinct. It is believed to have been formed through the guidance of the Holy Spirit in its members and leaders. No religious community celebrates Mass as do the Catholics. The Mass is celebrated in Seven Sacraments, the Holy Eucharist being the most central part of it. These Masses vary depending on the readings from the Scripture, prayers and the focus of each Mass.
The Catholic Church seeks the virtues presented in the Bible to imbibe them in their way of living. The Bible has models of these virtues in men who have gone before. These are the lives that the Church refers to as Saints and martyrs.
Celebrations are a big part of the community that stretches beyond the events of Christmas, Lent which is followed by Easter, and Pentecost. Additionally, there are days devoted to celebrating aspects of Mary’s Life (the virgin mother of Jesus). Certain days are also kept sacred for honoring St. Joseph, the Apostles, the martyrs who died for their faith, the many Saints, and other significant members of the Church. These are a means of praising God, giving thanks, giving glory, asking for the healing of body and mind, etc. The Mass also seeks guidance to grow in faith and involves praying for those living and dead. It is a way to experience fellowship.
A lot of people wonder why the Catholics pray to the Saints rather than praying directly to God. They pray to the saints because it is a way of asking the community’s departed sister and brothers in Christ, to intercede on their behalf. The Scripture states that those who are now in heaven, hear the prayers of those praying on earth. Revelation 5:8 sheds light on this statement. Of course, some believe that even in the Scripture, where John depicted the Saints in heaven as offering the people’s prayers to God, it could be possible that the prayers offered were not to the Saints but rather to God. The Verse reads: “the twenty-four elders [the leaders of the people of God in heaven] fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Despite the differences in the interpretation of this Verse, there is mention that the Saints who are in heaven actively intervene and mediate for those praying on earth. John further states that when there is an offering of incense, it is the prayer of the Saints. They pray to the Saints because they are now standing in the presence of God and can more directly offer up our needs and the needs of the whole world for and with us.
People argue whether the importance placed on Saints for interceding is wrong in any way because as we know, the sole mediator between God and man is Jesus. Scripture in 1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, that it is not wrong for anyone to intercede. The Verse reads thus: “supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way. This is good and pleasing to God our Saviour, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”.
Thus, we understand why Catholics pray to Saints, because according to the scriptures, prayers offered by Christians on behalf of their fellow humans, please God. Read more on praying to the Saints.
The Catholic Church seeks for its followers to experience and be a witness to the true peace of God. It teaches love above everything. The aim of the Catholic life is to have a personal and intimate relationship with God. The believers ask for intercession often praying to the Saints to make their prayers heard to God.