In the Bible, Mary is seen at the foot of the Cross, where Jesus dying gives her as a mother “to the disciple he loved” (John 19:26). Soon Christians came to identify this disciple as St. John, the author of the Gospel, who is said to have spent his last years in Ephesus.
Although the first traditions, through the Middle Ages, placed the last days of the Virgin Mother in Jerusalem, the idea that she had accompanied the beloved Disciple to Ephesus had gained value in 1670, when the Venerable Mary of Agreda wrote about it in the book “The Mystical City of God”. In the 1820s, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, from her sick bed in Germany, saw detailed visions of the lives of Christ and her mother, which the poet Clemens Brentano recorded. The life of the Blessed Virgin Mary was published in 1852, after Emmerich and Brentano had died. Blessed Catherine imagined The stone house of Mary, built by St. John on a stream, and being part of a small Christian community on a “wild height, invaded … closer to the sea of Ephesus.”
In 1891, Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey, on a mission as Daughters of Charity in Izmir, convinced two French Lazarus missionaries, Henri Jung and Eugene Poulin, to climb Mount Koressos near Ephesus to check on the accounts of an old structure corresponding to the vision of the mystic Emmerich.
On July 29, they found a ruined chapel that unmistakably suited the description of Blessed Catherine. It turned out that local tradition believed it was the home of Mother Mary (Meryem Ana Evi), near the sacred place from which she had been taken to heaven. In a year’s time, foreign Catholics joined the
Local pilgrimage to Mount Koressos for the feast of the Assumption, on August 15, The Lazarist fathers have come to renovate the building and manage the place, which they continue to do to this day. The August gathering also attracts Muslims, who regard Mary as a saint, as well as Christians. The Catholic Church has never determined whether this was really the house of Mary or the place of her Assumption, but Popes Paul IV, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were all pilgrims in that house. It is unclear what happened to the damaged statue of Mary found in the chapel in 1891. The statue now on the altar is similar to the one on the ground (right), but has been missing its hands since World War II. The headstone under the statue in the photo reads, “Elles m’ont etablie leur gardienne – 1867 (“They established me as their guardian”). This is probably a reference to the Daughters of Charity, who took Mary as their guardian.
1) Complete pilgrimage of Ephesus
2) Pilgrimage only of the Holy House of Mary in Ephesus
(Foto di Chris Trost della statua per motivi da ctrost.blogspot.com Informazioni da www.sacred-destinations.com/turkey/ephesus-house-of-the-virgin.htm e altre fonti.)