Why do Catholics pray to Mary?

One of the most questioned practices of the Catholic Church is “Why Do You Guys Pray To Mary?” Most branches of Christianity do not see that praying to Mary, the Mother of Jesus, as a valid form of prayer because it is not directed to God himself. However, it is not simply on a whim that Catholics offer prayers to her. There are actually a multitude of reasons why Catholics believe in this practice.

She Is Christ’s Mother

Mary was made and chosen specifically for the task of birthing and raising the Christ. In the Jewish culture of the time of Christ, the mother was responsible for a child’s learning of the Scriptures. It is evident by the way that Christ spoke with the religious leaders as a child that his mother had taught him well, and the Spirit helped him understand. Mary even knew to ask directly her son to perform his first recorded miracle of turning water into wine. Her direct relationship with Christ groomed him to be the Messiah, and also strengthened her connection with God. Catholics recognize this relationship and focus on it when they call upon her.

She Passes The Message Along

The Christian faith is not meant to be a lonely path. We are all called to fellowship with fellow believers and, most importantly, pray for one another. Prayer is one of the most important tools God has given us, and he encourages us not only to pray for ourselves but also for others in their place. Christians of all faiths admit that it is wise to seek prayer from a leader within the church, whether it be a priest or a pastor, but Catholics alone go to even higher authorities: the saints of heaven. Catholics do not pray to Mary but are asking Mary to pray with them, to directly speak with God in Heaven. Even the prayer shows this, as it is not a plea to do something, but asking that she would “Pray for us, sinners.” Those that are in Heaven have direct fellowship with the Lord, and so it is not considered evil by a Catholic to ask for her help in praying to God.

She Isn’t Really Prayed To After All

It’s actually a huge misconception that prayers asking Mary to speak with God means that she is worshiped. As it was pointed out, Mary is not prayed to, but prayed with. Mary is merely to be honored among the Church through the requests of prayer. Even in Scripture, the apostles would honor those who lived by faith, mainly Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Even other figures such as Moses, Elijah, or even Lot, have been given honor. To a Catholic, the idea is that Mary, in faith and obedience agreeing to be the mother of Christ, should be honored as well, especially more so as Christ’s mother. The Scriptures solidify this detail quite clearly as she declares, “From now on all generations will call me blessed” (Luke 1:48).

Ultimately, faith and service in God and Christ should be the key focus of the Church. Mary is not meant to detract from that. Instead, Mary is meant to supplement the gospel. This tradition merely states that there is more than the all-powerful God, and more than the connection of Christ, but also vessels for the Holy Spirit, like Mary, who can do amazing things both on earth and in Heaven. We should all be called to such powerful prayer and communication with the Holy Spirit like the Holy Mother of Christ.



Ian Tash has written for Cool College Helpers, the Haiku Journal, and the L.A. Times (more specifically, the L.A. Affairs column), and also tries to update his Ian Tash Facebook page whenever he has a chance. He has an incredible love of entertainment, both in creating his own and analyzing the works of others. Ian currently lives in Bakersfield, CA and works as a draftsman by trade and dedicated his time to building up local churches and fellow believers.

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