Church History

St. Augustine near Piazza Navona

Since we leave for Rome today to pick up our 80 pilgrims for a pilgrimage through Italy, Greece and Turkey, I thought I would post this article so you can see some of the churches we will visit. 

Here is the portion of the article in which I contributed. Teresa Tomeo also shares her favorite churches.

With Mother’s Day approaching, San Agostino, or St. Augustine, is a great place to visit, says Steve Ray, a tour guide whose company, The Footprints of Godleads frequent pilgrimages to Rome.

The church pays tribute to St. Augustine and houses the remains of his mother, who famously prayed for his conversion to Christianity for more than 30 years. There’s a statue inside of Mary with the Baby Jesus, and women experiencing difficult pregnancies often come to pray. (Ray attributes this to the healthy birth of one of his grandchildren.) The church also houses famous paintings by Raffaello and Caravaggio…

San Stefano Rotundo, Church of the Martyrs

St. Stephen’s in the Round is dedicated to Christian martyrs, including those who died in the gladiator games at the nearby Colosseum. “It’s very special, because most of the churches in Rome are not round,” says Ray.

Dating from the 5th century, the inner sanctum is filled with graphic oil paintings that depict many of the gruesome tortures endured by martyrs. It may not be the best place to take young children, but Ray says it’s a popular spot for weddings. St. Stephen, considered the first Christian martyr, is buried here, and it is believed that the Roman emperor Nero feasted at the site. “The church’s modest exterior and its off-the-beaten path location make it one pilgrims might consider skipping,” says Nowell. “But by doing so, they will miss a truly unforgettable experience.”

Click here for the whole article.

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http://www.catholic-convert.com/documents/QuestionsforBibleChristians.pdf  (David Palm is the original compiler of the insightful list.) Check out this list of Questions for “Bible Christians” that they cannot answer.

I got a response in the Comments below, but thought I would post it here with my response.

DAVID COMMENTED: It is refreshing to hear a Romanist admit they are not “Bible Christians”.

STEVE RAY RESPONDS:
I fixed a bit of his punctuation and responded: DAVID: I admitted no such thing. We “Romanists” do NOT claim to be “Bible-aloneist-Christians” for that would be unbiblical. However, to your chagrin, we Catholics are the original and genuine Bible Christians — the ones who decided which books belong in your Bible :-) When I put Bible Christians in quotation marks (“Bible Christians “) it was said with tongue in cheek — thought most folks would understand that :-)

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Delusional Famous Baptist Preacher

by Steve Ray on August 1, 2014

“It seems odd, that certain men who talk so much of what the Holy Spirit reveals to themselves, should think so little of what he has revealed to others.  (19th century London Anti-Catholic Baptist Charles H. Spurgeon in his Commenting and Commentaries, 1).

20111107-080421.jpgBut isn’t it ironic that Spurgeon is guilty of what he accuses others of neglecting? The Holy Spirit spoke through the Apostles and early bishops and their writings and practices are easily accessible.

They practiced the primacy of Rome, the Real Presence in the Eucharist, new birth through water baptism, a church structure with bishops, priests and deacons.

The 2nd century “church service” was a perfect blueprint of the Mass today and does not even remotely resemble the “Baptist church” of today.

Why does Spurgeon think so much of what he supposes the Holy Spirit showed him (a tradition unknown before the 16th century) while he ignores what the Holy Spirit universally revealed to the early Church and which has

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What Does the Word Catholic Mean? A History of the Word “Catholic”

July 10, 2014

As a Protestant, I went to an Evangelical church that changed an important and historical word in the  Apostles Creed. Instead of the “holy, catholic Church,” we were the “holy, Christian church.” At the time, I thought nothing of it. There was certainly no evil intent, just a loathing of the Catholic Church and a [...]

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Mega-church Mania: One Mom’s Observations (she’s a good writer) and Observations from the Early Church

June 2, 2014

Mr. Ray, My eldest daughter invited me to my grandson’s ‘dedication’ at her new place of worship.  Worship? Sorry. Her new place of…..well, the giant Olympic-sized structure that, after being directed in by police/traffic officers, upon entering, reminded me of a mall.  Oh and by the way, I didn’t witness any worship. My 1st thoughts were…”Wow! [...]

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11 Must See Churches in Rome: Steve Ray and Teresa Tomeo Interveiwed by Fox News Travel

May 6, 2014

Here are a list of great churches to see in Rome that are usually off the radar screen. Murals of torture and martyrdom, tombs of the Apostolic Fathers and much more. Enjoy the article at http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2014/04/24/11-must-see-churches-in-rome/

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Why Protestants Reject 7 Books of the Bible – the Short Answer

April 30, 2014

Gary Michuta is an expert on the canon of Scripture, especially in regards to the Deutero-canonical books, what the Protestants call the Apocrypha. You can read his book Why Catholic Bibles Are Bigger to see what I mean. Recently a friend asked Gary for the short answer as to why the Protestants removed seven books from [...]

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The Technology of Scripture Study: The Middle Ages (and a hilarious video at the end)

March 16, 2014

I am an ecclesiastical historian by training and a Bible software guy by trade. Which, I think, puts me in the unique position to write about the history of the intersection of technology and Scripture study in a series of posts. Written by my friend Andrew Jones PhD: We might start with a description of [...]

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St. Ignatius Steps on Luther; Mary Throws Luther out of Heaven

December 26, 2013

Two great Jesuit churches stand near each other in Rome. One is the Church of St. Ignatius and the other the Church of Gesu (Jesus). Both are imposing and majestic and reflect the glory of the Jesuits in their heyday.  The one to the left is called the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola. In Italian [...]

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Google and the Vatican Work Together so you can Tour the Catacombs in Rome

November 27, 2013

Early Christian burial sites are now easier to see, both in person and via the Internet, thanks to 21st-century technology and collaboration between Google and the Vatican. “This is perhaps the sign of the joining of two extremes, remote antiquity and modernity,” said Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi at a news conference Tuesday at the Catacombs of [...]

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Imperial President Promises Christians: “I Won’t Make You Marry Gays”…

June 26, 2013

…he won’t MAKE us marry gays? Oh, how kind of his majesty. So considerate of his subjects, especially us misguided and intolerant Christians. Obama the merciful! But before you bow in thanks to his Royal Highness beware that his anti-Christian, anti-conservative minions in the IRS might just remove tax-exempt status for any group refusing to marry [...]

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Brief Overviews of Paul’s Life — from the Place He Was Beheaded — Free Timeline

June 18, 2013

Two Videos: 1) Short Biography of St. Paul from the Place he was Martyred; 2) a Tour of the Sites of St. Paul’s Last Days. Enjoy! Steve gave a short biography of St. Paul at Tre Fontone where St. Paul was beheaded. This will give you a short introduction to St. Paul and his life [...]

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This Ad Shown on History Channel – Bravo!

March 10, 2013

Catholics Come Home ad

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My Two Books to Help Understand the Papacy and the Process

February 12, 2013

Ray, a former Evangelical Protestant and Bible teacher, goes through the Scriptures and the first five centuries of the Church to demonstrate that the early Christians had a clear understanding of the primacy of Peter in the see of Rome. (Click on book image to learn more or to purchase) He tackles the tough issues [...]

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“Sunday Mornings in Ancient Times” or “Why I Teared up Last Sunday”

February 3, 2013

Tears welled up in my eyes — again — at Mass last Sunday. It was not always so. As a former Baptist I used to think the Catholic Mass was a sacrilege and an abomination. How could anyone worship a piece of bread? Really! However, last Sunday I was overcome with emotion while sitting in [...]

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Trail of Blood: Do Baptists Have a Claim to the Original Church?

January 18, 2013

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct? There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving [...]

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