Another one of those “Catholic things” I talk about so much is the Saints. We are passionate about our Saints and those outside of the Church are pretty strongly against the Saints. The reason we love the Saints so much, is not because of their own merit and good works, rather, it is because of God’s amazing grace. All the Saints knew their good deeds were dead if done for their own vanity, and were only truly done in love if united to the saving Passion of Christ. The Saints give us an example of hope, they show us what it means to live fully and recklessly for God. I don’t think there is a single one of us who can say we don’t sometimes get nervous about what God is asking us to do, how he wants us to change our lives, or what he may tell us to give up. It is very easy to fall into the temptations of distrust and disobedience. The Saints certainly did! Thankfully, by their example, we can have confidence in the knowledge all things work together for His good.
There are a variety reasons our Protestant brothers and sisters fight so hard against the idea of Saints. One must understand the history of the Protestant Schism to fully grasp the argument. In short, members of the Church were selling indulgences. Indulgences are special graces to reduce or eliminate a person’s time in Purgatory. It is important to note, the selling of indulgences has never been part of Church teaching and has never been an approved practice. It was, however, a common practice, and those in authority turned a blind eye, including the Pope at the time. The result was the Schism. Martin Luther and his fellow Protestants made the decision to remove several books from Scripture including the books of Maccabees and Tobit. Both books reference the importance of praying for Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the angles and Saints praying for the faithful on earth. Because Protestants believe in bible alone they don’t accept the teachings of those who have passed on being able to intercede for others.
Thankfully, the Lord’s word is consistent, and there are still a few places in Scripture we can refer to in order to help defend the Church’s position on praying to the Saints.
I recommend you choose a couple favorite Saints whose stories you relate to or whose patronages you may need.
St. Dymphna: Mental illness
St. Jude: Desperate Situations
St. Isidore of Seville: The internet
St. Anthony: Lost things
St. Rita: Difficult marriages
St. Valentine: Love
St. Gianna Beretta Molla: Unborn children
All popular Saints that would be more than pleased to help each of us on our journey home.