Hi, Michael —
Thanks for the question.
Catholics pray to Mary, or to be
more scriptural, pray to the Blessed
Mother (Luke 1:48) because of her
primary importance in cooperating
with Her Divine Son, Jesus. No matter
what other saint a Christian may
have a devotion to, no saint can
do what our Blessed Mother did:
Say yes, to becoming the bearer
of the Divine Child Jesus who
would save mankind from their
Mary's Yes, allowed God the Father's
Son to become incarnated in Mary's
In line with the Father's plan, this
couldn't have been done without Mary's, Yes. (Luke 1:38)
- Could the Father have choose
a different way. <Sure!>
- Did He?<No.>
In the same way the Ten Commandments
were in the Immaculate Ark of the
Covenant, so too,
Our Lord Jesus was
in the (Immaculate|sinless) body
of Mary, His mother.
- Again, Could the Father have
choose a different way. <Sure!>
- Did He? <No.>
Because of her Immaculate body and
soul and how she cooperated with
Our Lord in the Father's plan of
salvation, many Catholics look to
Mary first when they need help in
- Is this required? <No.>
- Can they ask the Lord for help?
- Can the ask another saint for
- Can they can all three for help.
Because we have a family relationship
with each other in the Church, whether
they are members in Heaven (the Church
Triumphant), in Purgatory (the Church
Suffering), burning off remaining
self-love before entering the bliss of Heaven, or on earth, (the Church
As a cradle Catholic,
it stumps me how our separated brethren
can perceive their loved ones as
dead after they have passed away.
Many will say,
- Why do Catholics
pray to a dead person?
Lord says in Scripture,
He [God] is
not God of the dead, but of the living;
for all live to him.
I think part of the confusion stems
from sermons or eulogies
given by clergy and parishioners
after a person has passed away. Catholics
- Pray for the dead
- the word dead will come up
in a sermon or eulogy, and
- priests will say they will offer a Mass for the dead
The use of the dead, in this
context, should be understood in
contrast to those living — those listening to this sermon or
eulogy while still on their Earthly pilgrimage.
The dead are more alive than anyone on the
face of the earth and because their
souls have been purified or are being
purified, they can and want to help
To clarify this misperception within the Church I would encourage pastors, priests, deacons, and seminarians to use the word faithfully departed instead of the dead. We should always ask the faithfully departed to pray for us and have Masses said for them. All we have to do is ask!
with, talk, and ask my temporal
father, Stephen, who
passed away three years ago, to pray for me on a regular
Hope this answers your question.