Holidays/Feast Days

Since March 19 is the Solemnity of St. Joseph, I thought I would share a few things on this great saint!  First, a discussion of whether it is correct to call St. Joseph the father of Jesus. Second, I recently ran from Nazareth to the worksite of these two guys and I invite you by video to run along with me.

Was Joseph the “father” of Jesus?  We hear many opinions…

“Joseph was possibly the biological father of Jesus, but the Gospels deny the fact, claiming he was the product of a virgin birth, making Jesus more than just a man.”

“Jesus is really the product of rape and Joseph mercifully stepped up to the plate to help Mary and the unfortunate baby.”

“Joseph was not the father of Jesus because Jesus had no biological father; he was born to the Virgin Mary by the miraculously overshadowing of the Holy Spirit.”

There is more than one opinion today on Joseph’s relationship to Jesus—but what is the truth? Is it theologically and historically correct to refer to Joseph as the father of Jesus?

In front of the tomb of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem I state in my video/ DVD Jesus, the Word Became Flesh, “The earth provided a borrowed cave in Bethlehem to receive him at his birth and now another borrowed cave in Jerusalem protects his body in death. Born from a virgin womb he was now buried in a virgin tomb.

His father Joseph found the cave for this birth, a disciple Joseph found a cave for his burial” (the words in question are italicized).

But is it proper to refer to Joseph as “the father of Jesus”? The answer is both yes and no.

For the rest of the article click here.

 

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squadIn my talk Swimming Upstream I usually tell the story of 40 Roman soldiers who chose to freeze naked on a frozen lake in 320 AD rather than deny Jesus Christ.

St. Basil, Doctor of the Church, told of the heroic martyrdom of 40 soldiers in a homily. They had been executed fifty years before his episcopate. They died a heroic martyrdom in Armenia around AD 320.

They had been executed by Emperor Licinius. There have been churches built in their honor — even a chapel in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

Here is how I tell the story in my talk:

The Twelfth Legion — nicknamed “Armed with Lightning” —  was the best and the bravest warriors of the Roman Empire.

RomanLegion2When the great Roman army was sent to fight in far-away Armenia, no soldiers were braver or more loyal than this band of soldiers. But news reached Emperor Licinius that many Roman soldiers had accepted the Christian faith.

A decree was dispatched: “If there be any among your soldiers who cling to the faith of the Christian, they must die!”

The Prefect called the soldiers together and asked: “Are any of you Christians? The 40 soldiers stepped forward and stood at attention. The Prefect had not expected so many, nor such select ones.

He demanded they deny their Christ and offer sacrifices to the pagan gods. They refused. Not a single man would deny his Lord.

Finally the Prefect said, “The decree of the emperor must be obeyed. I order you to strip and march out upon the lake of ice.”

I40-martyrs-of-sebasten the meantime fires were built along the shore with tubs of warm water to entice the men to recant their faith.

The 40 soldiers were stripped and marched on the ice to the center of the lake. They broke into their chant: “Forty soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and the victor’s crown!” 

In the night, overcome by cold, one soldier caved in and crept toward the fire, renouncing his Lord.

f1From the darkness their chant echoed in the cold: “Thirty-nine soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and the victor’s crown!”

One of the guards keeping watch over the freezing men was amazed when he saw a brilliant supernatural light overshadowing the Christian soldiers on the ice.

At once he announced “I too am now a Christian, threw off his uniform, cast aside his sword. He disappeared into the darkness to join the thirty-nine. 

Shivering beside the thirty-nine soldiers of Christ he joined their cry, “Forty soldiers, fighting for Thee, O Christ, to win for Thee the victory and from Thee, the victor’s crown!” 

230628.bAt daybreak most were dead, the stiffened bodies of the confessors who still showed signs of life, were killed. They were all burned and their ashes tossed over the ice.

(Picture: Church marking the place of their martyrdom)

For more information read Taylor Marshall’s blog and the Wikipedia entry.

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St. Polycarp’s name does not mean “many fish”

by Steve Ray on February 23, 2017

Today is the Feast Day of the Great Bishop and Saint Polycarp on February 23. When we converted to the Catholic Church my son Jesse chose St. Polycarp as his patron saint because of his great heroism.

We filmed the whole life of St. Polycarp on location. I feel like I know him.

The name Polycarp sounds funny to our English ears, but in Greek it comes from two words “poly” meaning many or much, and “carp” meaning fruit. Obviously his Christian parents named him Polycarp along with a prayer that he would bear much fruit for the Kingdom of God — which he did.

To learn the whole story of St. Polycarp, on location, watch our new DVD “Apostolic Fathers: Handing on the Faith” along with a 28-page Study Guide.

Download a Free Copy of the
Apostolic Fathers Timeline

This amazing Timeline drives home the point of how close these men were to Jesus and the Apostles.
It demonstrates how Catholic the first Christians really were!

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ApostolicFathersCover.jpg

 

 

The Apostolic Fathers faced Emperors, heretics and lions but these heroes of the Catholic faith never lost courage. Chains, prisons and blood-soaked arenas did not stop the early Christians from witnessing for Christ and handing on the Apostolic Tradition.

Strap on your sandals and step back in time to discover the “Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith”

Comprehensive 28-Page Study Guide
Behind the Scenes: The Making of Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith
Bloopers and Outtakes
Conversation with Steve Ray and Fr. Benedict Groeschel

English and Spanish subtitles
Feature running time: 90 minutes, extras 30 minutes

Buy it NOW here

Link to Eyewitness Account of his martyrdom. Link to Letter he wrote to Philippians. Link to letter St. Ignatius wrote to Polycarp.

Fascinating Quote from St. Irenaeus about St. Polycarp

“When I was a boy . . . I remember the events of that time more clearly than those of recent years. For what boys learn, growing with their mind, becomes joined with it; so that I am able to describe the very place in which the blessed Polycarp sat as he discoursed, and his goings out and his comings in, and the manner of his life, and his physical appearance, and his discourses to the people, and the accounts which he gave of his [interaction] with John and with the others who had seen the Lord.

And as he remembered their words, and what he heard from them concerning the Lord, and concerning his miracles and his teaching, having received them from eyewitnesses of the ‘Word of life,’ Polycarp related all things in harmony with the Scriptures. These things being told me by the mercy of God, I listened to them attentively, noting them down, not on paper, but in my heart. And continually, through God’s grace, I recall them faithfully (Irenaeus quoted in Eusebius, History of the Church 5, 20 in NPNF 2nd, 1:238-139).

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Feast of Chair of St. Peter: “Chair of Moses, Chair of Peter” Steve’s Article, YouTube Video and Resources

February 22, 2017

St. Cyprian of Carthage (beheaded 257 AD) one hundred and fifty years before the New Testament writings were collected into one book called “The Bible”: “The Lord says to Peter: ‘I say to you,’ He says, ‘that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will […]

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Ironic Twist to a Devastating Story; Why Did God Allow Sin?

February 21, 2017

A while ago I wrote the Study Guide for Catholic Scripture Study — on Genesis. This section I wrote was so exciting and ironic I had to share it, especially since this is Christmas when God became Man. Here is a small section of what I wrote: But why didn’t God prevent Adam and Eve from […]

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St. Mark: Very Important; Very Little Known

February 13, 2017

St. Mark: Very Important Biblical Guy, Yet Relatively Unknown Let me introduce you to him… “His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as they had all around the Empire. The large fisherman was aging but his voice was still filled with intensity and conviction. The thronging crowds listened with curiosity.       “Rome was the hub […]

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Mass at Lourdes Grotto; Toured Bernadette’s Life ; Two Huge Processions

February 11, 2017

Since today is the Feast Day of Lourdes, I thought I would share our two 15 minute videos we made there so you can share the excitement of being there on this special day. Amazing day at Lourdes – enjoy! First video is our mass and exploration of the Grotto and a tour of Bernadette’s […]

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The Skull is Talking to Me; Lent is Upon Us!

February 1, 2017

THE SKULL TALKS TO ME EVERY MORNING! It says, “As you are now, I once was; as I am now, you soon shall be — remember your mortality!” No better way to approach Ash Wednesday and 40 days of Lent. Artists have painted St. Jerome with a skull on his desk. Popes were known to keep […]

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Free St. Paul Timeline in Honor of Feast of Paul’s Conversion Today

January 25, 2017

Here is a copy of a Timeline I made of St. Paul’s life and writings. Enjoy! Please print and share. Also get a copy of my DVD Paul, Contending for the Faith below filmed in 6 countries. Full study guide included.

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Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release

January 23, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Rose Trabbic, Publicist, Ignatius Press, (239) 867-4180 or rose@ignatius.com Ignatius Press prepares for 100th anniversary of Fatima with a historic pilgrimage and new release San Francisco, November 21, 2016 – The long-awaited 100th anniversary of the appearances of Our Lady at Fatima in 1917 is around the corner, and Ignatius Press has exciting plans to […]

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Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?

January 8, 2017

With upon us, I thought I would post my article this Christmas season with bits of interesting information and details about Christmas, the Gospels and Epiphany. Join us in Bethlehem for Christmas this year from December 26-January 4 or any of six times in 2015. Visit www.SteveGoes.com. Did the Wise Men Meet the Shepherds?  A […]

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live about Mary, Joseph, Jesus & Christmas

December 22, 2016

To listen to the show on-line click here. For other listening options like podcasts, click here. These are the questions I answered tonight about Christmas, Bethlehem, the birth of Jesus, Joseph & Mary, the gospel accounts and more. *************************************************** 1. Tell us about the four Gospels and why they tell different stories. 2. How does […]

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Lots of Radio Shows this Week! All About the REAL Mary, Jesus and Christmas

December 19, 2016

I don’t know that I have ever had a week so full of radio shows across the country. What fun. A few were pre-recorded and the others live. Here is the list. All times are Eastern: For my fun-filled documentary movie Mary, Mother of God see below. Monday 9:40 AM: Teresa Tomeo Show on EWTN, […]

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What Christmas Carol is This?

December 19, 2016

ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ It is a clever riddle, but see if you can figure it out. Don’t read the comments below unless you give up.

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Steve’s Interview on Guadalupe and Conversion of Human Sacrificing Aztecs

December 14, 2016
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At Guadalupe All Day! Wow! Conversion of the Americas

December 12, 2016

Join  us as we tour the whole shrine and grounds of Guadalupe along with a special Mass in front of the Tilma of Our Lady. Amazing climb to the top of Tepeyac Hill where Our Lady appeared to St. Juan Diego. For the homily in front of the image of Guadalupe, click here.

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