I was wondering if you could help me
with some research I am beginning. I am a student
at Penn State, and an active member of Campus
Crusade for Christ. I am a Christian, more precisely a Catholic Christian.
I was discussing the Catholic religion with
a good friend (a Presbyterian) and the topic
of Mary came up. I did my best to explain why
we ask Mary to pray for us, but I didn't know
enough to give her a suitable answer.
asked me for a Biblical basis
for it. This was not said in a spiteful manner;
she's just concerned for me. I do not feel that we are
wrong to ask Mary to pray for us, and I was hoping you
could help me find something in the Bible to back it
up. I found some information on Mary on your site to
be very interesting and helpful:
Perhaps you could point me to the proper references where I can find more information on this topic, preferably from the
Thank you so much! God bless!!
How do I explain to my Presbyterian friend why we pray to Mary and its biblical basis? }
Bob Centamore replied:
Hello, Kristen —
Your good Presbyterian friend asked you to explain why we ask Mary to
pray for us and a Biblical basis for it.
Let me first say a few words about the Bible.
The New Testament we
are about to reference is a Catholic Book (written by Catholic men inspired by the Holy Spirit). You can feel very confident our Catholic Doctrines
are never opposed to Sacred Scripture and that is one
of the reasons!
Did you know it wasn't until the councils of Hippo (393 A.D.) and Carthage (397 A.D.) that the New Testament cannon was listed and in 410
A.D. this cannon was approved by the Pope?
There were many texts alleging
to be (inspired) Scripture, like:
the Gospel of Peter or
the Gospel of Thomas
the Apocalypse of Paul, etc.,
that had to be considered. You can still
find many of these texts to read. They are interesting but not inspired.
These councils were Catholic Councils with Catholic Bishops in attendance!
There was no organized written New Testament before this time, and the faith was primarily
passed on by word of mouth. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read:
scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Here St. Paul was referring
to the Old Testament of course because the New Testament did not yet exist in written
OK, now to your question. I assume your Presbyterian friend has asked
you and others to pray for her at various times.
Can you see how much better
it is to ask our Brothers and Sisters who are in God's presence in Heaven
to pray for us?
On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Paul's letters can be difficult to grasp and interpret.
St. Athanasius (360 A.D.)
Let us note that the very tradition, teaching, and faith of the Catholic Church from the beginning, which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian. (Four Letters to Serapion of Thmius 1, 28)
Origen (230 A.D.)
"The teaching of the Church has indeed been handed down through an order of succession, from the Apostles, and remains in the Churches even to the present time. That alone is to be believed as truth which is in no way in variance with ecclesiastical and apostolic tradition." (Fundamental Doctrines 1, preface, 2.)
Interested in what other Christians in the Early Church thought, taught, and died for?