Select language


Divine Call

Is it wrong to intercede to saints?

By Fr. Joseph Edattu VC

The Catholic Church has been following the tradition of interceding to saints even from the first century. Not only Catholics, but also the Eastern Orthodox, and some Anglicans follow this tradition.

It was in the 16th century with the Protestant Revival that many began to question this tradition. Intercessory prayers to Mother Mary and other martyr saints were discovered in the Roman catacombs in the 2nd and 3rd centuries.

This never caused any discord or controversies among those in the first Christian community. If the Church reacted to these actions with the spirit of unity, that in itself is evident that this was guided by the Holy Spirit.

Can saints in heaven hear our prayer?

Heavenly saints cannot hear what we say, some argue. But in Rev 5:8 and Rev 8:3 & 4, it is said that Heavenly saints are praying for those suffering on this earth with prayers and by offering  incense. That means, heavenly saints are interceding for us continuously.

The Word of God assures us that earthly saints can communicate to heavenly saints – Jesus himself did that. When Jesus permitted Peter, John and James to be witnesses to this (Mathew 19:3 – “And behold, there appeared to them, Moses and Elijah, talking to Jesus…”) He was proving that such a thing was possible.

In Acts 9:40, Peter knelt down and prayed, then turning said, “Tabitha, rise”.  And she opened her eyes. And when she saw Peter, she sat up”. One point needs to be noted here. Peter did not ask Jesus to raise the dead woman, but being filled with the Spirit of Jesus, he commanded the dead woman and asked her to return.

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man demonstrates that the rich man is aware of the plight of his younger brothers still living on the earth and he is concerned for them and praying for them.

However, summoning a dead spirit (necromancy )to predict  the future and to solve daily problems, is banned by the church.

People on heaven and earth are not two separate bodies, but ONE body of Christ

(1 Cor 12:27) “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”. If this was a reference only to those who are on this earth, we could think that those in heaven are not part of His body. But to Jesus, those who are dead too are still alive. Therefore His body contains those who are saints on earth as well as in heaven. If all of us are part of His body, why can’t we help each other? And why can’t we ask help from other members of the same body who have already achieved that perfection?

In 1 Cor 12:20-25, it states, “ As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” It does not make sense to say that we who are parts of the same body of Christ, can seek prayer help from each other on this earth, but cannot demand the same from those who constitute the same body - in heaven.

On the contrary, the parts of the body which seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and those parts of the body which we think less honourable we invest with the greater honour, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so adjusted the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior part, 25 that there may be no discord in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another (1 Cor 12: 22- 26) Christ wants members of His body to support each other. That is why He stated that there will be “Great rejoicing in heaven when one sinner reconciles” (Luke 15:7)

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together (1 Cor 12: 26)

Christ’s body, which is constituted by the rich and the poor, the well and the weak - is one. The stronger ones may not need the weak, but still share their strengths and form the backbone for the weaker members. The perfect blend of supportive strength and mutual care that complements each other - is what God desires of us. The stronger members of His body in heaven, strengthen us, the weaker Christians on earth.

Are the souls in heaven alive?

The Catholic Church believes that just like how we request for prayers from saints who are alive, we can ask the same of the saints who are in heaven; as they are both alive to God. “He is God not of the dead, but of the living, but to Him, all of the are alive” (Luke 20:38)

“The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16)

The ones in heaven are far more righteous than those on the earth. Hence, wouldn’t their prayers be more effective and powerful?

Those who are in God can see what God sees

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8)  “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then we will see face to face…” (1 Cor 13:12)

“Beloved, we are God’s children now. What we will be has not yet been revealed, when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:2)

The Word assures us that we shall be ‘like Him’, which means that we will see as He sees, we will love as He loves and we will intercede like how He intercedes for us in front of the Father (Rom 8:4) Hence, these heavenly saints are able to see the pain of the earthly saints, reflected on the face of Jesus.

Those who are dead in Christ are like angels

“Indeed, they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection” (Luke 20:36) Jesus taught us that the dead are like angels. Hence, we can assume that these saints have many of the characteristics of angels. Angels are capable of strengthening those on this earth. As it says in Luke 22:43, And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him”. If so, why cant these angelic saints strengthen those of us on this earth?

In Tobit 12:12, angel Raphael says to Tobit, “So now when you and Sarah prayed, it was I who brought and read[a] the record of your prayer before the glory of the Lord”. If angels are carrying our prayers to heaven, then shouldn’t the saints, who are LIKE angels, and in the presence of God, be carrying our prayers to Him?

Rev 6:9 & 10 states, “ When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”

This confirms that those in heaven are interceding for the persecuted and the suffering, on this earth.

If we concede that praying to saints is wrong, then we have to deny the blessings and miracles that we received through the intercession of saints, in the last 2000 years. Moreover, famous Marian pilgrimage centres such as Lourdes, Guadalupe, Medjugorje, Vailankanni and Fatima, should be shut down. Scrutinise and check if this would help the body of Christ - to grow or to die. No Protestant has so far, been able to bring forward a logical challenge good enough for that. At present, the body of Christ is growing by leaps – and weaker members are being strengthened through these centres. So, we can conclude that the intercession to saints in fact, strengthens and not weakens, the body of Christ. Therefore, this devotion is from God.

Why did it have to be?
Divine Retreat - Divine Call Archive Written by Linda Joseph    Monday, 31 July 2017 08:42

Why did it have to be? - By Linda Joseph Kavalackal

Last Updated on Monday, 31 July 2017 08:59
We have something special in store for us
Divine Retreat - Divine Call Archive Written by Administrator    Monday, 13 August 2012 05:49

We have something special in store for us - By Fr. Michael Payyapilly VC

Last Updated on Monday, 08 October 2012 05:53
How to treat sacred objects and relics
Divine Retreat - Divine Call Archive Written by Administrator    Friday, 25 May 2012 09:58

How to treat sacred objects and relics - By Fr. Joseph Edattu VC

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:06
Team Jesus - Think and live positive
Divine Retreat - Divine Call Archive Written by Administrator    Thursday, 22 September 2011 05:26

Team Jesus - Think and live positive - By Linda Joseph Kavalackal

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 15:02


Divine Updates


Divine comes to Chennai with the 'Magnificat', on November 16, 2019. Fr Augustine Vallooran will lead the services. With special sessions for children.

Venue: Stella Maris College, Cathedral Road

MAGNIFICAT in Bangalore

Celebrate an evening with our Lord in Bangalore, at the 'Magnificat' on November 9, 2019. Services to be led by Fr Jacob Arimpur. All are welcome.

Venue: St. Joseph's Boys' School Chapel, Museum Road, Bangalore

Retreats in Divine Retreat Centre, UK

Divine Retreat Centre, Ramsgate UK, is holding several English and Malayalam language retreats - led by Fr. George Panackal VC and Fr. Joseph Edattu VC. All are welcome.

Dates: Jan - Dec, 2019

Inner Healing Retreat for Priests & Religious

Divine Retreat Centre is organising a retreat for priests and religious - to be held in November, 2019. Please spread the word. Prior registration is not required.

Date: Nov 24 - 29, 2019

Hindi Convention Ojas 2020

The Divine Retreat Centre will conduct our 10th annual Hindi convention, in 2020. Two retreats will be held simultaneously on the campus; one for adults and another for couples and youth. All are welcome.

Date: May 31 - June 5, 2020

Retreats at the Divine Retreat Centre, Sydney

Divine Retreat Centre, Somersby to hold retreats throughout 2019. For bookings, email Fr Roni George, Director - or Hurry, as admission is limited.

Date: January 2019 - December, 2019

Divine Retreat Schedules


English retreats are held every week from Sunday to Friday. Special retreats are conducted for priests, religious and laity as well. Come and experience the Lord and grow in Him.


Inner healing retreats, growth retreats, couples' retreats and youth retreats in Malayalam, are led by Vincentian priests.


Retreats in Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Hindi and Telugu

Every week, retreats are held in five different regional languages of India, apart from in the local language - Malayalam. The retreats are led by Vincentian priests and supported by powerfully anointed laity of God.

Monthly Reflection by
Fr. Augustine Vallooran VC

I was reminded of a challenge Jesus offers us - the challenge of loving others. The lowest level in our relationship with others is to love those who love us and keep away from those who don’t care for us.

Today, we pray for those who have caused us harm

Lord Jesus, today we bring to You each and every person who has broken our hearts, injured us physically or emotionally or hurt our dear ones. Lord, we make a decision to forgive. Please take hold of the pieces of our shattered hearts and make them whole again. Pour forth Your Spirit and give us the healing we need so badly. Wipe our tears tonight, when we are totally alone in this pain. Amen.

Divine Call

The one who speaks face to face

By Fr John Puthenpurackal VC

Is it wrong to intercede to saints

By Fr Joseph Edattu VC

We run purely on your contributions.

We invite you to donate and spread the Good News to millions
Read more about it
Facebook Twitter Blog 
Online Poll
Do you have the habit of tithing regularly?
News Around The World

Papal Message

Copyright © Divine Retreat Centre, All Rights Reserved
Web design and maintenance by Preigo Fover Technologies