Radio Show

Why Do We Need the Intercession of Saints?


A listener calls in with a question of faith: “I was recently in a debate with a Presbyterian friend of mine, and his contention is that if the only way to the Father is through the Son, which is repeated throughout the Bible, then where does the intercession of saints play a role for Catholics? Why do we need that? Why do we pray to Mary? Can you help me with this?”

RELATED: Video: How Does the Catholic Church Declare Someone a Saint?

First, Father Dave recommends that the caller check out a recent Facebook Live event dedicated to the topic of saints, in which this question was among those answered. Then, Father Dave explains:

“We find in Scripture … that Jesus is the only ‘way to the Father,’ the only intercessor and the only intermediary really. All of those times [that this is mentioned in the Bible] refer to salvation, they don’t refer to prayer. … He’s saying, ‘I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. It’s because of my sacrifice on the cross [that you] have access to the Heavenly Father for all of eternity.’ He’s not saying in any of those instances that we can’t pray except by praying directly through Jesus.”

RELATED: Saint Mom: Why Are There So Few Saints Who Were Mothers?  

The caller struggles with the idea of why we need the saints to intercede for us. Father Dave responds: “The answer is: We don’t need them … but they help us to get in touch with God. In the Catholic Church, we believe in ‘sacramentality,’ [meaning] that there are ways in which we encounter God and experience God’s grace that are mediated through much more human experiences. And we take this from the fact that it was God’s idea, not ours, to become Incarnate. … Anything we do is mediated by our humanity.”

Father Dave also delves into a familiar topic on the Busted Halo Show — explaining that evidence for some Catholic practices is not always found directly in the Bible, and how Protestants who believe in a “Sola Scriptura” form of Christianity struggle to understand this. (Original Air 08-24-17)