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Copyright © 2010, B.F.S. All rights reserved. Newsletter - November, 2010 [Plain text version]

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* Greetings

* MCS News & Notes

* The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

* Holiness Reflections From Popes, Saints & Scripture

* Liturgical Feasts in November

* Saint Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory

* 'Catholic Trivia'

* Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Saints in Heaven Interceding For Those on Earth?

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Dear Friend,

"May the God of peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it." (St. Paul, 1 Thes. 5:23-24)

We send our best wishes to you during this busy month of November. This month starts with All Saints & All Souls, it also offers opportunities for special indulgences, and ends with the Feast of Christ the King (Novus Ordo Calendar) and the beginning of Advent. We hope your upcoming preparations for Christmas will be especially holy and worthily prepare you to joyously celebrate the anniversary of Christ's birth. [Note: See below for information on indulgences and also for resources for Advent]

Thank you for your support as we enter the third year since our 'official unveiling' in 2008. Please know that we pray for the visitors to our site every day.

Best wishes to you for God's blessings,

Your Friends at

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"Four thousand years of expectation preceded that coming [of the Savior], and they are expressed by the four weeks of Advent, which we must spend before we come to the glorious festivity of our Lord's Nativity." (Dom Gueranger)

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MCS News & Notes

* We send warm thanks to all who participated in our Second Annual Rosary Week. Your participation helped make this event a success. Once again this year, we have requested that a Mass be said by the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter for all 'Rosary Week' participants as an expression of our appreciation. For more information please see our notices page at

* Reminder: If you have joined the Purgatory Release Project (PRP) effort, please submit your form to us as soon as possible. For a new form or for more information on the PRP effort, please visit . Thank you for helping the poor souls!

* For information on indulgences available in November, please visit . For additional information on indulgences, please try here

* For Advent resources (including 'Make Your Own Advent Calendar', Advent Prayers, Advent Practices, Reflections, Coloring Pages, etc.), please see [Reminder: Advent begins on 11/28/10]

* Newsletter change: It has come to our attention (thanks to a kind subscriber, initials T.C.) that some may have a problem with the width of our newsletter. We believe the best way to resolve this issue is for us to assign a smaller text size to very long links. This appears to be the simplest fix which allows the newsletter to resize to a narrower width while still allowing us to keep the same format and the large font size (for most of the newsletter). If you have any comments regarding this change, or if you are experiencing any problems with our newsletter, please let us know. You can reply to this e-mail or use the form at . We appreciate your feedback.

* We have joined some referral / incentive programs in order to help support the site. You may be glad to know that ads related to these programs should only appear in sponsored sections of our site (including news pages, blog, and topic pages), in keeping with our policy of allowing third party advertisements only in commercial sections of our site. These programs are an easy & 'free' way to support this site ("free" to users because the other party pays a referral fee or commission on sales). Please consider utilizing these programs to support this site at no additional cost to you. For a list of programs, please visit . Thank you for your support.

* We have added 'tweet' buttons to the site. We hope these buttons may be of interest to 'Twitterers" who may want to 'tweet' about our site. For more information, please go to . Please note that clicking these buttons leaves our site. [Note: We do *not* have an official Twitter account (or Facebook account) for our site.]

* The 'post of the month' page has been updated for 10/10. This month it was chosen from the 'Why I Love Being Catholic' Section and it is titled "A poem". To view the 'post of the month' page, please go to . To submit a post in your choice of hundreds of categories, visit

* Reminder: To help ensure delivery of your newsletter, please put our e-mail addresses (for both our regular newsletter AND our news updates) in your 'trusted senders' list - or use other applicable options your e-mail provider may offer to let them know that our e-mail is wanted. Thank you.

* Please visit the "Notices" page for timely news and other important information regarding -

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The Month of November: Dedicated to the Holy Souls in Purgatory

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"Those are punished for a time in purgatory who die in the state of grace but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins." (Baltimore Catechism)

"Purgatory is a crucible where the dross of sin is burnt away, until every debt is cancelled. When its flames have effaced every stain and every wrinkle that marred the soul's beauty, then she flees away to her Spouse, truly a blessed one and sure of offering no obstacle to the complacent love of her Lord. Yet to what a sad length her exile is prolonged! True, she is united by charity to the inhabitants of heaven: but the fire which torments her is of the same nature as that of hell" (Liturgical Year)

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Related Resources...

* Purgatory (Topic Page) -

* Purgatory Information / Purgatory Release Project -

* Purgatory Reflections -

* Purgatory Apologetics -

* Topical Scripture: Purgatory -

* Indulgences (Topic Page) -

* Prayers For the Dead -

Looking For Something Else? Try Our Various Indexes For 15,000+ Entries -

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"If anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw, the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire (itself) will test the quality of each one's work. If the work stands that someone built upon the foundation, that person will receive a wage. But if someone's work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire." (St. Peter, 1 Cor. 3:12-15) [From DR Footnote: "Divers of the ancient fathers, as well as later interpreters, from these words, prove the Catholic doctrine of a purgatory, that is, that many Christians, who die guilty, not of heinous or mortal sins, but of lesser, and what are called venial sins, or to whom a temporal punishment for the sins they have committed, still remains due, before they can be admitted to a reward in heaven, (into which nothing defiled or unclean can enter) must suffer some punishments for a time, in some place, which is called Purgatory, and in such a manner, as is agreeable to the divine justice, before their reward in heaven."]

"The pains of Purgatory are more grievous than all the pains of this world" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Someone says: 'It is nothing to me to know how long I stay in purgatory, so long as I go on finally to eternal life. Let no one say that, beloved brethren, because that purgatorial fire itself will be more difficult than any punishments that can be seen or imagined or felt in this life." (St. Caesarius of Arles)

"According to the holy Doctors, for every mortal sin a man is obliged by God to seven years of penance in this world, or the equivalent in purgatory; the reason being that every mortal sin is an offense against the seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost." (St. Vincent Ferrer)

"One of the holiest works, one of the best exercises of piety that we can practice in this world is to offer sacrifices, alms, and prayer for the dead." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he souls in Purgatory can be relieved by our prayers, alms-deeds, all our other good works, and by indulgences, but above all by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

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Holiness Reflections From Popes, Saints & Scripture

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Reflections From Popes & Saints...

"To obtain the gift of holiness is the work of a life." (Cardinal Newman)

"Holiness is the one only thing, when life is ended, that can be called a true gain" (Liturgical Year)

"Holiness is simply to do God's will, always and everywhere." (St. Vincent Pallotti)

"Suffering is a necessary ingredient of holiness. Love is like it." (Pope John Paul II)

"Live a holy life and you will be praising God with your whole life." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"A man is of very little worth who though excelling in dignity, excels not in knowledge and holiness." (Pope St. Symmachus)

"There is, in fact, such a necessary link between holiness and prayer that the one cannot exist without the other." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

"Holiness once possessed can be lost." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")  

"All of us can attain to Christian virtue and holiness, no matter in what condition of life we live and no matter what our life work may be." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

"Do not forget that holiness consists not in extraordinary actions, but in performing your duties towards God, yourself and others well." (St. Maximilian Kolbe)

"A sure way for a Christian to grow rapidly in holiness is a conscientious effort to carry out God's will in all circumstances and at all times." (St. Vincent de Paul)

"[I]f we are not called to an extraordinary personal perfection, nevertheless we can attain holiness by sanctifying the actions of everyday life." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"[H]oliness of life is not the privilege of a select few. All are called by God to a state of sanctity and all are obliged to try to attain it." (Pope Pius XI, "Rerum Omnium Perturbationem", 1923)

"And the proof of holiness is not to work miracles, but to love our neighbor as ourselves, to think truly of God, and of our neighbor better than of ourselves." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"Those who imagine they can attain to holiness by any wisdom or strength of their own will find themselves after many labors, and struggles, and weary efforts, only the farther from possessing it, and this in proportion to their certainty that they themselves have gained it." (St. John of Avila)

"Holiness begins from Christ; and Christ is its cause. For no act conducive to salvation can be performed unless it proceeds from Him as from its supernatural source." (Pope Pius XII, "Mystici Corporis Christi", 1943)

"[I]t is well to recall how, from the beginning of Christianity, all who have been renowned for holiness of life and sacred learning have given their deep and constant attention to Holy Scripture." (Pope Leo XIII, "Providentissimus Deus", 1893)

"For holiness is, a proper observance of our duty towards God, righteousness of our duty towards man; as, for example, when a man devoutly performs the Divine commands, and lives honorably among his fellow men." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Since, as everyone realizes, holiness of life is the fruit of the exercise of the will inasmuch as it is strengthened by the aid of divine grace, God has made abundant provision lest we should at any time lack the gift of grace, if we desire it. We can obtain it, in the first place, by constant prayer." (Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo", 1908)

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Reflections From Scripture...

"Your decrees are firmly established; holiness belongs to your house, LORD, for all the length of days." (Ps. 93:5/92:5)

"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of flesh and spirit, making holiness perfect in the fear of God." (St. Paul, 2 Cor. 7:1)

"...Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." (Eph. 5:25-27)

"This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God; not to take advantage of or exploit a brother in this matter, for the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you before and solemnly affirmed. For God did not call us to impurity but to holiness. Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who (also) gives his Holy Spirit to you." (St. Paul, 1 Thes. 4:3-8)

"Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (St. Paul, Heb. 12:14)

"Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is written, 'Be holy because I (am) holy.'" (St. Peter, 1 Pt. 1:13-16)

"Since everything is to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought (you) to be, conducting yourselves in holiness and devotion, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames and the elements melted by fire. But according to his promise we await new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you await these things, be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace." (St. Peter, 2 Pt. 3:11-14)

"Then he said to me, 'Do not seal up the prophetic words of this book, for the appointed time is near. Let the wicked still act wickedly, and the filthy still be filthy. The righteous must still do right, and the holy still be holy.' 'Behold, I am coming soon. I bring with me the recompense I will give to each according to his deeds.'" (Rv. 22:10-12)

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For More Try...

Holiness Reflections -

Increase Holiness Section -

Topical Scripture: Holy / Holiness -

Spiritual Growth (Topic Page) -

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Liturgical Feasts in November

The following is a listing of all liturgical feast dates for November as they appear at

Note: (T) = Traditional, (N) = New (Novus Ordo)

Reminder: Feasts may be superseded / transferred / etc.

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November 1 - All Saints (T)

November 1 - All Saints (N)

November 2 - All Souls (T)

November 2 - All Souls (N)

November 3 - St. Martin de Porres (N)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (T)

November 4 - Sts. Vitalis & Agricola (T)

November 4 - St. Charles Borromeo (N)

November 5 - Feast of Holy Relics (T)

November 6 - St. Leonard (T)

November 8 - Four Holy Crowned Martyrs (T)

November 9 - Dedication of the Basilica of Saint Saviour (T)

November 9 - St. Theodore the Recruit (T)

November 9 - Dedication of St. John Lateran (Lateran Basilica in Rome) (N)

November 10 - St. Andrew Avellino (T)

November 10 - Sts. Tryphon, Respicius & Nympha (T)

November 10 - St. Leo the Great, pope (N)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (T)

November 11 - St. Mennas (T)

November 11 - St. Martin of Tours (N)

November 12 - St. Martin I, pope (T)

November 12 - St. Josaphat (N)

November 13 - St. Didacus (T)

November 13 - St. Frances Xavier Cabrini (N)

November 14 - St. Josaphat (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (T)

November 15 - St. Albert the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Gertrude (T)

November 16 - St. Gertrude the Great (N)

November 16 - St. Margaret of Scotland (N)

November 17 - St. Gregory Thaumaturgus (T)

November 17 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (N)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul (T)

November 18 - Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul, apostles (N)

November 19 - St. Elizabeth of Hungary (T)

November 19 - St. Pontianus, pope (T)

November 20 - St. Felix of Valois (T)

November 21 - Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (T)

November 21 - The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (N)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (T)

November 22 - St. Cecilia (N)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (T)

November 23 - St. Felicitas (T)

November 23 - St. Clement I, pope (N)

November 23 - St. Columban (N)

November 24 - St. Chrysogonus (T)

November 24 - St. John of the Cross (T)

November 24 - St. Andrew Dung-Lac & companions (N)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (T)

November 25 - St. Catherine of Alexandria (N)

November 26 - St. Peter of Alexandria (T)

November 26 - St. Sylvester (T)

November 27 - Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (T)

November 27 - St. Virgilius (T)

November 29 - St. Saturninus (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (T)

November 30 - St. Andrew, apostle (N)

Please Note: Above may exclude moveable feasts. For moveable feasts, see below and try here: . For other feasts, try the MCS Daily Digest each day at

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11/21/10 - Feast of the Kingship of Our Lord Jesus Christ (N)

11/28/10 - First Sunday in Advent (T/N)

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Saint Catherine of Genoa on Purgatory

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The following excerpts are taken from St. Catherine of Genoa's Treatise on Purgatory. We have made some spelling, capitalization and punctuation changes, shortened items, combined paragraphs, and omitted footnotes.

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The Joy of the Souls in Purgatory

I do not believe it would be possible to find any joy comparable to that of a soul in purgatory, except the joy of the blessed in paradise - a joy which goes on increasing day by day, as God more and more flows in upon the soul, which He does abundantly in proportion as every hindrance to His entrance is consumed away. The hindrance is the rust of sin; the fire consumes the rust, and thus the soul goes on laying itself open to the Divine inflowing. It is as with a covered object. The object cannot respond to the rays of the sun, not because the sun ceases to shine - for it shines without intermission - but because the covering intervenes. Let the covering be destroyed, again the object will be exposed to the sun, and will answer to the rays which beat against it in proportion as the work of destruction advances. Thus the souls are covered by a rust - that is, sin - which is gradually consumed away by the fire of purgatory; the more it is consumed, the more they respond to God their true Sun; their happiness increases as the rust falls off, and lays them open to the Divine ray; and so their happiness grows greater as the impediment grows less, till the time is accomplished. The pain, however, does not diminish, but only the time of remaining in that pain. As far as their will is concerned, these souls cannot acknowledge the pain as such, so completely are they satisfied with ordinance of God, so entirely is their will one with it in pure charity. On the other hand, they suffer a torment so extreme, that no tongue could describe it, no intellect could form the least idea of it, if God had not made it known by special grace; which idea, however, God's grace has shown my soul; but I cannot find words to express it with my tongue, yet the sight of it has never left my mind.

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The Union of Suffering and Joy in Purgatory

Know that what man deems perfection is in the sight of God a defect. All the things which have the appearance of perfection, so far as they come before the sight, the feeling, the understanding, the memory, or the will, are tainted and spoilt if not recognized as from God. For a work to be perfect, it must be wrought in us, without our co-operation as principal agents; it must be God's work, done in God, and man must not in any way take the lead. Such precisely is that operation of His pure and simple love which God finally works in us, without any merit of our own; wherein He so penetrates and burns the soul, that the surrounding body is consumed away, and can no more hold up, than one could remain alive and rest patiently amid the flames of a burning fiery furnace. It is true that the overflowing love of God bestows upon the souls in purgatory a happiness beyond expression great: but then this happiness does not in the least diminish the pain - rather the pain is constituted by this love finding itself impeded; the more perfect the love of which God makes the soul capable, the greater the pain. In this manner the souls in purgatory at the same time experience the greatest happiness and the most excessive pain; and one does not prevent the other.

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How the Souls in Purgatory Rebuke the Men of This World 

"Would that I could cry out" (said this blessed soul, when under Divine illumination she saw these things), "loud enough to strike with fear every man upon the earth, and say, Miserable beings, why suffer ye yourselves to be so blinded by this world as to make no provision for the dire strait ye will find yourselves in at the hour of death? Ye all shelter yourselves under the hope of God's mercy, which ye say is so great; and ye consider not that this very goodness of God will rise up in judgment against you for having opposed the will of so good a Master: His mercy ought to constrain you to do all His Will, and not encourage you to do evil. Be assured that His justice cannot yield, but must in one way or other be fully satisfied. Let no one buoy himself up saying, 'I shall confess; and then I shall receive a plenary indulgence, whereby I shall be cleansed from all my sins and get through safely.' Know that a plenary indulgence requires confession and contrition; and this latter is so difficult to obtain, that if ye knew how difficult, ye would tremble with fear, and rather make sure of not gaining than of gaining the indulgence."

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Pray for the holy souls!

"To assist the souls in Purgatory is to perform the most excellent of the works of mercy, or rather it is to practice in a sublime manner all the works of mercy together: it is to visit the sick; it is to give drink to those who thirst for the vision of God; it is to feed the hungry, to ransom prisoners, to clothe the naked, to procure for poor exiles the hospitality of the Heavenly Jerusalem; it is to comfort the afflicted, to instruct the ignorant - in fine, to practice all works of mercy in one." (St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church)

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'Catholic Trivia'

1. Complete the sentence: "If anyone holds to a single heresy, he is not _____"

2. Who said the following? "In addition, let the poor and all the wretched recall their great debt to the Catholic religion which keeps the teaching of Christ unspoiled and preaches it publicly. For He proclaimed that whatever benefits are conferred on the poor and wretched are likewise conferred on Himself. Furthermore, He wishes that all be informed of the special account He will take of these works of mercy on the Day of Judgment; that is, He will give the gift of eternal life to the faithful who engaged in works of mercy, and He will punish with eternal fire those who neglected them."

3. What is a creed?

4. In the traditional liturgical calendar, what are the six degrees of feasts?

5. Complete the sentence: "Have just men for your table companions; ________ be your glory."

6. What does ábsit mean?

7. Do no evil and what?

8. What is a "black fast"?

9. Who said the following? "All would wish to be saved and to enjoy the glory of Paradise; but to gain Heaven it is necessary to walk in the straight road that leads to eternal bliss. This road is the observance of the divine commands."

10. What does in perículo mórtis mean? What does in artículo mórtis mean?



1. "If anyone holds to a single heresy, he is not a Catholic." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

2. Pope Pius IX

3. "A creed is a summary of list of the chief truths we believe or profess to believe. It is a compendium of doctrine." (Baltimore Catechism)

4. Doubles of the first class, doubles of the second class, greater-doubles, ordinary doubles, semi-doubles, and simples.

5. "Have just men for your table companions; in the fear of God be your glory." (Sirach 9:16) 

6. Latin for "God forbid"

7. "Do no evil, and evil will not overtake you" (Sirach 7:1)

8. A very strict fast (e.g. limited to one evening meal, limited to bread, vegetables, salt, and water)

9. St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church

10. Latin for "in danger of death" (in perículo mórtis), "at the moment of death" (in artículo mórtis) 


For more information concerning the topics above, try our General A-Z Index at

Like trivia? You might enjoy our crossword puzzles located at

You might also be interested in the Q & A and historical information which may be found each day on the MCS Daily Digest at

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Defending the Faith: "Apologetics Brief" - Do You Reject the Concept of Saints in Heaven Interceding For Those on Earth?

It is good for Catholics to be able to defend their faith against attacks (or even simple questions) from those outside the Church. We therefore hope you may find the following "apologetics brief" helpful.

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Note: Text below is taken from

The following may be used as discussion points when discoursing with those outside the Church (or even among Catholics).

Topic: Do You Reject the Concept of Saints in Heaven Interceding For Those on Earth? (Note: Topic is directed at Protestants)


* Do you reject the concept of saints in heaven interceding for those on earth because they are "dead" and can therefore not help you? How, then, can you explain the following...?

* Christ's parable recounts the attempted intercession by a (condemned!) departed man for his brothers (see Lk. 16:27-31)

* Jesus conversed with Moses & Elijah even though they were "dead" (see Mt. 17:3, Mk. 9:4, Lk. 9:30)

* He is not God of the dead, but of the living (see Mk. 12:26-27)

* All are alive to God (see Lk. 20:38)

* Scripture recounts the intercession of the deceased Onias & Jeremiah (see 2 Macc. 15:11-16)

* Martyrs are shown alive in heaven, and even await the avenging of their blood (it is clear, therefore, that they know what is transpiring on earth) [see Rv. 6:9-11, Rv. 20:4]

* Elders before the Lamb (Christ) have the prayers of the saints / An angel presents prayers of the saints to God (see Rv. 5:8, Rv. 8:3-4)

* Do you argue that there is one mediator between God and man (1 Tm. 2:5)? Have you never noticed that in the very same passage St. Paul asks for intercessory prayers (see 1 Tm. 2:1)? Do you also ignore the fact that New Testament repeatedly speaks of intercessory prayer (e.g. Acts 12:1-7, Rom. 15:30-32, Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4, 2 Thes. 3:1-2, 1 Jn. 5:16)? In fact, Christ's first recorded miracle was performed upon the intercession of his mother, even though His hour "had not yet come" (see Jn. 2:1-11). In the Old Testament, we see also that Moses interceded for people - and his powerful intercession even saved their lives! Not to mention all the other cases of intercession recounted in the bible...

* Do you reject the concept of praying to the saints because you prefer to go to God alone? Consider these words of St. Thomas More...

"You say you see no reason why we should pray to the saints since God can hear us and help us just as well, and will do so gladly, as any saint in heaven. Well, then, what need, I ask, do you have to ask any physician to help your fever, or to ask and pay any surgeon to heal your sore leg? For God can both hear you and help you as well as the best of doctors, He loves you more than they do, and He can help you sooner." 

 Also consider...

"Should it be said, as some say, that the patronage of the Saints is unnecessary, because God hears our prayers without the intervention of a mediator, this impious assertion is easily met by the observation of St. Augustine: There are many things which God does not grant without a mediator and intercessor. This is confirmed by the well-known examples of Abimelech and the friends of Job who were pardoned only through the prayers of Abraham and of Job." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

Further, remember that "Scripture often shows favors being granted by God upon the request of another person." Even the great St. Paul didn't always "go to God directly", but rather frequently asked for the prayers of others (Rom. 15:30-32, Eph. 6:18-20, Col. 4:2-4, 2 Thes. 3:1-2, 1 Tm. 2:1-6).

* Have you forgotten that Scripture says that "the fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful" (Jms. 5:16)? That Christ's followers are members of one body (Eph. 5:30) and are bound to love each other (Jn. 15:12.)? That they are bound to intercede for brothers through prayer (e.g. 1 Jn. 5:16)? Do you imagine that the saints are no longer part of this body [even though Scripture says that nothing can separate them from Christ (see Rom. 8:35-39)]? Do you imagine that they no longer love their brothers and sisters on earth?

* Do you reject the Catholic Church's teaching regarding the saints' intercession because you believe they cannot hear prayers? Do you deny that God can enable them to hear prayers? Do you deny Scriptural evidence that those in heaven know what is occurring on earth (e.g. see Lk. 15:7-10, Rv. 6:9-11)? Have you considered that the angels present prayers to God (see Tobit 12:12, Rv. 8:3-4)? Perhaps you are troubled because you think the Catholic Church teaches that they have power on their own to hear prayers? This is not the case. Rather, the Church teaches the ability to "partake in the affairs of the living" may only occur through divine power.

* How can you deny the fact that throughout the Church's 2,000 year history, the saints have been associated with countless miracles of all types? Clearly, the saints have proven time and again that they are powerful intercessors with Christ!

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"Considering that when the saints lived in this world they were at liberty to roam the earth, do you really think that in heaven God would have them tied to a post?" (St. Thomas More)

"Those whom we have seen bark like dogs, and who were seized with frenzy, and are now come to their senses, prove by their cure how effectual the intercession of martyrs is." (St. Asterius)

"If Saint Paul exhorts us to pray for one another, and we gladly think it right to ask every poor man to pray for us, should we think it evil to ask the holy saints in heaven to do the same?" (St. Thomas More)

"But if the Apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?" (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, c. 406 A.D.)

"True, there is but one Mediator, Christ the Lord, who alone has reconciled us to the heavenly Father though His blood, and who, having obtained eternal redemption, and having entered once into the holies, ceases not to intercede for us. But it by no means follows that it is therefore unlawful to have recourse to the intercession of the Saints. If, because we have one Mediator Jesus Christ, it were unlawful to ask the intercession of the Saints, the Apostle would never have recommended himself with so much earnestness to the prayers of his brethren on earth. For the prayers of the living would lessen the glory of Christ's Mediatorship not less than the intercession of the Saints in heaven." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"But who would not be convinced of the honor due the Saints and of the help they give us by the wonders wrought at their tombs? Diseased eyes, hands, and other members are restored to health; the dead are raised to life, and demons are expelled from the bodies of men! These are facts which St. Ambrose and St. Augustine, most unexceptionable witnesses, declare in their writings, not that they heard, as many did, nor that they read, as did many very reliable men, but that they saw. But why multiply proofs? If the clothes, the handkerchiefs, and even the very shadows of the Saints, while yet on earth, banished disease and restored health, who will have the hardihood to deny that God can still work the same wonders by the holy ashes, the bones and other relics of the Saints? Of this we have a proof in the restoration to life of the dead body which was accidentally let down into the grave of Eliseus, and which, on touching the body (of the Prophet), was instantly restored to life (see 2 Kgs. 13:20-21)." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

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For more apologetics resources, please visit

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In Closing...

"It is God's will that the saints should be our protectors and our friends...They are always ready to come to our aid when we call upon them" (St. John Vianney)

"Christians who wish to escape the rigors of Purgatory must love the mortification of their Divine Master, and beware of being delicate members under a Head crowned with thorns." (Fr. Schouppe)

"Those who seek to perfect themselves in every aspect of virtue should look to the lives of the saints, which are like living and breathing works of art, and thus by imitation try to reproduce their virtues in their own life." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"Suffrages for the dead are more agreeable to God than suffrages for the living; because the former stand in more need thereof, not being able to assist themselves, as are the living." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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