Meryem Ana Evi
Then He said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" From that hour the disciple took her into his own household. (John 19:27)
According to tradition, accounts focus on an old house hidden in the green top of the "Bulbul" mountain, about 9 km ahead of Ephesus, Turkey.
It is believed that within the walls of this typical Roman architectural house, made entirely of stones, our Lady may have spent her last days on earth before assumption. Most probably, she was escorting Saint John in his ministry in the area.
The story behind the house discovery goes back to the 19th century and it is strangely unique: Blessed sister Emmerich, a German stigmatic nun who was confined to bed, had visions that included the Virgin Mary and Apostle John traveling from Jerusalem to Ephesus. The nun described the house in astonishing detailing…. And these details of the house and the topography of the surrounding area were recorded at her bedside by a writer named Brentano.
“Mary did not live in Ephesus itself, but in the country near it. ... Mary's dwelling was on a hill to the left of the road from Jerusalem, some three and half hours from Ephesus. This hill slopes steeply towards Ephesus; the city, as one approaches it from the south east seems to lie on rising ground.... Narrow paths lead southwards to a hill near the top of which is an uneven plateau, some half hour's journey.”
The visionary’s description of the interior was also outstanding: speaking of a rectangular stone house with high windows, an apse and a round back wall. The room next to the apse was Mary's bedroom, which had a spring running into it. She also saw a hearth at the center of the house…. describing the location of the doors, and even the shape of the chimney….
Time passed… then a clergyman named Gouyet read Brentano's accounts according to sister Emmerich and he decided to travel to Ephesus with the purpose to find the House in question. And he did!!!! He found a house matching the nun's description!!!
However, the Archaeological studies situated the building from the 6th or 7th century. But its foundations are much older and may well date back to the 1st century AD, the time of Mary, herself!!!
The house consists of an ante-room, a bedroom, a praying room (today a chapel) and a room with fireplace. The front kitchen fell into ruins and has been restored in the 1940's. Today, only the central part and a room on the right of the altar are open to visitors.
Another appealing feature is the "Water of Mary", a source to be found at the exit of the church area and where salt water, with healing properties, can be used by all….
Though the Catholic Church has never marked anything in favor or against the authenticity of this house, but the place became a place of prayer and even merited several papal Apostolic Blessings and visits from several popes.
Well, regardless if Mary ended her life in Jerusalem, or in this house in Ephesus; neither these two cities nor any other claimed to have her remains, though there are claims about possessing her temporary empty tomb.
It is certainly weird that among Christians who gave homage to their saints and martyrs and who were zealously to guard their remains highly prized; we have no record of Mary bodily remains being venerated anywhere. Knowing that Mary is the most privileged of all the saints and is certainly the most saintly!!!
But if No city claims to have bones of Mary, it is because there weren’t any to claim, and people knew it: This is what scholars call “a negative historical proof for Mary’s Assumption.” !!!
Anyhow, each year on August 15, Feast of the Assumption, and in this lovely spot of ancient Ephesus:
Here she is Mary: gathering her children from different backgrounds…
Catholic, Orthodox and even Muslim clergy conduct a service together at the shrine: A service in honor of the Humble Queen of heaven & Earth who knows very well how to re-convey tribute to the Lord.