St. John of Kronstadt on Praying to Saints

St. John of Kronstadt 1828-1908

Lutherans say: “Why should we ask the prayers of the saints for ourselves? We pray to God Himself.” But they contradict themselves, for why do they ask a pastor to pray for them? They might as well pray without a pastor if everyone has equal access to God and we have no need of any sanctified suppliants. What blindness! They say that by praying to the saints we worship idols. This is untrue. We do not pray to any saints as we pray to God, we only ask his prayers for ourselves. Is there a shadow of idolatry in this? In the same manner as we ask God’s living ministers and suppliants to pray to Him for us, so likewise we ask the heavenly suppliants, who, from their love to God, have great boldness before Him; besides this, very many of them, even when they lived here on earth, were already suppliants and intercessors before God for the world; there, in heaven, this activity of theirs is only continued, has attained greater dimensions, and is especially powerful, because it is no longer hindered by the heavy and inert flesh. (On Prayer: Extracts from His Writings: IX. 99)

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