Travel

Mama Mary’s House in Ephesus

On Mt. Koressos in the outskirts of Ephesus lies a restored house which is believed to be the last home of the Blessed Mother of Jesus. As expected of me, I included it in my itinerary on my 3-day stay in Ephesus.

Like most other sights of religious significance, the place exudes calmness, peace, solitude and charm. The path leading to the restored house is lined with trees and flowering plants that helped build up this ambiance. Religious sites often evoke a sense of oneness with nature that makes you feel closer to your Maker.

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Key-hole shaped baptismal pool said to have been used by St. John and Mary to convert followers to Christianity

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This is the restored house of what is believed to be Mama Mary’s. Inside the structure are 2 rooms, a kitchen and a bedroom. The interior is an altar of Mama Mary.

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Sacred to Muslims and Christians

This site is said to be sacred for both Muslims and Christians. The Muslims recognize Mary as the mother of one of their prophets. On the other hand, Catholics believe that Mary was taken to this house by St. John and lived there until her Assumption.

The German Nun’s Vision

The discovery of the house is based on a book written by author Clemens Brentano on the visions of Anne Catherine Emmerich, a bedridden German nun. Brentano stayed for 5 years in Dulmen where Emmerich was, to transcribe the visions she reported.

One of Emmerich’s account was a description of the house St. John has built in Ephesus for Mary. She provided details like the location of the house, the topography of the surrounding area, the details of the house, the location of the doors, etc.

Two groups attempted to confirm the vision – one by a French priest in 1881 and another by two Lazarist Missionaries 10 years later. A ruin has been located based on Emmerich’s account.

While the Catholic Church has not confirmed the authenticity of this house, papal visits have been made to the site since 1896.

The Site Today

There is a place where candles can be lit and prayers can be said.

There is also a spring that runs by the site which is believed to have miraculous properties. I went to just my hands and feel cleansed, with the lack of a container to bring some home with.

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Prayers were offered in this wall of prayers. I am not sure how many of these prayers were answered, I couldn’t even remember what I wrote in my prayer to Mama Mary. Most likely though, it contained something about travel as I was just starting to see the world then. And if so, I know at least a part of that prayer has been answered 🙂

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I left shortly after. It didn’t matter to me anymore if the place I visited really had the historical and religious significance that it claims to have. What mattered is that amidst the hectic schedule of this traveler, I found an oasis of peace and faith to rest the weary soul.

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