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VIRGIN MARY

VIRGIN MARY

The first modern history related to Virgin Mary begins in the first half of XIX in German coast of Rheine. Anna Kathrina Emmerick of Dülmen was a lady who been bedridden due to an incurable for 12 years and who lived in a small town of Westphalia (1174-1824).  Anna was in constant pain and only found relief with the visions she had of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary. As these envisions continued and she began talking about people, places and events which she could never possibly have known in such great detail her talks began to attract the attention of the public and some intellectuals and evoked admiration among people. One of these people, Clemens Brentano who was poet from the German romantic stream came and settled in Dülmen as a ‘secretary’ of Emmerick in 1818.

Emmerick kept a detailed record of all what Anna talked about including what she told of Jesus Christ and Virgin Mary.  While he was reviewing the collected material one day Brentano decided to publish them and wrote a book under title of "Dolorous Passion of Our Lords Jesus Christ" in 1895.  A second book, "The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary Based on Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick” was also published after his death.

In a section before the final chapter of this book it is stated that ‘after Jesus Christ rose up above, Virgin Mary stayed three years in Sion (Jerusalem), three years in Beytanya and nine years in Ephesus’. St.Jean brought her here after Jews left Lazarus and his sister alone in the sea. Virgin Mary did not live in Ephesus exactly but in proximity of the town where some of her friends were living. Her house was on top of a mountain, on the left side of the road coming from Jerusalem, 3.5 miles away from Ephesus. The top of this mountain covered with wild vegetation was reached via narrow pathways from the south section of Ephesus. There was rippled flatland of half-a-mile width toward the zenith of the mountain which was covered with vegetation as well. The house of Virgin Mary was built precisely on this very specific spot. This area was rather isolated but ornamented with nice fruitful hills, fertile land, in pretty settings, where  there were caves among narrow earth gaps; regular but virgin hills in pyramid shapes housing shadowy sparse trees with straight trunks.

St.Jean built a house for Virgin Mary when he took her there. There were some Christian families and religious women living in the area. Half of these lived in caves transformed into houses by means of wooden structures and the other half was living in tents.

These people retreated up above the mountain before the great oppression and massacre and resided in caves with couple of hundred-meter distance among them or used natural cavitation as shelters. Only Virgin Mary’s house was made from stone. The goat path at the back of her house led up to the mountain. It was possible to view Ephesus and Aegean Sea embellished with isles from the rocky zenith. This lonely place was closer than Ephesus which was a couple of miles away.

STORY OF THE RE-DISCOVERY OF HOME OF VIRGIN MARY (1891)

Re-discovery of house of Mother Mary was subject to a story mentioned in records of a monastery. While aforesaid section of the book called “The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary Based on Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick” was being read at the İzmir French Hospital in a group, details about the Virgin Mary’s house in Ephesus captured attention of Caritas Girls’ School Principal Mother Maria de Mandat Grancey who had previously worked in Ephesus. She then requests from Father Poulin and Lazaı isl l’edeı Jung who was a teacher at t İzmir Sacred Cocur College and had come to hospital to officiate a service to look into these “Revelations” to see if they were accurate or not.

Father Puolin commentates what happened those days fecklessly and in a funny way: “Towards the middle of November 1890, some clerics in İzmir encountered a book called “The Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary Based on Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick”. At first, these clerics did not side with these revelations. However, when they read the book, they admired the extraordinary simplicity of this brief, pure, affectionate story and were deeply surprised. They became determined to find out the reality of this fantasy. In the last two sections of the book, Emmerick had written about Virgin Mary’s house as built by St.Jean near Ephesus, what the house looked like, the landscape, location and distances in great detail. The clerics fascinated by such in depth descriptions decided to see for themselves the truth of these descriptions in person and travelled the area mentioned in the book

 Father Jung, who was the most opposed to the idea that the claims of the book could be valid invited to lead the group. Father Jung then invited another cleric, who like himself had returned from 1870 war and was as sceptical about Emmerick’s revelations just as he was himself. Father Jung also found a railway servant to assist them in handling luggage during the trip. After this organisation the small group set off to examine the mountain and he areas described in the book on Wednesday July 29th, 1891, the Ave. Martha Day devoted to St.Jonah with a compass in their hands. The group reached the top of the hill mentioned in the book around 11 o’clock in the morning and saw a number of women working on their tobacco field. Under different circumstances this group of women working at such an altitude would have interested them greatly. However they were extremely exhausted and thirsty from the sun and their long journey and shouted for water from the women. Then upon the women indicating a small forest some ten-minute-walking away replying that they had none but that if they were to go  down to the monastery they could find some they  turned and set forth that direction immediately.

As the group moved on their way, they found remains of a semi hidden house, or rather a church, under trees next to a water spring in a great astonishment. They immediately recalled Emmerick’s book. Open area, ruins, rocks at the zenith, mountain behind and sea view in the front…

They thought that this was the house we are looking for and became highly excited but also needed to be sure. In the book Emmerick had written; “It is possible to view both part of Ephesus and the sea nearby from the top of the mountain where the house is located”. The group forgot about their tiredness and thirst and climbed the hillside right away. There Ayasuluk (Selçuk) on the right, Panayır Mountain and the plain surrounding Ephesus like a horseshoe, sea on the left and Samos Island in near sight. Now that there was no doubt all.

The group was thrilled with what they were seeing but also felt the surroundings there were in could be coincidental to the book also and so persevered with their investigations with great cation and care. In full knowledge that they were in the midst of a discovery no one would have found possible they carried out their investigations by  going over and over everything discovered;  the house, its natural structure of the  surroundings,  and the location of the house was inspected  will full care and attention for two solid days. Finally the committee returned to Izmir to report finding of this expedition to everyone.

After fifteen days, on August 13th  a second group set off to validate  findings of the initial group and they did not only confirm the findings of the first study but in addition to the previous ones some other details unseen the first expedition group in July were determined supportive evidences for Emmerick’s revelations too.

Afterwards, a third expedition group lead by Father Jung and other four or five members was organized for August 19th-23rd. They stayed in there for a week. They investigated, measured, photographed and sketched everything that could be of interest completely and accurately.

When they returned to İzmir, they brought maps, drawings and photographs. The most important of all, to them they were no doubts whatsoever they had found what was revealed by Emmerick in his magical book. At that point religious authorities stepped in to confirm findings of these groups.

On December 1st, 1892, İzmir (and Ephesus) Episcopal Mons. Andrea Timoni, climbed up the Bülbül Mountain with a group of clerics in order to see for himself what was said to him in person.  Thus, he had the opportunity to compare the house he saw and the one described by Emmerick to check out their similarities. In astonishment and in awe wrote an official letter immediately. In this letter, he wrote; “Now it is time to explain the incident to the Christian world. You yourselves will evaluate in person whether or not this house was the actual one which was occupied by Virgin Mary during her stay in Ephesus.”

WISHING WALL

The house of the Virgin Mary is also important for Muslims. Mary is the mother of Jesus (sa), one of the great prophets of Islam. For this reason, many Muslims visit the House of Mary to pray or make a wish. Wishes are written on a piece of paper or a piece of plastic and hang the wall that is below the chapel. This wall is also known as the "wishing wall”

SPRING WATER

The visit to Virgin Mary ends with the three fountains located at the bottom the stairs on the right side of the church exit.

 

There is a small shop selling souvenirs at the bottom of the stairs also. The house of  Virgin Mary, its surroundings and this small shop is the property of the Virgin Mary's Association, founded jointly by  the Muslims and Christians. The association tries to meet the needs of this place by making use of the income from the donations and the shop in question.

 

Water flowing from the fountains and the wells by the church are potable. Visitors do not only drink from these wells but they also take it away with them by the bottles in the firm belief that they contain healing qualities.

 

The symbolic qualities such as love-health-richness or intelligence-wisdom-success attributed to these three fountains are myths told by the guides to entertain the tourists.. Another recurring behavior is the attachments of ribbons, cloths, pieces of strings to the vine or tree branches around the fountains for devotional vows, wishes and prayers. But, unfortunately, this behavior is also contrary to the environment and the ecological balance.

 

 

 

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