The location of Jesus’s baptism

Happy Feast Day of the Baptism of Our Lord! Since we will be at the actual site of Jesus’ baptism in two weeks with a bus full of pilgrims, I thought I would share this post again.

This is an exciting development which helps establish the authentic baptismal site of Jesus. With the involvement of UNESCO the site will receive protection, funding and recognition. This is the place where the last three popes commemorated the Baptism of Our Lord.

Here are some articles about UNESCO’s decision and about the site:

  1. http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=27394
  2. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1446
  3. www.BaptismSite.com

My audio of interview with Ave Maria Radio: https://avemariaradio.net/audio-archive/catholic-connection-february-9-2016-hour-2/

The Bible says in John 1:28, “This took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.” The authentic site is just above the northern tip of the Dead Sea, east of Jericho. The actual site is not on the Israel side of the Jordan, but on the Jordan side of the river.

IMG_8294Here is a picture of me standing in the exact spot that archaeology, the Bible and early Christians and pilgrims located the spot. The early Christians knew and built churches there to commemorate the site.

If you would like to join us in Jordan, contact Elizabeth at 800-727-1999, 150. We will be visiting Jordan once every year on one of our trips to Israel. Register for these small groups or get your name on the list now since all of our trips have been selling out.

This 2-minute video link below takes a few seconds to load, but wait… it is nice and you will see where we are today. With Elijah and Jesus on the banks of the Jordan River in Jordan. Produced by the Jordanian Tourist Bureau.



The next four pilgrimages to the Holy Land with Steve Ray are already sold out! Only 2 seats remain open for our February trip. March, May, June (France), September are all sold out! Hope you can jump in and get those last two seats.

February is Steve’s favorite month since crowds are down and temperatures cooler. Contact Kendall at kripley@ctscentral.net or at ?(866) 468-1420?.

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Pilgrims’ Fun, Comments & Farewells

by Steve Ray on January 6, 2019


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Last Day: Israel Museum, Jordan River, Jericho, Qumran & Camel Riding

January 6, 2019

Lots of fun and laughs. Enjoy!
Closing homily at Notre Dame here.

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Epiphany? So What?

January 6, 2019

 What is Epiphany anyway? And why should I care? The Feast of the Epiphany – the Magi, the Baptism of Jesus and the Miracle of Cana all combined – is really quite fascinating. It was actually a celebration in the Church long before Christmas was celebrated and eventually overshadowed Epiphany. John Paul II gave 52 […]

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Way of the Cross to Mass on Calvary, Tomb, Western Wall and more

January 5, 2019

In some ways today is the pinnacle of the whole pilgrimage, which is why we start up in Galilee and end up in Jerusalem for the Passion of Christ. Up early in the morning each carrying their own cross as we pray the Stations of the Cross we all arrive at the Church of the […]

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Day 6 Gethsemane, Mt of Olives, Mt Zion, Upper Room and more

January 4, 2019

Today was a great day preparing for the Passion of Christ tomorrow. Mass at Gethsemane (moving homily here soon), the Paternoster Church on Mount of Olives, lunch at a kibbutz, my 30 minute talk overlooking Jerusalem about the story of salvation history. Then we went to the Mount Zion to visit the place Mary fell […]

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All Day Bethlehem!

January 3, 2019

We went through the checkpoint from Israel into the Palestinian West Bank and entered Bethlehem at 8 AM in the morning. We learned about olive wood carvings and icons and had time to shop before Mass in a cave at Shepherds Field where the angels appeared on the first Christmas Eve. Homily here. Lunch of […]

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Interesting Facts About Israel which Will Amaze You

January 3, 2019

We are in Israel today and thought you might like to see this impressive list. I found this list several years ago but it still applies today. Geography: 1. Israel is only 1/6 of 1% of the landmass of the Middle East. 2. Israel is roughly half the size of Lake Michigan. 3. The Sea […]

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From Galilee up to Jerusalem: Capernaum, Boat Ride, st.Peters Fish, Visitation, Jerusalem

January 2, 2019

Today was our big day of transition from Galilee south and up to Jerusalem. We started our day with Mass at Capernaum before visiting the Mount of Beatitudes. You can hear/see Fr.Alfonso’s homily homily here. From there we drove to the ancient 2,000 year old boat and went out on the Sea in a real […]

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Day 3: Primacy of Peter, Caesarea Philippi, Druze Lunch, Syrian Border, Kurdish & Magdelena

January 1, 2019

Great day, beautiful weather! Mass on the shore of Galilee with waves splashing at Primacy of Peter. Excellent homily here. North to Lebanese border to visit Banias — biblical Caesarea Philippi — where Steve gave his talk “Peter: the Rock, Keys & Chair.” Continued further into Golan Heights to Druze restaurant for a unique lunch […]

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Day 2: Transfiguration, Cana of Galilee and Nazareth

December 31, 2018

It is always great to watch pilgrims see the Holy Land for the first time on the first day. What an excellent beginning! We started out with Mass atop the Mount of Transfiguration (homily here. Next we had renewals of wedding vows in Cana of Galilee. Then a marvelous authentic Nazarene lunch at a family […]

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Pilgrimage with Steve Ray 100 Years Ago – Imagine with Real Photos

December 28, 2018

Step into a Time Machine and imagine what it would be like going back in time on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land with Steve and Janet Ray 100 years ago! I have used actual pictures from over a century ago to re-create what it may have been like. I hope you enjoy! And, I […]

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“Rabbi, I can see the coastline!”

December 27, 2018

I cannot describe the sensation I feel every time we look out the window and see the coastline of Israel from the window of the plane. Yeah, we are exhausted — 8 hours from Detroit to Amsterdam, 3 hours layover, and 4.5 hours from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv. Some who travel with us come from […]

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Farewells & Comments from Amazing Mexico!

December 5, 2018

It’s always sad to say goodbye to people after being with them 9 or 10 days. This pilgrimage through Mexico went flawlessly. We emphasized Guadalupe and the Catholic heritage of this land but also the cultural, historical, and fun aspects. We enjoyed the close contact and fellowship with the Mexican people . Everyone had a […]

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Last Day in Mexico: Xochimilco, Gondola Rides, Village Chapel for Mass and more

December 5, 2018

We are all still reeling from the experience as yesterday at Guadalupe. And this being our last day, is more for fun and relaxing before heading back to the United States. We started the day with a short drive to Xochimilco where we boarded colorfully  painted gondolas and went through the canals being serenaded by […]

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