I think this is an opportune time to instruct non-Catholics on Marian and saintly prayer.
Here is the best online summary I’ve found:
* “It is forbidden to give divine honour or worship to the angels and saints for this belongs to God alone.”
* “We should pay to the angels and saints an inferior honour or worship, for this is due to them as the servants and special friends of God.”
* “We should give to relics, crucifixes and holy pictures a relative honour, as they relate to Christ and his saints and are memorials of them.”
* “We do not pray to relics or images, for they can neither see nor hear nor help us.”
True devotion to Mary by St. Louis de Montfort also addresses this:
14. With the whole Church I acknowledge that Mary, being a mere creature fashioned by the hands of God is, compared to his infinite majesty, less than an atom, or rather is simply nothing, since he alone can say, “I am he who is”. Consequently, this great Lord, who is ever independent and self-sufficient, never had and does not now have any absolute need of the Blessed Virgin for the accomplishment of his will and the manifestation of his glory. To do all things he has only to will them.
15. However, I declare that, considering things as they are, because God has decided to begin and accomplish his greatest works through the Blessed Virgin ever since he created her, we can safely believe that he will not change his plan in the time to come, for he is God and therefore does not change in his thoughts or his way of acting.
16. God the Father gave his only Son to the world only through Mary. Whatever desires the patriarchs may have cherished, whatever entreaties the prophets and saints of the Old Law may have had for 4,000 years to obtain that treasure, it was Mary alone who merited it and found grace before God by the power of her prayers and the perfection of her virtues. “The world being unworthy,” said Saint Augustine, “to receive the Son of God directly from the hands of the Father, he gave his Son to Mary for the world to receive him from her.”
The Son of God became man for our salvation but only in Mary and through Mary.
God the Holy Spirit formed Jesus Christ in Mary but only after having asked her consent through one of the chief ministers of his court.
That last part is significant. In the sermon for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception Fr. Bob noted that the Angel Gabriel referred to Mary as “full of grace” even before the actual incarnation. That is very important.
When we give devotion to saint we invariably ask the to pray for us. (just as a friend might ask you to pray for them). Consider the actual words of the Hail Mary:
Hail Mary Full of Grace the Lord is with thee, Blessed art thou among women…
Direct Biblical quote, no problem there.
…and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
That would also go without saying for any Protestant. No problem there.
Holy Mary; Mother of God…
Again simple fact. Mary is Holy, no question about that, and she is the Mother of Christ who IS God so no question there either.
…Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amem
Pray for us sinners. That says it all. We ask through this prayer that the one who was full of grace even before the Holy Spirit came upon her, the single person closest to Christ to pray for us.
If that doesn’t make sense I’d like to know what does.