By TIM LILLEY
JOURNEY OF FAITH
We celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints annually on Nov. 1. It’s a Sunday this year.
Do you pray to certain saints for their intercession?
In no particular order – but with regularity – I pray to Sts. Mary and Joseph; Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphel, the archangels; and to Sts. Faustina, Kateri, Jude and Timothy.
There was a story in last week’s issue of The Message about the miracle attributed to the intercession of Father Michael McGivney, whom Pope Francis will beatify on Oct. 31. I mention that because the day after All Saints Day we commemorate all the faithful departed, more commonly known as All Souls Day.
Do you pray for intercession to departed loved ones or friends, maybe a priest, nun or religious brother you remain especially fond of? Certainly, those prayers are powerful.
A non-Catholic, Christian friend once asked me why Catholics pray to saints. I responded by asking whether the church they attended had a prayer list of some type – a list that people could access in order to pray for the needs of their fellow Christians. The answer was yes.
I explained that I ask the saints – and the souls of the faithful departed I knew in this life – to add my intentions to their lists. I said that I don’t pray to the saints asking them to work some miracle or bring about something that only God can provide, if it be His will. No; I ask them to pray to God for me and for others still navigating this earthly journey.
How do we conclude the Hail Mary?
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”
We also invoke the intercessory power of all in heaven when we say the prayer that serves as the headline of this column:
“All you holy Angels and Saints, pray for us.”
Scroll through Catholic/Christian social media, and you are very likely to read multiple posts for those who write that they are “calling on all my prayer warriors” to pray for someone or something. To anyone reading this, I encourage you to always member the untold number of prayer warriors you have in heaven. They, too, will pray for you.