Why do Catholics pray to Saints and Mary? Shouldn't you just pray to God?

Catholics do not pray to the Saints and Mary as if they are in some ways demi-gods.   Instead, what we do is ask the Saints and Mary to pray for us, as if one would ask a friend to pray for us.   Our belief is that since the Saints and Mary are alive in Christ and in Heaven (like Lazarus in the bosom of Abraham (Luke 16:19-31)), their prayers for us would be most helpful.   Our prayers to Saints and to Mary are petitions for them to pray for us, as in the Hail Mary: "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners!"  

- Deacon George Kozak (6/01)

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