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Author Topic: another question about prayer to saints...  (Read 387 times) Average Rating: 0
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mabsoota
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Kyrie eleison


« on: November 08, 2013, 03:30:23 PM »

hi, dear brothers and sisters and peace to you all
 Smiley
so, i have another question arising from debates, sorry, i mean, civilised discussions over tea (!) with my protestant family/friends.

i have set out the scriptural reasons why we believe we can / should ask the departed Christians (saints) to pray for us, which are:
1. hebrews 12:1 - 'great cloud of witnesses' - they can see us and they love us
2. revelation 9:10 - 'how long, o Lord, holy and true' - they are close to God and love God
3. ephesians 6:18 - 'praying always with all prayer and supplication' - Christians should pray for one another
4. james 5:15 - 'the fervent prayer of a righteous man' - the prayer of Godly people is powerful and effective

and i have explained that all Christians for the first 1,000 years asked the departed saints for their intercession

but my question is this:
when (in which eccumenical councils) do we first find the prayer to the saints for their intercession first mentioned?

my protestant friend accepts the decisions of the councils to name the books of the Bible (with one or two reservations perhaps!) and i would like to show him that the writings of church councils or church fathers also show that the early church prayed to the saints for their intecessions.

can anyone direct me to any resources for this?

(sorry for the long question! i am hoping it is useful to other people as well)
 Smiley
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mabsoota
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« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2013, 10:04:00 AM »

there have been lots of posts on the forum in the last few days, but now that poppy's islam thread and it's dozens of diversions have slowed down (now on page 17), maybe someone will have time to answer my question in the post above.
(i found it an interesting thread but suddenly there was no time to read other threads!)

so please read the post above and see if you can help!
thanks a lot from me and my debating partner
 Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 10:21:24 AM »

Well, before the canon got altered, its pretty clear in 2 Macabees 15:14...of course it was conveniently removed by some folks who think scripture only is the answer.....

PP
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« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2013, 11:01:52 AM »

but my question is this:
when (in which eccumenical councils) do we first find the prayer to the saints for their intercession first mentioned?

As far as ecumenical councils go, this is all I could find:

Quote
When, then, we had assembled in Constantinople, according to the letter of your Piety, we first of all renewed our unity of heart each with the other, and then we pronounced some concise definitions, ratifying the Faith of the Nicene Fathers, and anathematizing the heresies which have sprung up, contrary thereto. Besides these things, we also framed certain Canons for the better ordering of the Churches, all which we have subjoined to this our letter. Wherefore we beseech your Piety that the decree of the Synod may be ratified, to the end that, as you have honoured the Church by your letter of citation, so you should set your seal to the conclusion of what has been decreed. May the Lord establish your empire in peace and righteousness, and prolong it from generation to generation; and may he add unto your earthly power the fruition of the heavenly kingdom also. May God by the prayers of the Saints [euchais ton hagion] show favour to the world, that you may be strong and eminent in all good things as an Emperor most truly pious and beloved of God.

Letter of the Holy Synod (of Constantinople) to the Most Pious Emperor Theodosius the Great, to Which are Appended the Canons Enacted by Them

Also, in notes on the first canon of the Council of Ephesus, we read on the same website:

Quote
Beveridge well points out that this confusion is all the more remarkable as in the Kalendar of the Saints observed at that very time by the Greeks, on the eighth day of April was kept the memory of "Celestine, Pope of Rome, as a Saint and Champion against the Nestorian heretics." (Bev., Annot, in C. v.).

I looked everywhere else and couldn't find much, but I also didn't examine everything thoroughly. 

Are you limiting yourself to the councils?  Or will other, extra-Scriptural sources be acceptable?  You could teach this exclusively from Scripture, of course, but I'm wondering if you would also accept archaeology, ancient Liturgies, etc. so that the field can be expanded? 
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2013, 11:31:25 AM »

Family tradition? ..
« Last Edit: November 11, 2013, 11:31:49 AM by WPM » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2013, 11:32:17 AM »

Here's a quick source for intercession of saints from various early Church fathers:

http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-intercession-of-the-saints

It's Catholic, but it only goes up to St. Augustine, so definitely early Church. If that helps any.
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« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2013, 03:44:42 PM »

thanks so much, guys, this is exactly what i am looking for.
liturgies are also useful if we know what date they are from.

i knew the early church always asked for the intercession of the saints, but my source (my highly educated priest told me so) was not rigorous enough for serious debate!
i will look more into these sources when the subject next comes up.
 Smiley
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