Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

INVOCATION OF SAINTS

Asking the saints for assistance in temporal or spiritual need. Its basis is the intimate communion that exists between the blessed in heaven and the faithful on earth. The saints are invoked in order to obtain their intercession before the throne of God, and this corresponds to the familiar practice on earth of asking people to pray for us. Since the more holy a person is, the more effective his prayers, the saints in heaven are extraordinarily powerful intercessors with God. It is a matter of divine faith, implicit in Sacred Scripture and explicit in Catholic tradition, that the faithful may profitably invoke the saints in heaven. According to the Second Vatican Council, "It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven . . . It is most fitting that we love those friends and co-heirs of Jesus Christ who are also our brothers and outstanding benefactors, and that we give due thanks to God for them, humbly invoking them, and having recourse to their prayers, their aid and help in obtaining from God through His Son, Jesus Christ, Our Lord, our only Redeemer and Savior, the benefits we need" (Constitution on the Church, VII, 50).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Which American archbishops—if any—will receive red hats at the February conclave? December 23
A Blessed Christmas! December 23
Facing entrenched opposition, Pope Francis plows ahead on Vatican reform December 22
The cardinal who can't let go December 22
Denial of Service Attack: Success! December 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17
Pope identifies 15 spiritual ‘sicknesses’ of the Curia CWN - December 22
Pope Francis's Christmas Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - 3 hours ago