Question

Is it  Idolatrous to pray to St. Anthony?

Answer

No, because we’re asking St. Anthony—or any other saint for that matter— to intercede with Jesus on our behalf. Actually, when we ask others for prayers on our behalf or for others, we can do no better than a canonized saint in heaven.

In other words, saints don’t compete with God, they cooperate with him, who is their creator as well, in promoting his kingdom.

Fundamentalists always challenge the Catholic practice of asking saints and angels to intercede on our behalf. But the Bible instructs us to invoke those in heaven and request them to pray with us.

Thus, in Psalm 103 we intercede, “Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of his word! Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers that do his will!” (Ps. 103:20–21). And in the opening verses of Psalms 148, we pray, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights! Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!”

Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also intercede for us. In the book of Revelation, John sees that “the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” (Rev. 5:8). Thus the saints in heaven offer to God the prayers of the saints on earth.

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