Photo: Catacomb of St. Sabastiano: Fragments of a wall plaster from the triclia with
numerous graffiti that ask for the prayers of the martyred apostles, Peter and Paul.
Copyright Pontificia Commissione di Archeologia Cristiana, Roma
In our Prayer rule we can also ask the saints to intercede for us and to help us in our worldly struggles. Saints are those holy individuals who have died as martyrs, who have made a fearless confession of faith often with the threat of death, who have demonstrated self-sacrificing service, who have a special gift of healing and perform miracles after their death when remembered in prayer.
These holy people the Lord calls His friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:14-15)
They are those He has received in His heavenly mansions in fulfillment of His words: Where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:3) Instead of praying for forgiveness of their sins, we praise them for their struggles in Christ. We make petitions to them asking them to pray for us and the remission of our sins and spiritual growth, seeking their help in our spiritual needs.
The saints are near the Throne of God.
Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, who praised the Lord. (Rev 5:11)
Our communion in prayer with the saints is the realization of the bond between Christians on earth and the Heavenly Church. (Heb 12:22-23)
Sacred scripture presents numerous examples that the righteous, while still living can see and hear and know much that is inaccessible to the ordinary understanding. The saints while they were still on earth we able to penetrate in spirit into the world above.
From the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (luke 16:10-31) we know that Abraham being in heaven could hear the cry of the rich man who was suffering in hell, despite the great unbridgeable gulf that separates them.
The Church has always taught the invocation of the saints, convinced they intercede for us before God in heaven. Having a prayer relationship with a saint is another way that we can gain help in our spiritual path to salvation in the Church.