Saints and Fathers

joseph10Today is the Feast day of St. Joseph the Worker!

There are some pictures of Joseph I don’t appreciate so much. They present him almost as soft, effeminate like he just came out of a beauty parlor. It appears he never worked in the real world and has not a wrinkle on his clothes or a speck of dirt on his hands and feet.

I understand why artists paint Joseph this way and why churches have statues and images of the flowery, dainty, “European” Joseph with his fair hair. It is because art tries to reveal the inner qualities. This soft art tries to show the righteousness, holiness, kindness and love of a man who cared so deeply for God and his family.

308f4d06baa56b279ed41a7a1b86e31eBut Joseph was anything but a fair-haired, effeminate man with soft skin. Joseph was a manly man. His hands were calloused, his face was brown and creased from the sun, his arms and legs were like iron from walking, lifting and working. Quite the opposite of how he is often portrayed.

We are told that Joseph was a carpenter. The word for carpenter in the Greek of the New Testament is tekton which means one who works with hard materials like wood, stone or metal. 

In short Joseph was a laborer, a redneck, a rock mason. Someone had to quarry the rocks near Nazareth; someone had to chisel them with hammers to shape them for walls, houses, etc. Most historians believe Joseph and Jesus were construction workers helping build the city of Sepphoris.

You see here a few of my favorite pictures of St. Joseph, probably better representing the way he and Jesus really looked. Rough hands, brown face, tussled hair, coarse clothing and dusty feet. Imagine a construction worker, a farmer in the field, a lumberjack or a ditch digger.

tissot-the-anxiety-of-saint-joseph-737x587x72When I first showed this picture of Jesus standing in the wood shavings and dust to a friend with a devotion to St. Joseph he was scandalized. He shouted, “That is NOT St. Joseph!” He had been meditating on the soft, effeminate Joseph, not the rugged working Joseph of the rustic town of Nazareth.

Nazareth was a backwater village with a network of about 25 caves. Very rustic living – no plumbing, no showers, to toilets, no refrigerators, microwaves, washing machines or air conditioners. How would such a life affect you? (In the picture to the right you can see Mary arriving from the well with a jug of water on her head.)

St. Joseph was a manly man and so was Jesus. They give us a good example of masculine men, working hard for their family. They demonstrated the dignity of hard work and the dignity of family life (CCC 533).

St. Joseph the Worker, pray for us!

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

by Steve Ray on February 23, 2018

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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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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On 3 Radio Shows Thursday for Conversion of St. Paul

by Steve Ray on January 24, 2018

D924E64D-AC4E-4EE5-A2A4-5C983CB443D6The conversion of St. Paul’s feast day is Thursday. I have been there – to the very location in Damascus several times. I wept when I was there.

I’ll be on three radio shows on Thursday describing the importance of his conversion, the impact it made on St. Paul, the impact it had on me when I was there and what it meant for the world.

Son Rise Morning Show at 6:35 AM Eastern

Relevant Radio with John Harper at 7:15 AM Eastern

Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio at 4:00 PM Eastern.

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Hey Steve: Jesus Taught us to Pray to the Father Alone, not Dead Saints

December 12, 2017

 Barry wrote in my combox today – in response to my post entitled “Where Does the Bible Say We Should Pray to Dead Saints?”  Resources about Communion of the Saints.  I thought I would respond briefly. Barrry wrote: Would you please read the Lord’s prayer. Jesus prayed it. He was giving an example on how to pray. […]

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Feast of Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome; Three Tours of Church of St. Paul in Rome

November 18, 2017

Join us on a future pilgrimage to Rome, or the Footprints of St. Paul Cruise, or Israel, Ireland or others. Check out www.SteveGoes.com, or call Elizabeth at 800-727-1999. The Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls launched a newly renovated Web site to collect prayers, offer a virtual tour, and further the Apostle’s worldwide evangelization effort. […]

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Fatima’s ‘Miracle of the Sun’ broke darkness of Portugal’s atheist regimes

November 3, 2017

Since we arrive in Fatima today with our 3 buses, I thought I would share this EXCELLENT article about the power of the miracle in the midst of an antheist government and oppression of Christians. Fatima, Portugal, Oct 12, 2017 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News) On “the day the sun danced,” thousands of people bore witness […]

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Happy Feast Day of St. Luke, Friend of Mary

October 18, 2017

St Luke: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary (Feast Day October 18) “Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat […]

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Why Do We Call St. Ignatius of Antioch and others APOSTOLIC FATHERS?

October 17, 2017

Today is the feast day of one of my all time favorite heroes. HE made me Catholic. I was on Relevant Radio today talking about him and why I love this guy so much. [For my 90-minute adventure documentary on Ignatius of Antioch along with four other Apostolic Fathers, get Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. For […]

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Kissing Statues

September 30, 2017

We are in Jerusalem today ready to pick up our group of 50 people at the airport in a few hours. When I woke up this morning to the Muslim “call to prayer”, church bells ringing and horns honking I read this email that came from the United Kingdom… It read, “Hi Steve! I know […]

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Understanding St. Matthew and his Gospel on his Feast Day Today

September 21, 2017

Since it is the Feast Day of St. Matthew, let’s learn a lot about him. Matthew: Understanding the Tax Collector and his Gospel By Steve Ray If looks could kill, he’d be dead. The Jews glared at Levi as he counted his coins. Tax collectors in Israel had great wealth and were considered renegades and […]

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Fun Show about Nicodemus with Al Kresta

August 31, 2017

Join Al Kresta and myself today at 4:20 PM Eastern time for a fun and energetic discussion of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. They were judges on the Supreme Court of Israel and yet they took huge risks to follow Jesus. We discuss them today on their Feast Day. Listen live at www.avemariaradio.net  or listen […]

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

June 23, 2017

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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Luke’s Gospel: Greek Physician, Historian & Friend of Mary

June 18, 2017

Her face shone as she related the stories—the words were vibrant, and though older now, her memory was excellent. He sat enraptured as she brought the past into living color. He had traveled a long way to see her and he sat motionless, with furled brow, taking careful notes on his parchment. He spent hours […]

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St. Mark: Very Important; Very Little Known

June 17, 2017

To listen to our show about St. Mark on relevant radio: We’re discussing feast of St. Mark at :30 sec mark w/SteveRay@JerusalemJones relevantradio.streamguys.us/MA%20Archive/M… or download hour 1 @relevantradio app St. Mark: Very Important Biblical Guy, Yet Relatively Unknown Let me introduce you to him… “His voice boomed over the crowds in Rome as it had all around […]

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Burgos Spain to Loyola (St.Ignatius) to Lourdes France

May 22, 2017

Wonderful day, great folks, conversion and vocation stories and the highlight – St. Ignatius and Loyola. Delightful and entertaining Homily by Fr. Andrew Apostoli at Loyola basilica.

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All Day in Fatima! Fr. Apostoli’s Talk and more

May 18, 2017

Join us today for a full day ALL Fatima seeing everything and having a deeply spiritual experience. We prayed the Rosary up to the place where the angel gave the children holy Communion. Fr. Andrew Apostoli gave a very profound to talk which you can watch Here are the highlights of our Fatima day!

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