I confess to Almighty God, to blessed Mary ever Virgin, to blessed Michael the Archangel, to blessed John the Baptist, to the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, to all the Saints, and to you brethren, that I have sinned exceedingly, in thought, word and deed: through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. Therefore I beseech blessed Mary ever Virgin, blessed Michael the Archangel, blessed John the Baptist, the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, all the Saints, and you brethren, to pray for me to the Lord our God. (Confetitur, The "Canonical Rule" of Chrodegang of Metz, ca. 743)
The earliest recording we have of this confessional prayer dates back to the 8th century. It is shocking to present day Evangelicals, and often misunderstood by present day Catholics. The Evangelicals ask, “where in the bible do we find a requirement to confess our sins to Mary and the rest?” And the Roman Catholics assume that their prayers to the saints will make everything right with the Lord, and so they bypass addressing Jesus altogether. However, this prayer hails from a time when both Eastern and Western churches were both Orthodox. This means that the theology of the church taught that the dead saints, along with the angels dwelt in a dimension known as the heavens. This dimension is of such a character that it allows the spiritual beings to live in a way that time is all present, and where mater is accessible to the spirits. In other words, they are in our presence and they see us and hear us, here and now. This is the distinction in Greek thought is seen between chronos and kairos, and things visible and invisible. Hence, the church militant pleaded for the prayers of the church triumphant to come along side their own prayers, especially when it regarded the forgiveness of sin.
And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Rev 5: 8