Saints and Fathers

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 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.

Several years ago I ran the one-hour route Jesus and Joseph walked to work each day from Nazareth to Sepphoris. Hope you enjoy walking in the actual daily footprints of Jesus and Joseph.

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Today we visited the Aztec Temple in Mexico City. The cathedral of Mexico City was built right next to the 500-year temple.

I did a lot of study on the Aztecs and their massive human sacrifices and cannibalism.

I realized there was a great tie-in with the Catholic faith, the sacrifice of Christ and abortion which is also human sacrifice. I share the history and my discoveries in this short video on location.

You can learn more about the Tilma of Guadalupe in my new talk: Holy Shroud of Turin and Tilma of Guadalupe: Love Letters from Heaven.Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 7.27.51 AM

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 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 of how to pray. He didn’t pray to Peter, Paul, Mary, or John-who took care of Jesus’s mother and wrote Revelation. No, He prayed to His Father. This is Jesus Himself praying, should we not follow Him, as He asked Peter and His disciples to follow Him. This reference in 350AD is close to 270 years or more after the disciples died. The disciples who wrote the gospel. Do their words of what Christ told them mean nothing?

STEVE RAY RESPONDS BRIEFLY:

FIRST, thanks for writing Barry and God bless you. You start out with a seeming tone of condescension. Of course, I have read the Lord’s Prayer, in fact, I have it memorized :-)  By the way, we Catholics refer to John 17 as the Lords’ Prayer. What you call the Lords’ Prayer we usually refer to as the Our Father.

Card-85-Holy-Spirit-backSECOND, is it ONLY to the Father that we should pray? Is Jesus’ example restricting us from “praying” to anyone else? This seems to be your implication. However, should we also pray to Jesus? Is that allowed? And what about the Holy Spirit? Should we pray to him or is that disallowed? According to your statements above we should not pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit! If you say we are allowed (and should) pray to the Holy Spirit you may be interested to know that nowhere in Scripture are we told to do that nor do we have an example of someone who does. Yes, most Christians would agree we should pray to Jesus and the Holy Spirit as well as to the Father.

THIRD, The words pray and worship are two different words with different meanings. Pray Is to ask for something, it means a petition or a request. Worship means to do just that, worship and adore. Worship is something reserved for the Trinity alone. Protestants tend to see pray and worship as synonyms which is one reason they often react so negatively to the reality of the intercession of the saints.

When we pray to Saint it is not worshiping them. It is asking them to intercede WITH us as we pray to God himself. God is the only one who can answer prayers.

15445tca0714_ChristGlorifiedFOURTH, when Jesus was on the earth the Saints were not yet in glory–heaven had not been opened yet. When Jesus ascended to heaven he brought the dead with him into the presence of God. From that point on they’re in the presence of God himself and can intercede personally for people still on earth (or do you think they can’t or don’t care?) 

Like I asked my mother who doubts the saints are aware of things on the earth and can intercede for us. “Do you think Dad has forgotten you, doesn’t care about you anymore or isn’t ask the Lord to bless you? Dad is sitting in his favorite chair having coffee with Our Lord Jesus waiting for you to arrive to love you better than ever before. In the meantime, he is praying for you and very intent on your well being. (Read my article, “Marriage in Heaven? Will We Know and Love our Spouses in Heaven?”

Transfiguration-1024x670FIFTH, we are commanded to pray for each other and to ask others to pray for us. We believe the church is one organic body not split up and divided. Those in heaven are part of the body of Christ like we are. We ask them to intercede for us just like I could ask you to intercede for me.

Even though right now I can’t see you or talk to you personally I can use technology to do it to ask you to intercede for me. I don’t know how spiritual technology works but I certainly trust the Scriptures and the Church. The Saints are very much alive in the presence of God and they are concerned about what’s going on down on earth (consider Moses at the Transfiguration in Luke 9:30-31). The Saints in the presence of God in heaven can easily request of God benefits on our behalf.

SIXTH, Believers have been asking for the prayers of the Saints since the beginning. All one has to do is look at the graffiti left in the catacombs to see where they said from the first centuries “Peter and Paul pray for us”. In the catacombs of St. Sebastian there’s one segment of wall covering the former tombs of Sts.  Peter and Paul. There are 614 requests for intersession scratched into the wall from the very first Christians. They were (praying=asking) for the intercession of these two great martyrs and saints.

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 11.30.10 AMThis is just scratching the surface. There is so much more to say but if you’re interested you’ll find the sources. If you’re not then I feel sorry for you. I am so happy that back in my former years as a Protest-ant it was just “Me and Jesus” but now the heavens have opened and I realize I am part of something much bigger, the Mystical Body of Christ with the Communion of the Saints. Blessed be God forever.

I recommend Patrick Madrid’s book Any Friend of God’s is a Friend of Mine.

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All Saints Day: My Show on Catholic Answers Live – “Old Testament Saints”

October 31, 2019

We had a great time on Wednesday discussing Old Testament saints. Where were they before Christ died and rose, did Mary have OT heroes, are Adam and Eve saints and much more. I hope you enjoy this podcast. Click HERE to listen to the show. https://www.catholic.com/audio/cal/old-testament-saints#.Xb6zVgBoWJU.mailto “The patriarchs, prophets, and certain other Old Testament figures have […]

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Kissing Statues

October 1, 2019

A while ago in Jerusalem I awoke to the loud and intrusive 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 you are a busy man. Please answer the above issue when the time permits you. I am a Catholic […]

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Birth of Mary in the Protoevangelium of James

September 8, 2019

In the early 2nd century the early Church held a document in very high regard. From this document we learn about the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary and her own birth. Since today is the Feast Day of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, I thought I would provide a link to the Protoevangelium […]

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At Auschwitz Today: St. Maximillian Kolbe the Martyr and Auschwitz

August 28, 2019

Since we are walking through the horror of Auschwitz today I wanted to share the story of one hero who gave his life in exchange for another man–a father and husband. St. Maximilian Kolbe was starved to death – and we visit his death cell today. Click here for the whole story and pictures… St. […]

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Maria Faustina and the Divine Mercy: A Short Biography & History

August 27, 2019

Since today we are praying the Divine Mercy at the bones of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska at the convent in Poland, I thought I would share this short biography and history. Click here for the whole story with pictures…. The Biography of St. Maria Faustina. (August 25, 1905 – October 5, 1938)
 An excerpt from Apostle of Divine Mercy, a […]

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Was Abraham Saved by Faith Alone? Are the Protestants Right?

August 25, 2019

Today (Monday) I will be on the radio with Gary Michuta at 1 PM at https://virginmostpowerfulradio.org/. Hope you can listen in. Our topic will be Abraham, Father of Faith & Works. I am looking forward to this live show. In honor of this event today I am posting this article on Abraham, a critique I made of […]

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Today in Niepokalanow, Poland: Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s “City of the Immaculata”

August 23, 2019

Niepokalanow, Poland: Saint Maximilian Kolbe’s “City of the Immaculata” Today we are in Niepokalanow where St. Maximilian Kolbe set up the “City of the Immaculata” and helped save Poland’s faith as it was about to descend into the tyranny of the Nazis and the Soviets. Today their Catholic Faith is exemplary. So, I thought I […]

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Steve “Appearance” on Catholic Answers Live – Martyrs!

July 25, 2019

Steve Ray discusses the Catholic Church’s history of martyrs who refused to deny Christ. Questions Covered: 18:20 – How can you historically prove that the writings of the martyrs are theirs? Do most Protestants believe that these writings existed and were true?  21:55 – How can we defend the bad practices of popes in the early Church?      […]

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Bloody Martyrdoms in Lyons – Feast Day of St. Irenaeus

June 28, 2019

In honor of the feast day of St. Irenaeus today I have reposted a blog from several years ago when we were filming our documentary on Apostolic Fathers, Handing on the Faith. Here is the story… “We finished getting all our work done in Lyon for St. Irenaeus. It was very cold and windy — with snow hampering […]

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Last Days of Sts. Peter and Paul in Rome

June 28, 2019

Happy Feast Day of Sts. Peter and Paul…. Join us in Rome, Assisi, Manoppello, and Lanciano the first week of December this year, in preparation for Christmas! (Click here for more info!) When I take my pilgrims to Rome one of my main objectives is to introduce them to the saints – especially Peter and […]

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Our Weekend Walk through Paris, Preparing for Our Soon-to-Arrive Group

June 2, 2019

Janet and I always arrive early to make sure everything is prepared and ready for our group. Since it’s been a while since we have visited this area of France we came early to scout out all the places our group will visit in Paris and to meet with our agent and guide. I hope […]

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

June 1, 2019

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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