House of Virgin Mary where she lived after escaping from the Romans


Virgin Marys House

House of Virgin Mary is located on Koressos mountain which is within the borders of town Selcuk near to city Izmir, Turkey. The mountain is called Mount Bülbül (Mount Nightingale) by the local people. It is a Catholic and Muslim shrine which is hidden in the woods. Ephesus, the important and famous antique site in the region, is on the same way and is 7 kilometers far. Those two monuments have a historical background which have influenced each other.


History of the Virgin Mary's arrival

St. John in his Gospel tells us that Jesus before dying on the Cross entrusted to him the care of his Mother. He said, "here is your Mother" and from that instance St. John took Her to his own. Six years after the crucifixion of Jesus St.John took Virgin Mary from Jerusalem to Ephesus, one of the biggest and safest cities of its time (capital of the Asia Minor province of the Roman Empire), in order to safe her life by escaping from the Romans. Both were accompanied by St.Mary Magdalena. After the arrival to Ephesus, the situation showed that it was not safe to live here either. Ephesus, an important city to that time had early Christian believers among its citizens and in the region therefore also here Persecution on Christians was going on.




To safe Virgin Mary's life, St.John decided to take her to the mountains near to Ephesus. There, after building a modest house, Virgin Mary and Mary Magdalena lived there far from threat. St. John began spreading Christianity and taking care of the Virgin Mary until when he was forced to worship pagan gods and Emperor Domitian's Cult in Ephesus.



General know facts :


  • The presence of the tomb of St. John in Ephesus.

  • The presence of the first Basilica of the World dedicated to the Blessed Virgin.

  • The Ecumenical Council of 431 AD was held in Ephesus in this Basilica for the definition of the dogma of the Divine Motherhood of Mary. The Council Fathers wrote about Nestorius : "...after his to Ephesus, where St. John the Theologian and the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God..."



The well being and details is still a secret of Virgin Mary after St.John's exile. There are a lot of theories, the strongest one depends on the theory of assumption which has been celebrated by Orthodox world for centuries. According to the theory, Virgin Mary never passed away, she was risen up to sky on the 1th of August by God.



The discover of the House of Virgin Mary


House of Virgin Mary in Ephesus was not known till Anne Catherine Emmerich's vision (1774-1882). The paralysed German nun who had never been to Ephesus had a vision of the House of the Virgin Mary and described it in detail to the German writer Clemens Brentano who later published a book about it. In 1891 priests and historians from Izmir read about her vision and found a little building which corresponded with Emmerich's descriptions.




The Vatican and Virgin Mary's House


The site and the house of Virgin Mary was officially declared as a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896. Since that time it has become a popular place of pilgrimage within Christian.






The Chapel


The Chapel was rebuilt upon the original foundations of the Blessed Virgin and that have been determined to date back to the 1st and 4th centuries. Part of the structure is of the 7th century and the last restoration took place in 1951.


Every year, on August 15th a ceremony is organized to commemorate Mary's Assumption.




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