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Author Topic: is it ok to ask for the intercession of people not declared saints?  (Read 1231 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jason.Wike
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« on: October 18, 2010, 03:21:43 PM »

Is it OK to ask for the intercessions of people not declared Saints already, such as Elder Paisios?
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2010, 03:29:06 PM »

Yes, or even a holy grandmother!
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Punch
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2010, 03:33:54 PM »

Yes, or even a holy grandmother!

Agreed.  I beleive that most of the time, the "official" recognition by the Church of a Saint comes after a long period of recognition of the Saint by the people.
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Shanghaiski
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010, 05:17:37 PM »

Yes, but the person must be Orthodox and worthy of veneration/imitation.
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Jason.Wike
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010, 06:35:47 PM »

Yes, but the person must be Orthodox and worthy of veneration/imitation.

Of course.
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Jason.Wike
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2010, 06:37:24 PM »

Ok, thanks for the replies. I was reading from Elder Paisios and he has a lot of wisdom people today need, I immediately wanted to ask for his intercession but wanted to make sure it was ok.
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2010, 07:38:52 PM »

There is a nice akathist for Elder Paisios on the Orthodox England Web site. Also, many  people ask for his prayers as well, including myself. He is a great intercessor before God.
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2010, 07:53:21 PM »

Yes, but the person must be Orthodox and worthy of veneration/imitation.


But doesn't this beg the question? My understanding is that this is precisely the definition of canonization, that the Church has officially declared someone worthy of veneration and imitation. Canonization prevents us from running around on our own declaring anyone and everyone a Saint. In my eyes, my Grandmothers were saintly women. But I do not presume to pray to them, although I feel confident they are in heaven. (They were not Orthodox BTW.)

I don't know the answer, and I do personally ask the intercession of Haile Selassie and Father Seraphim Rose, neither of whom are canonized. But I just wanted some clarification on what the objective criteria is for one to be worthy of veneration and imitation apart from being canonized.


Selam
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2010, 07:55:41 PM »

Hey, remember, official declaration of sainthood begins with popular veneration!
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2010, 07:56:46 PM »

A guest priest this weekend said he prays to a saintly old woman he used to know (she has since reposed) as much as he prays to his own patron. There are many more saints than the Church ever officially recognizes, and all of them intercede for us.
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2010, 08:03:59 PM »


Yes, but the person must be Orthodox..........


Post mortem are we not all Orthodox?

The suicide bomber is not going to be met by 72 virgins.  Instead he will discover that the truth is really what the local Christian priest back in Damascus was always trying to tell him.

The Buddhist lama is going to discover that he is not in a queue for reincarnation but he will find that what the Orthodox priest in Bhutan was preaching was the truth after all.
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« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2010, 08:04:53 PM »


Yes, but the person must be Orthodox..........


Post mortem are we not all Orthodox?

The suicide bomber is not going to be met by 72 virgins.  Instead he will discover that the truth is really what the local Christian priest back in Damascus was always trying to tell him.

The Buddhist lama is going to discover that he is not in a queue for reincarnation but he will find that what the Orthodox priest in Bhutan was preaching was the truth after all.


Amen.


Selam
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« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2010, 08:05:38 PM »

Thank you Bogdan and Samkim. I think I understand.


Selam
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2010, 09:31:52 PM »


Yes, but the person must be Orthodox..........


Post mortem are we not all Orthodox?

The suicide bomber is not going to be met by 72 virgins.  Instead he will discover that the truth is really what the local Christian priest back in Damascus was always trying to tell him.

The Buddhist lama is going to discover that he is not in a queue for reincarnation but he will find that what the Orthodox priest in Bhutan was preaching was the truth after all.


What are you saying, that there is Universal Salvation? 
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2010, 09:42:18 PM »

Ask away! Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: October 18, 2010, 10:20:31 PM »

Hi Jason.  We ask the living, who are far from glorified Saints, to pray for us.  We can certainly do it for the departed.   Canonization simply means that they are given a liturgical canon, and "glorification" signifying that we recognize the full glorification of the person.  Remember even in the parable of the rich man, in Hades the rich man interceded for his brethren!   But again, going back to the fact that we sinful men ask for each others intercessions and prayers in the flesh, there is certainly nothing wrong with one who has departed this life as an exceptional Orthodox Christian for their intercessions, even before glorification.   
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« Reply #16 on: October 18, 2010, 11:51:14 PM »

Hi Jason.  We ask the living, who are far from glorified Saints, to pray for us.  We can certainly do it for the departed.   Canonization simply means that they are given a liturgical canon, and "glorification" signifying that we recognize the full glorification of the person.  Remember even in the parable of the rich man, in Hades the rich man interceded for his brethren!   But again, going back to the fact that we sinful men ask for each others intercessions and prayers in the flesh, there is certainly nothing wrong with one who has departed this life as an exceptional Orthodox Christian for their intercessions, even before glorification.  

Father bless,

Thank you for the explanation. It makes sense, but I do have a question/questions:

Apart from canonization, isn't there a danger that our subjective opinions about those who have departed could lead us into error? I know fellow OO Christians who would never consider asking Father Seraphim Rose for intercession simply because according to them he is outside of the True Church. I don't share that opinion however. And then, of course, there are EO's who might never consider beseeching the prayers of departed OO Christians- no matter how devoutly they lived while on earth. Then there may be some who deem certain heretics as worthy of veneration and thus ask for their prayers. Or perhaps a devout departed Orthodox Christian is later discovered to have promoted heretical ideas.

I guess my concern is that apart from canonization, there could actually be a danger that we may inadvertantly beseech the prayers of someone who is damned. And again, I confess that I often beseech the prayers of Haile Selassie and Father Seraphim Rose- two great Orthodox Christians (IMHO) who have not been canonized. So, I'm just trying to fully understand and make sure that I'm not in error. Please forgive my ignorance.


Selam
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2010, 12:14:12 AM »

^Well, while we are alive we most likely ask the prayers of many who are "not written in the book of life" by God's omniscience.   How would we know?   Is Fr. Seraphim any less sinful after departure than he was in this life?  Even when the priesthood does not benefit the priest, it still benefits others.   As a living priest, no one would hesitate to ask for his intercessions.  Why would they fail to do so after his death?   Certainly even if in Hades, his intercessions as a priest are heard before the rich man's, and yet the rich man's were heard and answered (maybe not the answer he wanted, but answered nonetheless).   
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2010, 01:05:01 AM »


Yes, but the person must be Orthodox..........


Post mortem are we not all Orthodox?

The suicide bomber is not going to be met by 72 virgins.  Instead he will discover that the truth is really what the local Christian priest back in Damascus was always trying to tell him.

The Buddhist lama is going to discover that he is not in a queue for reincarnation but he will find that what the Orthodox priest in Bhutan was preaching was the truth after all.


What are you saying, that there is Universal Salvation? 

Just saying that whether the suicide bomber or the Tibetan lama is damned or saved at death, yet what he encounters is the truth, in other words it is orthodox Christianity. It is Christ. Damned or saved, his knowledge is no longer Islamic nor Buddhist but Christian because in the next world there is only Truth and the shadows and errors of Islam and Buddhism have no more reality.
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Gebre Menfes Kidus
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2010, 01:56:28 AM »

^Well, while we are alive we most likely ask the prayers of many who are "not written in the book of life" by God's omniscience.   How would we know?   Is Fr. Seraphim any less sinful after departure than he was in this life?  Even when the priesthood does not benefit the priest, it still benefits others.   As a living priest, no one would hesitate to ask for his intercessions.  Why would they fail to do so after his death?   Certainly even if in Hades, his intercessions as a priest are heard before the rich man's, and yet the rich man's were heard and answered (maybe not the answer he wanted, but answered nonetheless).   


Father bless,

Thank you for the wonderful explanation. Perhaps the issue is that when we beseech the prayers of another - living or dead - in accordance with the will of God, then we cannot go wrong. I John 5:14-15 comes to mind, as does St. John 14:13-14.

I guess the example of King Saul beseeching answers from departed Samuel is in the back of my mind. But of course his error was two-fold in that 1) he consulted a witch, and 2) he sought answers from Samuel rather than from God. And we know there is a huge difference between asking departed Christians to intercede for us and seeking divine answers from the departed.

Just thinking out loud.


Selam
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2010, 09:32:08 AM »

What are you saying, that there is Universal Salvation? 

Just saying that whether the suicide bomber or the Tibetan lama is damned or saved at death, yet what he encounters is the truth, in other words it is orthodox Christianity. It is Christ. Damned or saved, his knowledge is no longer Islamic nor Buddhist but Christian because in the next world there is only Truth and the shadows and errors of Islam and Buddhism have no more reality.

Thank you.  That makes sense. You are looking at knowledge and not Salvation.  I agree completely.



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« Reply #21 on: October 19, 2010, 01:54:29 PM »

^Well, while we are alive we most likely ask the prayers of many who are "not written in the book of life" by God's omniscience.   How would we know?   Is Fr. Seraphim any less sinful after departure than he was in this life?  Even when the priesthood does not benefit the priest, it still benefits others.   As a living priest, no one would hesitate to ask for his intercessions.  Why would they fail to do so after his death?   Certainly even if in Hades, his intercessions as a priest are heard before the rich man's, and yet the rich man's were heard and answered (maybe not the answer he wanted, but answered nonetheless).   
   Father bless, Thank you for the wonderful explanation. Perhaps the issue is that when we beseech the prayers of another - living or dead - in accordance with the will of God, then we cannot go wrong. I John 5:14-15 comes to mind, as does St. John 14:13-14.   I guess the example of King Saul beseeching answers from departed Samuel is in the back of my mind. But of course his error was two-fold in that 1) he consulted a witch, and 2) he sought answers from Samuel rather than from God. And we know there is a huge difference between asking departed Christians to intercede for us and seeking divine answers from the departed.  Just thinking out loud. Selam

Good thoughts.   You hit the nail on the head.   Saul, after God is silent, turns to sorcery.   Moreover, he turns to Samuel, not to intercede for him, but rather to give him direction on how to circumvent God's will, after he openly admits that God has turned against him.     
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