|Limbourg brothers (1411–1416)|
"Do not weep, for I shall be more useful to you after my death and I shall help you then more effectively than during my life" -St. Dominic, dying, to his brothers (1220's AD)All who profess faith in the Lord Jesus Christ form a union with one other called the "communion of saints." This union is made up of three parts: triumphant (those in heaven), penitent (those in purgatory), and militant (those alive on earth).
This union remains intact even after death. We believe that just as one of our brothers or sisters can pray for our intentions here on earth (i.e. "Jim, would you please pray for my family, that we could get through this difficult time.."), so can those who have passed from this life into the next intercede for us. We can also intercede for them by offering prayers, sacrifices, indulgences, etc.
The angels also pray for us, and we can go to them for help. In fact, each person has been assigned by God a personal guardian angel.
Compendium: scroll down to #194-199
Catechism of the Catholic Church: #946-962
On the birthday of John the Baptist, St. Augustine stated,
“As we celebrate with our festive gatherings the birthday of this great man, the Lord’s forerunner, the blessed John, let us ask for the help of his prayers. Because he is the friend of the bridegroom, you see, he can also obtain for us that we can belong to the bridegroom, that we may be thought worthy to obtain his grace. But if we wish to obtain his grace, let us not offer an insult to his birthday.” (400's AD)Intercession of Saints
Do Catholics Worship Statues?