27 Jan 2016 Africa News No comments

Catholic bishops of southwest Nigeria commend considerable progress towards countering Nigeria's Boko Haram militants

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16 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (19)

Was this Jehovah's Witness right about hell?

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5 popular celebrities who aren't afraid of showing their faith

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03 Apr 2015 Q&A No comments

Why is St. Therese of Lisieux (1873–1897) a patron of aviators?

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10 Dec 2015 Europe News No comments

Pope Francis sends his sympathy to victims of Storm Desmond

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17 Mar 2016 Americas Middle East News No comments

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry declares Daesh [ISIS] responsible for genocide against humanity

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06 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (10)

I met Mother Teresa. A few days later, I went blind.

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30 Jul 2016 Q&A No comments

Why is the monstrance sometimes held with bare hands and at other time with covered hands?

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22 Jan 2016 Europe News Vatican No comments

Second possible miracle credited to Blessed Cardinal John Newman under investigation by Vatican

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Are prayers wasted on people who are already saved or damned?

Full Question

What happens to prayers that are offered on behalf of deceased who, unbeknownst to the one who prays, are already in heaven or hell? Are those prayers wasted?


They are not wasted. Those in heaven don’t need our prayers, and those in hell are unable to profit by them. Only those who are undergoing purification prior to entering full union with God in heaven (1 Cor 3:12-15) can avail themselves of our prayers. When we pray for them we are asking God to mitigate their suffering. If the persons we pray for are not in purgatory and have already gone on to heaven, the Lord will apply our prayers to others in need of them.


  1. Kathleen Campbell-Beaverson Reply

    I had a miracle happen to me this past weekend. I attended a Catholic Women’s Conference with Bishop Frank, from the Diocese of Venice, Fl. During mass I received communion like I always do, I went back to my seat to pray after communion. With my eyes shut a picture of a long stemmed red rose with a ribbon appeared to me. It was Valentine’s Day. I thanked God for my Valentine rose. It was so beautiful. I went back home and told a spiritual friend of mine what happened and she said that it was Mary who gave it to me! I am so grateful to be a Catholic and pray the Hail Mary. The Blessed Mary ever virgin, I honor You and thank You. Words cannot express my joy from this gift. This will be with me forever.

  2. Marv Ack Reply

    Prayer is not bound by time or space. God is hearing all the prayers of all time, all the time. You can pray today for someone who died thousands of years ago.

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