Saints and Fathers

It is not an understatement to say the St. Ignatius of Antioch, who was eaten by lions in Rome in AD 106 is one of my favorite men of all time. He was a link to help me grasp the Catholic Church. He dragged me in with his seven letters.

So it was with interest that I read John C. Evans treatise of St. Ignatius, his times, his associates, his speculated relationship with St. John and the Blessed Virgin Mary, with Peter and others. The star of Bethlehem association is also an interesting twist.

John Evans shared this with me and it intrigued me enough that I wanted to share it. Everything below the line of asterisks belongs to John Evans.

Below the article is a video of John interviewing me about the life of the Holy Family in their own historical context.


Ignatius of Antioch and The Christmas Star

Through the Eyes of John and Mary

A brief hypothesis on chapters 18 and 19 of Ignatius of Antioch’s Letter to the Ephesians and his primary sources.

The following consists of a blog entry and not an exhaustive study of the questions raised. As such, it is intended as a rough outline of my thesis and is subject to critique, revision, and further dialogue.

downloadThe letter to the Ephesians attributed to the early second-century martyr, Ignatius of Antioch, conspicuously stands out from the six other epistles generally believed to be authentic by mainstream voices in the field of patristics. This is largely due to a famous or infamous passage toward the end of the letter, comprising of chapters 18 and 19 in which Ignatius, on his way to execution in Rome, seemingly diverts from the flow of his discourse to expound the events surrounding the passion and nativity of Christ.

The minimalist scholar will inevitably hold to the conviction that these references comprise of merely one layer in a series of “ecclesiastical traditions” of dubious origin with little to no foundation in the person of the historical Jesus. Such a conviction, however, is founded on the presupposition that either the apostolic memory died before Ignatius gave his life in Rome toward the very dawn of the second century or that the successors to the Apostles had little concern for historicity as we would conceive of it. However, such a presupposition ignores two steady streams of evidence branching from a wealth of patristic sources.

Most would place the death of John, the last surviving apostle, to circa A.D 90 in Ephesus, hardly twenty years before the martyrdom of Ignatius of Antioch. John was active in Asia Minor toward the end of his life and according to the second-century father Irenaeus, a well-known student of Polycarp, he was responsible for combating heretical sects toward the close of the first century, which sought to distort the memory of what the rest of the twelve witnessed and died defending.

met+stills.00_01_58_10.Still003John was an eyewitness of the crucifixion of Jesus, was caretaker for His Mother in Ephesus, until her passing or assumption, possibly in the 60s, and is listed as a pillar of the faith by Paul alongside James, the brother or cousin of the Lord. There is also the witness of Papias. Papias authored an “exposition on the oracles of the Lord,” which is now lost. However, fragments survive. Papias claims to have faithfully passed on what he learned from a series of eyewitnesses of “the truth” and to have an interest in truth as it factually happened, and he references the name “John” twice. As we read:….

For the whole article, click here to visit John C Evans’ Book and Spade website. You comment on the article below AND learn more about this fascinating young man named John C. Evans and write to him at


Audio CD’s to Celebrate the Year of St. Joseph

by Steve Ray on February 15, 2021

My new talk on St. Joseph is now ready to ship! It is quite different than any other talks you’ve heard on Joseph. I present him as the manly man he was. Journey to Nazareth with me to discover the real St. Joseph.

Also in our sale bundle you will get “A Day in the Life of the Holy Family” and “Mary, Real Girl & Woman of Mystery.”

Screen Shot 2021-02-15 at 10.31.33 AM


You would not have wanted to be with St. Paul today because February 10 is the Feast Day of the Shipwreck of St. Paul on Malta. I have been on ships in the Mediterranean many times and I make a practice each time of going out on the deck on a stormy night and imagining….

So I am reposting this blog from our recent trip to Malta where I found the place of St. Paul’s shipwreck.

One of my favorite things is to discover the events and places of the Bible and to share them with others. The Bible is true and the more we learn of it the more we are grounded in the Catholic Faith.

Today I went out in search of the place of St. Paul’s Shipwreck in Acts 27-28. It was great fun and I thought I would share this adventure with you.

Much to do on this Catholic Island and this is only one of my adventures on video from Malta.


Were Christians Killed in the Roman Colosseum?

February 8, 2021

Most guides today in Rome will give you an instant and ready reply, “No, Christians were not killed in the Roman Colosseum! ” Of course I heard the exact opposite when I first went to Rome multiple times in the 1980’s. St. Ignatius of Antioch was martyred in the colosseum, three hundred yards from his […]

Read the full article →

My Free St. Paul Timeline and Info on our St. Paul Cruise

February 2, 2021

Janet and I are leading our regular St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” this October. We will be taking our 8 oldest grandkids. We are visiting 10 biblical sites related to St. Paul, Mary, St. John and more. We will start out from Athens, visiting Corinth, Thessaloniki, Berea, Neapolis, Philippi, Istanbul, Pergamum, Ephesus, the […]

Read the full article →

Interview with Al Kresta: The Conversion of St. Paul as the Seed of all Paul’s Theology

January 27, 2021

Jesus asked an unusual question from heaven. “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” How could Saul persecute Jesus who was safely distanced in heaven? This question was the seed that grew into the foundation for all of St. Paul’s teaching and theology. Fascinating look at how we are all in Christ and Christ is […]

Read the full article →

Another Reason I Like Trump so much – Honoring St. Thomas Becket

December 30, 2020

Here’s one more reason why Donald Trump should be re-elected President. He often does surprising, good things in support of the Church and Christian faith, like this amazing proclamation today honoring a saint and martyr – for religious freedom. Proclamation on 850th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket Today is the 850th anniversary of the […]

Read the full article →

Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live “St. Ignatius of Antioch and the 1st Martyrs”

October 17, 2020

1)  How can I use the Early Church Fathers and martyrs to help my Fundamentalist sister understand the truth of the Catholic Faith? 2)  I understood that St. Ignatius was a disciple of St. John the Apostle but you just said he was a disciple of St. Peter. Where did you get this information? 3) […]

Read the full article →

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

October 16, 2020

Today is the feast day of one of my all-time favorite heroes. HE made me Catholic. [For my 90-minute adventure documentary on Ignatius of Antioch along with four other Apostolic Fathers, get Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. For more info see below.] There are Apostolic Fathers and Fathers of the Church. What is the difference? Fathers […]

Read the full article →

The Pain of Stolen Honey – John the Baptist was a Manly Man who Teaches us Many Things

September 8, 2020

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. I know. I raised hives of bees as a boy and once I was stung 35 times in one day. And that was with protective equipment! Wild honey is […]

Read the full article →

Can Relics and Sacramentals Relay the Power of God?

August 28, 2020

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 […]

Read the full article →

Steve Ray: Six Minutes on the Church Fathers

May 26, 2020

Six minute interview at Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Read the full article →

Two Interviews: 1) My interview by a Protestant Pastor; 2) Our experience meeting St. John Paul II

May 18, 2020

Two fun, energetic interviews today in case you are interested. First is a short 15-minute interview with John Harper on Relevant Radio sharing Janet and my experience meeting St. John Paul II twice in Rome at his private Mass and our two married kids meeting him together with their wedding clothes and his prayer for […]

Read the full article →

Steve’s New Talk on “Joseph: Manly Man & Chosen Father”

May 1, 2020

Here is my new talk on St. Joseph given at a Men’s Conference in March 2020. It is an hour talk on MP3 entitled “Joseph: Manly Man & Chosen Father.” This talk will give men a whole new image of this rugged saint who in some ways was just an “average Joe.” “We often see St. […]

Read the full article →

My Favorite Picture/Painting of the Jewish St. Paul the Apostle

January 30, 2020

Most pictures of St. Paul ignore his Jewishness. When he entered a Synagogue to teach he could not have looked like a Gentile. He would have been distinctly Jewish. They would never ask a Gentile to share a “word of encouragement” to the Jewish worshipers. For example: “Acts 13:14–15:  “They went on from Perga and […]

Read the full article →

Was Joseph the Father of Jesus? Video of Going to Work with Jesus and Joseph near Nazareth!

January 8, 2020

I thought I would share a few things on the great St. Joseph. The more I’ve studied him and walked in his land, the more I love this guy.  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 […]

Read the full article →