No, But our statues do.
H/T. Patrick Madrid. Patrick is a Catholic writer and apologist. During an apologetics seminar in Chicago, he told of seeing the statue that I have embedded to the right. He quipped:
“What a great religion Catholicism is! Not only can we worship statues, but our statues can worship statues.”
The Catholics in attendance laughed at this common misconception; but the Protestants did not.
Catholics worship God and God alone. But many Protestants really do think that we worship Mary and the Saints. Some understand that we don’t worship Mary and the saints but they don’t understand why we ask them to pray for us Many don’t understand the honor given to Mary as the Mother of God.
Saints are people who lived lives of heroic virtue. They cultivated holiness while on earth. Now that they are in heaven, they are in perfect communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are more alive than we are!
Mary, because she is the Mother of God is given the highest honor.
Worship and adoration are only Given to God. Mary and the Saints are not gods or minor deities. They are part of God’s creation; they are creatures. We venerate Mary and the Saints.
Worship vs. Veneration
Worship. The Latin word for worship is latria which means service. In Christianity it means the worship and adoration that is reserved for God.
Hyper Veneration. The Latin word is hyperdulia. This is the honor or reverence that is given to the Blessed Mother. She is given a higher degree of honor, as the Mother of Jesus, than the Saints.
Veneration. The Latin term is Dulia. It is the honor or reverence that we give to the Angels and Saints. Veneration just means to regard with great respect.
Worship is different in kind, and not just degree, from hyper veneration and veneration.
Why Do Catholics Pray to Mary and the Saints?
We pray to them because they are friends of God. It is not an act of worship. We ask the Saints to pray that God will hear our prayers. Most Protestants do not have a problem asking their friends to pray for them.
Asking Mary and the Saints to pray for us is the same concept. The Saints in heaven, the souls in purgatory, and those of us here on earth are all part of the communion of saints. The communion of saints is the Church.
It is important to remember that all prayer is through Christ. Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man.