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  • Fr. Tarcisio

WHY DO CATHOLICS PRAY TO THE SAINTS?


A characteristic of Catholic temples are the figures of the saints, represented in sculpture or painting, that adorn the walls and altars. These images are often the subject of discussion with other Christian churches that do not have this devotion, taking into account the biblical prohibition of making images of God: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below" (Ex 20.4).


The word "holy" comes from the Greek word "hagios" and means "consecrated to God, holy, sacred, pious." In the New Testament, this term was used to refer to Christians in general: "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem" (Acts 9:13). "It came to pass that Peter, visiting everyone, also came to the saints who lived in Lydda" (Acts 9:32). Saint Paul used to say: "I locked up many of the saints in jails,…." (Acts 26:10). "Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4, 21).


For us, the saints are not gods, but people who have fully assumed their faith, and are models of Christian life, examples that show us that it is possible to live the gospel, especially the commandment of love. This is how Saint Paul affirms it: "Be imitators of me as I am of Christ" (1 Cor 11,1). The Catholic Church does not oblige anyone to invoke and have devotion to the saints. They are just proposed as models to be imitated and are considered as intercessors before God for us.

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