What is a Saint Prayer?

Catholic Prayers to Holy Women and Men


A saint is a holy person, someone the Church has declared is in heaven with God and is an example of holiness. Because of this, many Christians make saint prayer a regular part of their public and private worship.

There are different ways you may encounter a saint prayer.

One type is a prayer addressed to a saint. For example, the Hail Mary prayer is addressed to the Virgin Mary. The Prayer to St. Michael is also a saint prayer, addressed to the archangel Michael. Although these prayers are directly addressing a saint, someone praying this kind of prayer is not actually praying to that saint — only God is worthy of our prayers. Rather, when you pray this kind of prayer you are acknolwedging and honoring the holiness of a saint and asking that saint to intercede for you — to bring your specific intentions to God.

Although Jesus has given us the confidence to pray directly to God ourselves, we can also ask our friends — both on Earth and in heaven — to pray for us. Praying a Hail Mary is not praying to Mary or treating her as a deity. Instead, it's asking our mother in heaven to pray for us and our intentions, just like you might ask a friend or family member on Earth to pray for you.

Another type of saint prayer is one that references a saint, and the saint's life, work, and virtues. These prayers often thank God for a saint, ask God to help make us more like the saint, and reflect on the way the worked for the kingdom of God. They may also be prayers written by a saint, or based on their writings. This type of saint prayer is often said during Mass, on a saint day.


Updated 02-09-2023 by Elizabeth Craig