Statues and Devotions to Saints

Veneration of the saints in the Catholic church is a long time tradition. It is a way of remembering the saints who are our ancestors in faith. It is important that we understand the role of the saints in the Christian tradition. They are what in the letter to Hebrews 12:1-2 refers to as "the cloud of witnesses".

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God."

The saints who have gone before us give faithful disciples of Christ the inspiration and encouragement to continue living the way of Christ in joy, hope and love. Keeping statues and pictures of the saints is a very human way of facilitating remembrance very much like our keeping of mementos and pictures of people we love.

Our prayers of supplication and petition to the saints does not mean we worship them. The saints and our ancestors in faith who have gone before us are members of the church, the Christian community. Thus, in our supplication we are announcing in faith that the community of the saints in heaven are one with us in prayers to God, our Provident Creator. It is also an expression of trust in God especially in our daily needs. In praying with the saints, we pray not for a magical resolution to our needs but we pray in hope and faith. We pray with openness for whatever God wills for us because we believe that everything is in God's hands.

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