Artifacts & Biblical History

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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Power of the Olive Wood, Holy Land Rosaries

by Steve Ray on March 3, 2017

On each of our trips we offer olive wood Rosaries to our groups. These are made by Sisters in Bethlehem. We touch them to all the holy sites, especially all the Rosary sites. They are all blessed in Jerusalem before the pilgrims head back home.

A Mother Superior wrote to me about her experience in Sydney Australia with the Olive Wood Rosary I sent her which had touched all the holy sites.

Greetings in the Lord Jesus Steve and Janet!!! and welcome home from what looked like a thoroughly blessed pilgrimage to the Holy Land!!

I saw your wonderful videos of the entire pilgrimage and it truly felt like we were there! Thank you for sharing this experience – I felt like one of the pilgrims almost!!

I am writing to let you know something I experienced a few months ago when I still in Sydney, Nov 2016. Let me tell you……

downloadWhen I was in Sydney I had been working closely-spiritually speaking- along side with the exorcist of the Diocese, praying for him whenever he had an exorcism to perform etc. There was one particular lady who was possessed by a few demons and she came to our Monastery for an exorcism.( This poor lady suffered unspeakable horrors at the hands of her father and mother).

To cut a long story short, when I was talking with her in our Guest House I wondered if the demons were still within, and so I took out the Holy Land Rosary you gave me last year with other goodies, and knowing the spiritual graces that come with it (according to the Raccolta) and I gently placed the rosary on her lap. What happened next surprised me . ….after a short while she suddenly jerked her leg wincing with pain.

This lady had many rosaries and medals on her- but none from the Holy Land……and so when she saw me place the rosary on her leg – where she is attacked by the demons who stop her from walking properly- she did not think anything of it and continued to talk to me…..then she jerked her leg in pain and she cried- ” Wow that’s some rosary! I can feel the demon trying to push it off my leg! Literally!!”

Amazed I took my rosary back and put it into my pocket….and thanked the Good Lord for granting me such a precious and powerful gift! So thank you Steve and Janet!!! Even the demons know how powerful it is! I have since used it for others who had similar demonic possessions and I can assure you – it is a most powerful in the supernatural realm!!!!

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IMG_8654Today we went into the deserts of Egypt to find the monastery of St. Macarius which was built in 365 A.D. It still has 160 monks.

We celebrated the Divine Liturgy with the monks and we accomplished what we intended to do with the bones/tombs of John the Baptist and Elijah’s the Prophet.

During our visit here and seeing how safe and exciting and full of biblical early Christian history Egypt is, we have decided to soon resume our pilgrimages to this amazing country. Stay tuned!

Here is a recap with our eight minute video:

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Live from the Deserts of Egypt 3 Radio Shows Today

February 27, 2017

Today I will be giving a live update from the deserts of Egypt as we discover the tomb of Saint John the Baptist and Elisha the Prophet. Sun Rise Morning Show 6:35 AM Eastern Relevant Radio 9:15 AM Teresa Tomeo 9:40 AM

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Putting our Lives at Risk :-) to Discover Birthplace & Tomb of Elisha

February 25, 2017

 Today my wife and I traveled through the Palestinian West Bank discovering the birthplace and the tomb of the Prophet Elisha. We are scouting and preparing for our next Footprints of God DVD on Elijah-Elisha. Hope you enjoy the video of our adventures today. Do you remember the story in 2 Kings 13:21 where a […]

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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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Discovering the Place of Paul’s Shipwreck on Island of Malta

February 10, 2017

I am doing a show with Teresa Tomeo today because February 10 is the Feast Day of the Shipwreck of St. Paul on Malta. So I am reposting this blog from our recent trip to Malta. One of my favorite things is to discover the events and places of the Bible and to share them […]

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“Council of Jamnia” and Old Testament Book Collection

February 4, 2017

The Old Testament Canon and the “Council of Jamnia” Many popular myths are believed simply because people want to believe them—not because they are true. Wishful thinking is a poor substitute for truth. It is always preferable for one to dig deep and discover the facts and not just believe things because one wants them […]

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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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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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Was Jesus Really Born at THAT Place in Bethlehem?

December 21, 2016

In a few days we are leaving for Bethlehem. We will have Mass next week at a lot of holy sites with our group of Catholic families. To the left is a picture of Gethsemane on the western slope of the Mount of Olives. How do we know this is really Gethsemane? In a few days […]

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What Council of Church “leaders” Collected the NT Books?

December 9, 2016

I was just going through the Rose Book of Bible Charts, Maps & Time Lines. I find the book very helpful in many respects but was struck by the deceptive “factual” statement about the list of books in the New Testament. On page 17, under the heading “How We Got the Bible: Ten Key Points,” […]

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

December 1, 2016

In Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), it is interesting to hear what Jesus REALLY said. I thought you would find this interesting. So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell […]

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The Sign of the Cross: It’s History, Meaning and Biblical Basis

November 8, 2016

SIGN OF THE CROSS By Steve Ray The Sign of the Cross is a ritual gesture by which we confess two important mysteries: the Trinity and the centrality of the Cross. It is the most common and visible means by which we confess our faith. The Sign of the Cross is made by touching the […]

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My Free St. Paul Timeline

November 6, 2016

Janet and I are currently leading a St. Paul Mediterranean Cruise and “Seminar at Sea” with Ave Maria Radio CEO Al Kresta and Fr. Steve Mattson. We are visiting eight biblical sites related to St. Paul, Mary, St. John and more. Today we are leaving Ephesus where St. Paul lived for two years and arriving […]

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Passover Lamb: A True Story

October 28, 2016

Contributed by Jesse Ray a while ago but worthy of reposting… I arrived on the scene with my gun and stoically loaded in some self-defense rounds (although I was clearly not in danger). I did not lavish the idea of slaughtering a lamb, but my friend and new-farmer, Pat, called and sheepishly asked for some help. […]

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