Saints and Fathers

Peter preaching in Rome; Mark writing down his words

His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had done all around the Roman 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 of the civilized world and Peter preached the message of a Jewish rabbi named Jesus from the far away country of Israel. Many in the crowd had believed in Jesus and had become part of this new society called the Church—the Church of which Peter was the acknowledged head. Standing at his side was his fellow-worker and secretary John Mark.

Mark was his Roman name, John his Jewish. He lived in Jerusalem with his mother Mary and associated with the apostles (Acts 12:12). As Barnabas’ cousin, he had been one of Paul’s first missionary companions around ad 45 (Acts 13:5; Co 4:10), but left Paul and for a time and journeyed with Barnabas (Acts 15:37).

Mark later ministered again with Paul (Philem 24; 2 Tim 4:11) around ad 61, this time in Rome, sarcastically named “Babylon”, where he was Peter’s fellow-worker and interpreter (1 Pet 5:13). Peter probably baptized Mark himself since he calls him his son. Peter sent Mark to preach the Gospel in Egypt and today the largest church in Cairo is dedicated to St. Mark who first brought the Gospel.

For the rest of the story on St. Mark, click here.

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It was a great day today but sad as well. It is always sad to say Good-bye and leave each other after spending such a wonderful ten days together in such tremendously powerful spiritual sites.

Today we started with Mass at the Grotto where Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette and revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception. We toured the museum and what has to be the largest underground church in the world! 

Free afternoon then a delicious farewell dinner with a Cake of Thanks, blessing of the religious items, final farewells and comments. Enjoy!

Thanks again to our partner Corporate Travel for their wonderful services! They are the best travel agency we could imagine. Thanks to John Hale, Mark Slater, Suzanne Parran, Elizabeth Markey and Becca. Also thanks to Teresa Torres our local guide and to Teresa Tomeo our friend, partner and fellow pilgrim. Thanks to all the pilgrims on this trip who have traveled with us many times before and those who are already preparing to join us again.

Mass and Day’s Activities

Farewell Dinner, Blessings, Comments and Departure

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Today was St. Bernadette’s feast day and everyone thought it pretty special to be here in Lourdes, touring the Shrine, having Mass and visiting all the historical sites related to her life.

I got some great shots and involvement with the evening procession with thousands of people from all over the world, all united in the Catholic Faith and love for the Church and the Blessed Mother. It gives me hope seeing this kind of universality of the Church and the dedication of her children.

Hope you enjoy the movie of our very exciting and fun day!

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Driving thru Spectacular Mountais to Lourdes France!

April 15, 2015

We took a driving tour of spectacular Zaragosa Spain then took off north towards France, heading to Lourdes.  The Pyrenees Mountains separating Spain and France were stunning and beautiful – still covered with snow as we went through the waterfalls and rushing streams, tunnels and forests. We arrived in the Lourdes with songs of praise and [...]

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All Day with St. Teresa in Avila, Walking Tour, Great Homily and Installed in Brown Scapular

April 13, 2015

I will let the videos speak for themselves – but it was a great day. The weather forecast was for rain but it was sunny and warm all day. We had planned to visit two nearby cities but I made an executive decision to cancel that so people had a free afternoon and evening in [...]

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Carmelites and Lovers of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross – on the 500th Anniversary of her birth

April 12, 2015

Friends and Family of those traveling with us — if you leave a comment below I will read it on the bus. Anyone can leave a comment and I will read it. Today was your day! We followed St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross through their hometowns and places of ministry [...]

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Meet St. Paul as he Writes to the Romans; A Brief Study to Make it Easy

April 12, 2015

I love St. Paul and love to write about him and his epistles. I also enjoyed traveling through six countries filming his life story and theology. St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans is often seen as impossible to understand except by theologians — and most skip right over this masterpiece. With hopes that you will [...]

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Fatima Portugal to Avila Spain, Stopping along the way at St. Teresa of Avila’s Tomb for Mass

April 11, 2015

This is the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila. We are now visiting all the sites in Spain related to her life and Carmelite spirituality. What a great day we had driving from Fatima in Portugal to Avila in Spain. We had Mass along the way at Alba de Tormes, at [...]

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John the Baptist Ate Them…Steve Ate One too!

January 10, 2015

I was just on the radio and mentioned how I ate a grasshopper in the Holy Land, in honor of John the Baptist. Since we just returned from Israel I thought I would repost this blog entry in honor of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus on January 9 and my appearance on Relevant Radio to [...]

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The Pain of Stolen Honey – In Preparation for “John the Baptist & Our Lord Baptism”

January 8, 2015

A painful price is paid when one reaches his hand into a swarm of bees to swipe some of their honey. Stingers fly and welts flare. Wild honey is not collected from wild bees without burning pain and suffering. Today there is protective equipment and methods to harvest honey, but in times past it took [...]

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

December 22, 2014

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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The Jewish Cardinal

November 16, 2014

I met a new hero today, but only through the medium of a movie. It was entitled The Jewish Cardinal. After returning home exhausted from the Raising Rebels Conference in Manchester NH where I gave three talks yesterday, I was ready for a good movie tonight. My wife found this one on Netflix.  This drama [...]

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Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?

September 4, 2014

Are saints who have physically died “dead saints” or are they alive with God? A friend named Leonard Alt got tired of being hammered by anti-Catholic Fundamentalists on this issue so he decided to write this article. I thought you might enjoy it too, so here it goes… Leonard writes: I wrote this note after [...]

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Apostolic Fathers Timeline – Today is St. Justin Martyr’s Feast Day

June 1, 2014

Feast Day of St. Justin Martyr, June 1 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! The Apostolic Fathers faced Emperors, heretics and lions but these heroes of [...]

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Can Relics and Sacramentals Relay the Power of God?

May 31, 2014

Some might claim that Catholic teaching on relics and Sacramentals is unbiblical. Really? Check out these biblical passages: “So extraordinary were the mighty deeds God accomplished at the hands of Paul that when face CLOTHS or aprons that touched his skin were applied to the sick, their diseases left them and the evil spirits came [...]

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So, Why is Abraham the Father of our Faith?

May 19, 2014

To purchase Steve Ray’s Talk “Abraham: Father of Faith & Works” on CD or MP3 visit SteveRaysStore.com. Well for starters, let’s see how he DID or DIDN’T respond to God when called to leave his homeland and go to a place that God would show him. Let’s put ourselves in his sandals and see what WE [...]

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