Why do Catholics pray to saints?

By Fr Terrance W. Klein, 1 November 2020
The Forerunners of Christ with Saints and Martyrs by Fra Angelico. Image: Wikimedia Commons.

 

A Reflection for the Solemnity of All Saints

Readings: Revelation 7: 2-4, 9-14 1 John 3: 1-3 Matthew 5: 1-12a

St. Clare of Montefalco is not as well-known as her predecessor, St. Clare of Assisi, but at the time of her death in 1308 she was just as beloved by the Augustinian sisters, whose abbess she had been for 18 years. Clare told them that Christ was in her heart.

The sisters were convinced that a saint had lived among them in Montefalco. The strength Clare had shown in her dying had only added to their surety. Later, at the time of the Reformation, a concern would arise that the cult of saints might occlude our comprehension of Christ. They might become minor yet rival deities. After all, what would, or could, a saint do for us that Christ himself does not?

But the veneration of saints did not arise from a desire to corral Christ’s power. It came from a deep conviction that it is possible for us to be completely conformed to Christ. The grace he brought into the world can even today, in every place, reconfigure Christ into a constellation of men and women who have so conformed their lives to his as to be indistinguishable in character yet utterly diverse in chronicle.

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Rev Terrance W. Klein is a priest of the Diocese of Dodge City, Kansas, and author of Vanity Faith.

With thanks to America Magazine and Fr Terrance W. Klein, where this article originally appeared.

 

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