Anti-Catholics hated saints including Mary-the very Immaculate Mother of Jesus, the new “Ark of the New Covenant”, the indwelling place of the Incarnate Word who is God made flesh (John 1:1--). For them saints are ‘deities’ that Catholics ‘worship’. They write in their publications that a “genuine Christian” has to get rid of praying to saints for the fear of violating the First Commandments of God “Thou shalt not have other gods besides me” for only ‘God is worthy of our worship’ as God hates idol worshipers.
Among those fiercely anti-Catholic separated Christians are “Born-Again” Christians, the Mormons founded by a self-proclaimed “last prophet” Joseph Smith, members of the Seventh-Day Adventists founded by Helen Gaud White in whose anti-Catholic rhetoric were long been abandoned (read HERE, but copied by Felix Manalo, who was once it’s minister, later founded his own cult, registered and incorporated it as a sole corporation, named it ‘Iglesia ni Cristo’ (registered name in Tagalog—not English “Church of Christ”) according to Roman 16:16
"Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you."(MGA iglesia ni Cristo—small letter “i” – a common noun, NOT proper noun)” which Mr. Felix Manalo changed to big letter "I" making it as a Proper Noun "Iglesia ni Cristo". After his death of ulcer, the management was transferred to his son Erano, then to Erano's son Eduardo making it as a family business in guise of a ‘church’ heavily espoused with cultic qualities. All churches, that includes church in Rome, in Corinth, Thessalonica, Arabia, Jerusalem, Galilea (not the Corporation sole registered under the Republic of the Philippines.)
Saints are not alien to early Christians from the first centuries. Those who risked their lives, shed their blood and died for the sake of Christ and his Church were revered by early Christians and preserved their tombs with respect and holiness. They looked up to them as our “heroes” who chose death for Christ’s sakes than living under the influence of denying Christ revealed in the Church and in the Scriptures. In fact, the official teachings of the Church regarding the saints found in the Catechism of the Catholic Churchm No. 2683 says
“The witnesses who have preceded us into the kingdom,41 especially those whom the Church recognizes as saints, share in the living tradition of prayer by the example of their lives, the transmission of their writings, and their prayer today. They contemplate God, praise him and constantly care for those whom they have left on earth. When they entered into the joy of their Master, they were "put in charge of many things." Their intercession is their most exalted service to God's plan. We can and should ask them to intercede for us and for the whole world.”Anti-Catholics do not quote the official teachings for fear that they would be hitting themselves instead.
In Revelations 7---- John saw the “saints” in robes—in white and bright robes, its whiteness being washed in the Blood of the Lamb. These saints prostrated themselves before the throne of the Lamb, who was once slain and now lives forever! These saints, according to John are face-to-face with the “Lamb” Jesus—who became our sacrificial lamb in order that our sins are forgiven—Christ, the perfect offering for the forgiveness of our sins, once and for all.
Praying to saints doesn’t violate the First Commandments of God. In fact, praying to saints augments the mercy and goodness of God we Catholics all should know. Catholics do say “Pray for us” to saints with the belief that while saints prostrate before the throne of God, they too are offering our prayers like sweet incense before the throne—and God, whose power and mercy made them pure and stainless, worthy of seeing him face to face are now friends with God and that they have the privilege of asking favors in behalf of those other Christians (us) still suffering here on earth. In praying to God, we rightfully respond “Have Mercy on us, O Lord” for mercy and salvation comes only from God alone—not the saints for they are NOT gods nor they deemed themselves as such contrary to what anti-Catholics are accusing them of.
Unlike genuine Catholics, anti-Catholics particularly many members of the cult Iglesia ni Cristo have different sense of a ‘church’. For them, a church should have Christ’s name—that’s it! Without his (Christ) name, it ceased to be “Christ’s Church’. Catholics’ idea of a Church is not exclusively for all living Christians. The Church believes, as a Covenant that as a Church, we belong to a family such that we have include those who now intercedes for us in heaven, those suffering in Purgatory and for us living still struggling and being tested.
Wikipedia source says:
The Catholic Church, or Church Universal, is traditionally divided into:We, members of the One, Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church, the true Church built by Christ in Jerusalem (Matthew 16) not two, not registered as a corporation sole under the Republic of the Philippines or any other human laws, not owned by a family or a clan, unanimously accepted by historians as the only Church that traces its history back to the times of the Apostles
* the Church Militant (Ecclesia Militans), comprising Christians who are living,
* the Church Triumphant (Ecclesia Triumphans), comprising those who are in Heaven, and
* the Church Suffering, a.k.a Church Padecent or Church Penitent (Ecclesia Penitens) or Church Expectant (Ecclesia Expectans), comprising those Christians presently in Purgatory. This last term is used mainly in Roman Catholicism.
These terms are often used in the context of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints; although Christians may be physically separated from each other by the barrier of death, they nonetheless remain united to each other in one Church, and support each other in prayer.
The Latin word militans has a primary meaning of "serving as a soldier, military", but it acquired a secondary meaning of "to struggle, to make an effort", which is the intended sense here. Christians on earth (the Church Militant) are still struggling against sin in order that, when they die, they might go to heaven and be members of the Church Triumphant, those who have triumphed over sin. However, if this struggle is successful, but not completely so, then after death they temporarily become members of the Church Suffering before ultimately joining the Church Triumphant.
The Roman Catholic Church commemorates the Church Triumphant and the Church Suffering on two consecutive days: All Saints Day on November 1 (the Church Triumphant), and All Souls Day on November 2 (the Church Suffering).
These terms are not used in the modern Catechism of the Catholic Church, the authoritative collection of the teaching of Roman Catholicism, first published in 1994. Many contemporary Catholics might consider them belonging to another age. However, the teaching these terms represent is precisely restated in paragraph 954 of the Catechism, which quote Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council:
The three states of the Church. "When the Lord comes in glory, and all his angels with him, death will be no more and all things will be subject to him. But at the present time some of his disciples are pilgrims on earth. Others have died and are being purified, while still others are in glory, contemplating 'in full light, God himself triune and one, exactly as he is"' (CCC 954)
(“Ang Iglesia Katolika na sa pasimula ay siyang Iglesia ni Cristo" [...the Catholic Church from the beginning is the (true) Church of Christ.]" - PASUGO Abril 1966, p. 46 )should offer our praise and worship to God alone for giving us saints who intercede on our behalf. We should never stop trusting the intercession of the saints- whom Christ called as his friends, of our favors that on this day, we remember them, members of the Church who are now in heaven for sacrificing their lives for the love of Christ and his truth revealed in the Catholic Church.
To all the saints on this day—and Mama Mary, our own Mother, we implore you, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.