Prayer to the saints is an act of one-way communication; it’s not worshipping them or seeking to gain some kind of hidden knowledge by contacting the dead, which are the sins of idolatry and necromancy. When Catholics pray to the saints, we’re seeking their intercession before God on our behalf—and nothing else.

What about the objection that praying to the saints is wrong because we should take our prayers straight to Jesus? Catholics pray primarily to the one true God: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We first pray to the Lord Jesus. We worship and adore him as our Savior. However, that doesn’t mean it’s somehow detrimental to ask the saints or others to pray for us. 

Objective: In this course, students will learn why Catholics pray to saints and what happens when we do pray to saints. Students will learn the meaning of the word "pray," and that asking the saints to pray for us is as normal as one Christian on Earth asking another for prayers. 

You’re joining our global classroom. Thousands of students from all over the world, each with their own unique story, learn at their own pace on Catholic Online School every single day.

Free Resources and tools for students, parents, and teachers. We’re working hard to ensure that Catholic Online School empowers teachers of all kinds to better understand what their children or students are up to and how best to help them. 

For free. For everyone. Forever.

With God, you can learn anything

Course curriculum

  • 01

    Defending the Faith - Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints?

    • Introduction

    • Resources for Students, Parents, and Teachers

    • Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints? - LESSON PLAN / STUDY GUIDE

    • Defending the Faith - Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints? Live Lesson Recording with Deacon Frederick Bartels (4/20/21)

    • Why Do Catholics Pray to Saints? - QUIZ

    • Live Lesson Opening Prayer


Instructor Bio:

Deacon Frederick Bartels is a member of the Catholic clergy who serves the Church in the diocese of Pueblo, CO. He received an MA in Theology and Educational Ministry from Catholic Distance University, where he is currently employed as an adjunct professor of theology. He is founder and editor of Joy In Truth (, an online magazine dedicated to the New Evangelization. As a Catholic educator, public speaker and evangelist, Deacon Bartels strives to infuse culture with the saving principles of the gospel. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Shelly, and the youngest two of their six children. Professor Bartels is Chairman of the Theology Department.

Deacon Frederick Bartels

Professor of Theology, Department Chair