A while back I posted a picture of St. Rocco (a statue from St. Therese Chinese Catholic Church) on my Facebook page. I told the story of how my leg was bothering me one morning and how I randomly prayed to him (and Hail Mary-ed) my way through my pain.
Unfortunately one of the responses I received was this:
"The Catholic Church is the great whore of revelation. Jesus said: I am the way, the truth, and the light, No man comes to the Father but by me. Neither Rocco nor St. Mary can hear your prayers. Jesus also said in John 6:- 44: No man can come to except the Father who sent me, draw him and I will raise him up in the later day. Verse 63 says "It is the Spirit that quickens;the flesh prophets nothing; the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life. And verse 65 "Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given him by my Father." Your "hail Mary's" are no more effective than your Hail Michelle Obama's. John 14: 6 , says (Christ speaking) Repeating: "I am the way, the truth and the life, no man can come to the Father but by me.. NO not Mary, nor Rocco, nor anyone else in heaven or earth. Christ and Christ alone paid the debt for our sins and He alone can forgive. Praying to someone else may make you feel good, your good works may make you feel good, but neither will get you any closer to the Father unless Christ has granted redemption.”
“The Catholic Church is the great whore of revelation?” Wow. Never heard that before (*cough*). “Your ‘hail Mary’s’ are no more effective than your Hail Michelle Obama’s?” That one I’ve never heard before. Lord. Have. Mercy.
To be honest, I deleted the comment and banned him. No explanation would have been sufficient to let this person know how much I was comforted by my prayers to St. Rocco or the many Hail Marys I have said over the years since my conversion. Nothing I had typed in response would have changed his mind. It made me sad since the Catholic Church is rich with saints that have interceded on behalf of the many faithful who have turned to them for help and comfort.
I recently purchased a book at The Art Institute of Chicago entitled “A Feast of Holy Cards Patron Saints” by Barbara Calamari & Sandra Dipasqua. It’s an amazing collection of vintage holy cards belonging to Fr. Eugene Carrella. Grouped by health, nations, nature, occupations and states of life, this beautiful book showcases the familiar and not so familiar saints and what they are the patron or patroness of. As I flipped through the pages, I learned that St. Louis de Gonzague is the patron saint of AIDS sufferers & caregivers, St. Martin de Tours is the patron saint of alcoholism and that St. Teresa of Avila is the patron saint of headaches (another malady I sometimes suffer).
Doesn’t Christ grant redemption to those who tirelessly seek His saints for intercession? The saints lived and died to bring us closer to Jesus. Their works, writings and lives were all to bring us closer to the Redeemer.
It’s unfortunate that this person who commented on my picture of St. Rocco feels this way. I’ll try to pray for that person. I’ll also pray for the person who told me to “go to hell.” That’s another story.