Pope Francis implores his followers to pray to the dead for intercession

The misogynist Augustine prayed to the dead


Pope Francis urged his followers to pray to the dead for intercession today:

June 21, 2017

Here is the Vatican-provided English-language summary of the Pope’s address at the General Audience this morning:



Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now look to the saints, to “those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith”. The Letter to the Hebrews speaks of the saints as “a great cloud of witnesses” who support us on our pilgrim way through this present life. In the sacraments of baptism, marriage and ordination, we pray the Litany of the Saints to implore their intercession and help in the particular vocation we have received. The lives of the saints remind us that the Christian ideal is not unattainable. Despite our human weakness, we can always count on God’s grace and the prayers of the saints to sustain us in faith and in hope for the transfiguration of this world and the fulfilment of Christ’s promises in the next. https://zenit.org/articles/general-audience-pope-saints-support-us-in-our-lives/

Did early Christians believe that they should pray to the dead for intercession for their lives, salvation, or vocations?


Here is some of what The Catholic Encyclopedia reports about this:

The Communion of Saints

(communo sanctorum, a fellowship of, or with, the saints).

The doctrine expressed in the second clause of the ninth article in the received text of the Apostles’ Creed: “I believe . . . the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints”. This, probably the latest, addition to the old Roman Symbol is found in:

  • the Gallican Liturgy of the seventh century (P.L., LXXII, 349, 597);
  • in some letters of the Pseudo-Augustine (P.L., XXXIX, 2189, 2191, 2194), now credited to St. Caesarius of Arles (c. 543);
  • in the “De Spiritu Sancto” (P.L., LXII, 11), ascribed to Faustus of Riez (c. 460);
  • in the “Explanatio Symboli” (P.L., LII, 871) of Nicetas of Remesiana (c. 400); and
  • in two documents of uncertain date, the “Fides Hieronymi”, and an Armenian confession. …

The communion of saints is the spiritual solidarity which binds together the faithful on earth, the souls in purgatory, and the saints in heaven in the organic unity of the same mystical body under Christ its head, and in a constant interchange of supernatural offices. The participants in that solidarity are called saints by reason of their destination and of their partaking of the fruits of the Redemption (1 Corinthians 1:2 — Greek Text). The damned are thus excluded from the communion of saints. The living, even if they do not belong to the body of the true Church, share in it according to the measure of their union with Christ and with the soul of the Church. St. Thomas teaches (III:8:4) that the angels, though not redeemed, enter the communion of saints because they come under Christ’s power and receive of His gratia capitis. The solidarity itself implies a variety of inter-relations: within the Church Militant, not only the participation in the same faith, sacraments, and government, but also a mutual exchange of examples, prayers, merits, and satisfactions; between the Church on earth on the one hand, and purgatory and heaven on the other, suffrages, invocation, intercession, veneration. These connotations belong here only in so far as they integrate the transcendent idea of spiritual solidarity between all the children of God. Thus understood, the communion of saints, though formally defined only in its particular bearings (Council of Trent, Sess. XXV, decrees on purgatory; on the invocation, veneration, and relics of saints and of sacred images; on indulgences), is, nevertheless, dogma commonly taught and accepted in the Church. …

But the complete presentation of the dogma comes from the later Fathers. After the statements of Tertullian, speaking of “common hope, fear, joy, sorrow, and suffering” (On Penance 9-10); of St. Cyprian, explicitly setting forth the communion of merits (De lapsis 17); of St. Hilary, giving the Eucharistic Communion as a means and symbol of the communion of saints (in Psalm 64:14), we come to the teaching of Ambrose and St. Augustine. (Sollier, Joseph. “The Communion of Saints.” The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 4. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1908)

So, from the above we see that the late second century writer Tertullian may have hinted about it, but that the earliest clear reference comes from Cyprian (who was a Greco-Roman bishop of Carthage in the mid-3rd century). Augustine promoted it.

Thus, this ‘dogma’ was not an original Christian practice.

What about praying for intercession?

Notice what even a Roman Catholic approved translation of the Bible, the Douay-Rheims, teaches:

5 For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus: (1 Timothy 2:5, DRB)

34 Who is he that shall condemn? Christ Jesus that died, yea that is risen also again; who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Romans 8:34, DRB)

The only mediator in the Christian religion is supposed to be Jesus the Christ.

Notice something from the New Jerusalem Bible (another Roman Catholic approved translation):

10 It was Yahweh’s good pleasure to crush him with pain; if he gives his life as a sin offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his life, and through him Yahweh’s good pleasure will be done.

11 After the ordeal he has endured, he will see the light and be content. By his knowledge, the upright one, my servant will justify many by taking their guilt on himself.

12 Hence I shall give him a portion with the many, and he will share the booty with the mighty, for having exposed himself to death and for being counted as one of the rebellious, whereas he was bearing the sin of many and interceding for the rebellious. (Isaiah 53:10-12, NJB).

25 It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through him is absolute, since he lives for ever to intercede for them.

26 Such is the high priest that met our need, holy, innocent and uncontaminated, set apart from sinners, and raised up above the heavens;

27 he has no need to offer sacrifices every day, as the high priests do, first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; this he did once and for all by offering himself. (Hebrews 7:25-27, NJB)

Both the Old and New Testaments demonstrate that Jesus is the one who intercedes. Not that dead Christians can intercede in the lives of living Christians.

Notice both a Protestant and Catholic translation from the Bible:

10 Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, 11 or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. 12 Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, NIV)

10 Neither let there be found among you any one that shall expiate his son or daughter, making them to pass through the fire: or that consulteth soothsayers, or observeth dreams and omens, neither let there be any wizard, 11 Nor charmer, nor any one that consulteth pythonic spirits, or fortune tellers, or that seeketh the truth from the dead. 12 For the Lord abhorreth all these things, and for these abominations he will destroy them at thy coming. (Deuteronomy 18:10-12, DRB)

Those who believe the Bible do not consult with the dead.

Now, today Pope Francis implored his followers to also pray to dead saints related to their vocations.

When this practice entered the Greco-Roman churches can be debated, but there can be no debate that:

  • Early Christians did not pray to dead saints related to their professions
  • Pagans prayed to their false gods and had gods that were supposed to help people with specific vocations
  • There are many similarities to pagan gods and goddesses and certain Roman Catholic ‘saints’

Related to that last point, notice the following:

And since the Bible lists Christ as the Only intercessor and the Only Mediator between God and mankind, many feel that praying to or through the saints, is a form of sacrilege or apostasy. Upon researching into the saints and their feast days,and their particular occupational expertise, one finds that these “patron” saints are the leftover residue of pagan gods and goddesses around the world. Some of them have become christian saints without even having their names changed.

Good examples of this is the trinity goddess of Ireland, Brigid, who later on became Saint Brigid when Ireland was converted to Christianity. The god of wine, Bacchus, was absorbed and changed to Saint Bacchus. The god, Dionysius was changed to St. Dionysius or St. Denis, etc.

“Christian saints began as Pagan gods and goddesses that they were based upon.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Many Greek goddesses became Christian saints but if they were powerful in Greek pagan religion then they were either reduced to rape victims or repentant prostitutes or they had to change their gender and become male warrior saints.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The countless host of divinities – both gods and goddesses they worshipped and propitiated as vice-gerents of the supreme power.These possessed a legitimate place in the divine hierarchy of the pagans.The transition from this to angel-worship and saint-worship was obviously easy.” – E. Belfort Bax The Decay of Pagan Thought (January 1890)

“Since converts from paganism were reluctant to part with their ‘gods’- unless they could find some satisfactory counterpart in Christianity – the gods and goddesses were renamed and called “saints”. -‘Babylon Mystery Religion’by Ralph Edward Woodrow

“Demeter is a goddess of many festivals in late October. She became St. Demetrios, a masculine warrior saint, whose feast date is 10/26.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Aphrodite became St. Aphrodite, of which there are several, all with saints’ tales that tell how she became
a “repentant LovePeddler.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Greek goddess Nike was picked up as Saint Nicholas, who was extremely popular wherever shipping was important. He is the ‘patron saint’ of Russian, Holland and Germany, all on the north sea coast.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“Roman gods who became Catholic saints.Many Catholic Saints are “votive saints”, that is, their names were copied off votive offerings for Pagan Gods, especially altars and statues which were still standing
in Rome in the fourth century CE.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman god Mars was originally a god who guarded wheat fields. He became St. Martin (esp. St. Martin-in-the-fields). Although March is the month associated with Mars (it was the beginning of the military campaigning season in Roman times), the major festival for him in Christian times now usually falls in February, called Mardi Gras “Great Mars.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion  …

“The Roman god ‘Quirinus’ became St. Cyrinus, of which there are various “equestrian warrior saints” such as St. Cyr in France, and St. Quirina, mother of St. Lawrence. The element quir- means (or was understood to mean) ‘horse.’ These saints were very popular and widely worshiped in the Middle-Ages, in France, Holland and also eastern Christian countries.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman gods known as the Lares became St. Lawrence, esp. St. Lawrence beyond-the-wall. The Lares were field gods who protected the grain growing in the fields. In Italian, he became St. Lorenzo beyond the Walls, meaning outside of the walls of the city, for which there is still a church in Rome, with many “daughter” churches which developed from it.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion

“The Roman goddess Venus became St. Venera. She had a major church in Rome in early Christian times, but that didn’t last long.” – Pagan Saints Proto-Indo-European Religion http://www.nairaland.com/1238665/patron-saints-christendom-pagan-saints

There are more (like the similarities between aspects of ‘Mary’ and the goddess Diana), but the above should give any who claim to believe the Bible, and not paganism, pause to consider that what Pope Francis is advocating is not Christian.

The same can be said of many of the holidays and festivals that his church (along with the other Greco-Roman-Protestant churches) observes.

Jesus is the one mediator. Pray to Him, not dead people claimed to be saints.

Some items of possibly related interest may include:

Jesus: The Son of God and Saviour Who was Jesus? Why did He come to earth? What message did He bring? Is there evidence outside the Bible that He existed? Here is a YouTube sermon titled Jesus: Son of God and Saviour.
Prayer: What Does the Bible Teach? This free booklet contains 28 biblically-based tips on improving the effectiveness of your prayers. This is a pdf. A related two part sermon is available: What Does the Bible Teach About Prayer? and What does the Bible Teach About Prayer (& Healing)?
All Saints’ Day, the Day of the Dead, and All Souls’ Day Are these original Christian observances? Does the Bible endorse them?
Should You Observe God’s Holy Days or Demonic Holidays? This is a free pdf booklet explaining what the Bible and history shows about God’s Holy Days and popular holidays.
Did the Early Church Teach Purgatory? Is there a place called purgatory? Does God have a plan to help those who did not become saints in this life?
What is Limbo? Is There Such a Place as Limbo? What Happens to Babies When They Die? When did Limbo start being taught? What is the truth about dead babies?
Is Halloween Holy Time for Christians? This article provides some historical and biblical insight on this question.
Did Early Christians Believe that Humans Possessed Immortality? What does John 3:16, and other writings, tell us? Did a doctrine kept adopted from paganism? Here is a YouTube video titled Are humans immortal?
What Did Early Christians Understand About the Resurrection? Is there more than one future resurrection? Did early Christians teach a physical resurrection? Did early Christians teach three resurrections?
The Feast of Tabernacles: A Time for Christians? Is this pilgrimage holy day still valid? Does it teach anything relevant for today’s Christians? What is the Last Great Day–is it a dead of the dead? What do these days teach?
What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons? What about the use of the cross, by the early Church?
Mary, the Mother of Jesus and the Apparitions Do you know much about Mary? Are the apparitions real? What happened at Fatima? What might they mean for the rise of the ecumenical religion of Antichrist? Are Protestants moving towards Mary? How do the Eastern/Greek Orthodox view Mary? How might Mary view her adorers? Here is a link to a YouTube video Marian Apparitions May Fulfill Prophecy. Here is a link to a sermon video: Why Learn About Fatima?
The ‘Lady’ of Guadalupe: Any Future Ramifications? It is claimed that a female apparition appeared near Mexico City on December 12, 1531. How has it affected the world? What might it suggest about the future? A video of related interest is titled: The ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ and Prophecy.
Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy? Pope Francis has taken many steps to turn people more towards his version of ‘Mary.’ Could this be consistent with biblical and Catholic prophecies? This article documents what has been happening. There is also a video version titled Pope Francis: Could this Marian Focused Pontiff be Fulfilling Prophecy?
Feast of the Immaculate Conception? Did early Christians teach Mary had an immaculate conception and led a sinless life?
Origin of the Marian Dogmas: Where Do Catholic Scholars Say The Four Dogmas of Mary Came From?
Assumption of Mary Did Mary die? Was she taken to heaven on August 15th? What is known? What does the Bible show?

The Last Pope Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Why might Pope Francis be the last pope? What happens if he is? Biblical and other prophecies help explain what to expect.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Amazon Book What does the Bible say about a pope near this time? Is the final pope to be an antipope and antichrist? Does Catholic prophecy point to Pope Francis as being the dreaded “Peter the Roman”? This 186 page book provides information and answers.
The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle This electronic version of the printed book which is available for only US$2.99. And you do not need an actual Kindle device to read it. Why? Amazon will allow you to download it to almost any device: Please click HERE to download one of Amazon s Free Reader Apps. After you go to for your free Kindle reader and then go to The Last Pope: Do Biblical and Catholic Prophecies Point to Pope Francis? Kindle.
Where is the True Christian Church Today? This free online pdf booklet answers that question and includes 18 proofs, clues, and signs to identify the true vs. false Christian church. Plus 7 proofs, clues, and signs to help identify Laodicean churches. A related sermon is also available: Where is the True Christian Church? Here is a link to the booklet in the Spanish language: ¿Dónde está la verdadera Iglesia cristiana de hoy? Here is a link in the German language: WO IST DIE WAHRE CHRISTLICHE KIRCHE HEUTE? Here is a link in the French language: Où est la vraie Église Chrétienne aujourd’hui?
Continuing History of the Church of God This pdf booklet is a historical overview of the true Church of God and some of its main opponents from Acts 2 to the 21st century. Related sermon links include Continuing History of the Church of God: c. 31 to c. 300 A.D. and Continuing History of the Church of God: 4th-16th Centuries and Continuing History of the Church of God: 17th-20th Centuries. The booklet is available in Spanish: Continuación de la Historia de la Iglesia de Dios, German: Kontinuierliche Geschichte der Kirche Gottes, French: L Histoire Continue de l Église de Dieu and Ekegusii Omogano Bw’ekanisa Ya Nyasae Egendererete.

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