Catholic Pocket Dictionary – Intercession and Invocation of Saints


The Council of Trent teaches that “the saints reigning with Christ offer their prayers for men to God; that it is good and useful to call upon them with supplication, and, in order to obtain benefits from God through Jesus Christ, who alone is our Redeemer and Savior, to have recourse to their prayers, help, and aid.” The prayer which we may address to the saints is of course wholly different from that which we offer to God or Christ. “We pray God,” says the Roman Catechism, “Himself to give good or free us from evil things; we ask the saints, because they enjoy God’s favor, to undertake our patronage and obtain from God the things we need. Hence we employ two forms of prayer, differing in the mode, for to God we say properly, Have mercy on us, Hear us; to the saints, Pray for us.” Or, if we ask the Blessed Virgin or the saints to have pity on us we only beseech them to think of our misery, and to help us “by their favor with God and their intercession”; and “the greatest care must be taken by all not to attribute what belongs to God to any other.” Two points, then, are involved in the Catholic doctrine the intercession of the saints and the utility of invoking them.

MLA Citation

  • Father James J McGovern. “Intercession and Invocation of Saints”. Catholic Pocket Dictionary, 1906. CatholicSaints.Info. 5 November 2019. Web. 2 March 2021. <>