Metropolitan Ephrem (Kyriakos) Speaks on Intercession of Saints

Intercession is supplication on behalf of others or prayer on behalf of others. The attitude of intercession is an attitude of love. Love is manifested in our praying for each other. The Lord prayed for those who believe in Him that they all may be one (John 17:11).

When the Apostle Paul says that “there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), this is true and it does not contradict the principle of intercession. Here ‘Mediator’ means the one who accomplished redemption.

Anyone who does not believe in intercession is very far from a profound understanding of catholic love between members of the body of Christ.

As for the claim that the intercession of the saints is worthless because they are dead (as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim), this is refuted by when the Lord says, “the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him” (Luke 20:37-38).

The saints– including and greatest among them the Mother of God– are not worshiped. We direct veneration and supplication to them. They are rays of Christ’s glory. They are His loved ones and they have the power of intercession in heaven on behalf of the people of earth. Out of their great love for us, the saints pray for us, whether we’re living or dead.

On account of her love, the Virgin Mary interceded with her Son when the wine was empty at the wedding in Cana of Galilee.

The mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:3-5)

And so, when the Apostle Paul says, “for there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5), this does not mean that the Virgin Mary and the saints are no longer intercessors for us, since the Lord Jesus remains the only savior and the saints– first among them the Virgin Mary– have liberty of ‘provision’ with the Lord God Jesus in mediation and prayer for any person who needs God’s help.

This is the Church’s understanding, the tenacity of the Virgin and the saints who pray and supplicate for the salvation of believers and all people, this salvation that springs forth from the Lord Jesus Christ who alone redeemed the world with His blood upon the cross.

He who does not believe in the intercession of the saints is, I know not from where, a stranger to the concept of divine love. Most likely this position arose out of a rationalistic logic.

But he who lives a spiritual life knows the truth of intercession and its value in his life.

+Ephrem
Metropolitan of Tripoli, al-Koura and their Dependencies

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