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Gary Thompson wrote:

Hi, guys —

A friend of mine started a Catholic prayer group and invited some of our Orthodox friends as well. Usually we say novenas to certain saints on behalf of those who need it.

The newest saint on the saint list we drew up is one that's recognized by the Orthodox Church but not by ours. She also happens to be the Patron Saint of our Orthodox friend (in fact, our friend is named after her), so for obvious reasons, she's quite important to her.

She didn't make a fuss over anything when Padre Pio was up on the list and she prayed to him.
In the spirit of ecumenicalism, we're inclined to reciprocate, but I just wanted to double check
and get your opinion on the issue.


  { Is there a problem using a saint recognized by the Orthodox Church in our Catholic prayer group? }

John replied:

Hi, Gary —

Thanks for your question:

The Communion of Saints is not limited to those people who the Church has canonized.

  • obviously we pray for one another on earth
  • the souls in Purgatory can pray for us as well
  • as do those who have entered God's Glory

I suspect there are far more uncanonized saints than canonized saints in Heaven so on a certain level, there is no harm in asking for the intercession of a saint who has been canonized by the Orthodox Church.

Moreover, we recognize all their traditions, (except their failure to recognize the authority of the Pope) as valid.

Should we ever be in full communion, I suspect the Roman Catholic Church will simply accept all their saints.


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