House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus – The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

Sultaniye Mahallesi, House of Virgin Mary, Selçuk/İzmir, Turkey

Website of the Sanctuary

+90 530 469 08 44

The Sanctuary is opened to the public:: 07.00 - 18.00 (17.00 winter time). The price of the Entrance: ticket is 25.00 TL for the foreigners and 10.00 TL for the Turkish citizens.

The price of the Entrance Ticket is 25.00 TL for the foreigners and 10.00 TL for the Turkish citizens.

The History of Meryem Ana – House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus

The modern history of Meryem Ana begins in the first half of 19th century on the banks of the Rhine in Germany, in the sickbed of a peasant woman in a village near Diilmen in Westphalia. Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824) suffered from an incurable illness which confined her to bed for 12 years. During that time she took comfort from visions which she had concerning the lives of Jesus and Mary.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

These visions were extraordinarily extensive and detailed, and they contained facts, places and people that she could not have otherwise known. This aroused first public curiosity and then the astonished interest not only of local people but also of certain “intellectuals” including the German Romantic poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1849), who moved to Dulmen in 1818 in order to become Katharina’s “secretary”.

Day after day he took notes of what Katharina said about the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Much later, rereading what he had assembled, he decided to make it known, and in 1835 he published a volume called: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. After his death in 1842, another volume called: The Life of the Virgin Mary according to the Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick was published.

In the penultimate chapter we read: “After Our Lord’s Ascension Mary lived for three years on Mount Zion (Jerusalem), for three years in Bethany, and for nine years in Ephesus, whither St. John took her soon after the Jews had set Lazarus and his sisters adrift upon the sea. Mary did not live in Ephesus itself, but in the country near it where several women who were her close friends had settled. Mary’s dwelling was on a hill to the left of the road from Jerusalem some three and a half hours from Ephesus.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

Narrow paths lead southwards to a hill near the top of which is an uneven plateau, some half-hour’s journey in circumference, overgrown, like the hill itself, with wild trees and bushes. It was on this plateau that the Jewish settlers had made their home. It is a very lonely place, but has many fertile and pleasant slopes as well as rock-caves, clean and dry and surrounded by patches of sand. It is wild but not desolate, and scattered about it are a number of trees, pyramid shaped, with big shady branches below and smooth trunks.

John had had a house built for the Blessed Virgin before he brought her here. Several Christian families and holy women had already settled here, some in caves in the earth or the rocks, fitted out with light woodwork to make dwellings, and some in fragile huts or tents.

Holy Mass times

Monday through Saturday

  • 5.15 PM (Nov.- Mar.)
  • 6.15PM (Apr.- Oct.)

Sunday

  • 10.30 AM (in English)
  • 5.15 PM (Nov.- Mar.)
  • 6.15 PM (Apr.- Oct.)

Prayer

Every morning before the opening of the Sanctuary community prays the Liturgy of the Hours reciting Lauds. In the evening at 5.30 PM (Mar.-Oct.)- 4.30 PM (Nov.- Feb.)  the Holy Rosary with the Litany of Loreto. After the Mass there is the prayer of Vespers.

Practical information

The shrine of Meryem Ana Evi is the goal of many pilgrimages as well as group excursions. The shrine offers a place where, even for a brief moment, you can stop and rest. The shrine offers weary wanderers both corporal and spiritual refreshment. Those who come here looking for the presence of Mary, along with the desire to continue to pray and meditate upon God’s Word and enjoy the unique atmosphere that prevails in Her home, will discover and exploit the opportunities offered by this place.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

Those for whom Meryem Ana is just another stop on a tour of present-day Turkey will also not be disappointed. It is certainly a peaceful, un-stressful place. Bathed in green foliage, among which hides the House of the Virgin Mary, there are also fresh water streams flowing out in different locations on the grounds. All this invites you to relax and gives you refreshment before continuing your journey.

After a brief visit at the House of Mary, you can take a small break and enjoy the very rich and delicious menu offered in a small cafeteria located just near the parking lot.

Perhaps, sitting at a table, you may want to write some traditional holiday postcards. At your request, the postage stamps you buy will be adorned with the image of the Virgin Mary.

Meryem Ana Evi is located practically in the ruins of ancient Ephesus. Just 6 kilometers from the shrine’s entrance is the Museum of Ephesus. After you visit Ephesus, one of the most important cities of antiquity, you can go towards the next historical sites visited by tourists. Among them are the ruins of Artemision (the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), and the ruins of The Basilica of St. John Apostle with his tomb, located in the center of present day Selçuk.

Selçuk is a still charming village well worth visiting. It is a former Greek colony, which was aptly named Şirince (which means “pleasant”).

In the area around Meryem Ana Evi there are so many interesting places, rich in history but also the beauty of nature, that it is impossible to enumerate them all here. If they persevere, however, tourists certainly will not have any problem locating them and enjoying the beauty and peace that they offer.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

The Story of the Rediscovery of Meryem Ana (1891)

The discovery of Meryem Ana is linked to an episode of convent life. Sister Marie de Mandat Grancey, superior of the Sisters of Charity in charge of the French Hospital in Izmir (Smyrna), was listening one day in the dining hall to a reading of a passage from Anna Katharina Emmerick’s “The Life of the Virgin Mary”, which described in detail the House of Ephesus. She asked Fathers Jung and Poulin, two Lazarist fathers who taught at the Sacred Heart College in Izmir, and who had come to celebrate Mass at the hospital, to verify the truth of these “visions”. Fr. Poulin recounts what happened at that time in his own detached and charming style:

Towards the middle of November 1890 “The Life of the Blessed Virgin” by Anna Katharina Emmerick came into the hands of some priests who lived in Izmir. These priests, it must be admitted, were not at all disposed to believe these supposed “visions”. They read the book nevertheless. They were astonished to find, in place of the “fantasies” they expected, simplicity, can dour, straightforwardness and good common sense. In the last two chapters the visionary recounts that the Holy Virgin had stayed in the region of Ephesus, in a house built for her by Saint John. Here she recounts the most minute and precise details not only of the building itself but also of the surrounding countryside – the site, orientation, distance, etc.

They all wished to investigate the truth of these statements for themselves, and decided to go to the site. After all, this was the only way to determine the truth or falsity of the statements.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

The expedition was led by the most skeptical of the lot, Father Jung. He took with him another priest who like himself had survived the war of 1870 and who was almost as unbelieving, and a servant for the baggage, a railway man, and set off firm in his resolution to search the whole mountain in order to establish once and for all that Emmerick’s statements were unfounded and thereby close forever this question raised by the fantasies of a poor deluded woman. But little did he image what was to happen!

They set off on Wednesday, July 29th 1891, a day dedicated to St. Joseph and the feast of St. Martha, resolutely walking, compass in hand, in the direction indicated by the book. At around 11 o’clock they finally reached a plateau where there was a small tobacco field with a few women working in it. At any other time the sight of this field and the women might have attracted their attention but in their present state, exhausted, dying of heat and thirst, they had but a single thought: “WATER!” The women told them that they had no water but that over there at the “Monastiri” there was a spring, and they pointed to a clump of trees about 10 minutes away. The men rushed over there. Their astonishment knew no bounds when, approaching the spring, they discovered, hidden under large trees, the ruins of a small house or chapel. Their thoughts turned to Emmerick’s book right away: the plateau… the ruins… the steep rocks… the mountain behind them… the sea before them…

“Surely this can’t be what we were looking for?” they thought. They felt a strong need to know for sure. Anna Katharina Emmerick had said that from the top of the mountain on which the house was built, Ephesus could be seen on one side and, on the other side and much closer, the sea. They forgot their exhaustion, the heat, their thirst. Half running, half climbing, they reached the top of the mountain. There was no more room for doubt. There on the right was Aya Solouk, Prion and the plain of Ephesus and on the left, very near, the sea and the island of Samos.

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus - The Shrine of Meryem Ana Evi

It is difficult to express the explorers’ joy and elation. Nonetheless, they did not want to be taken in by appearances. They wanted to be completely convinced before making any kind of judgment and especially before speaking of it. They spent the following two days studying the house and terrain, the orientation and neighboring places, etc. After two days of study in the field, they were convinced that they had found what they had not at all expected to see. The men returned to Izmir to reveal their astounding discovery to friends and foes alike.

Fifteen days later, on August 13th, a second expedition went to the site to check up on the findings of the first. They not only confirmed the results but noted additional details confirming Emmerick’s revelations which had escaped the notice of the first visitors in July.

Between the 19th and the 23 th of August, a third expedition set off, composed of the head of the first expedition with 5 or 6 educated laymen. This third expedition stayed on the site for a whole week, measuring, drawing and photographing, noting down everything that could possibly be of interest with great precision.

When they returned to Izmir, they brought maps, sketches, drawings and photographs, and above all they brought with them the certainty that they had found what Emmerick had described from her sickbed, and no longer needed to look for it elsewhere. At that time the authorities of the diocese intervened, confirming the discovery.

On Thursday, December I, 1882, Archbishop Timoni of Izmir (Ephesus is in the diocese of Izmir), wanting to check for himself the various reports he had received, went up to Panaya Capouli in person, accompanied by a dozen or so notables, both churchmen and lay people. Having examined everything with his own eyes, His Grace recognized that there were undeniable similarities between Katharina Emmerick’s description and the house before him. Amazed, he immediately began an official process in which it was said: “The time has come to tell the Christian world: judge for yourselves whether what has been found is or is not the home of Mary in Ephesus”.

Wall of wishes

Meryem Ana also has significance for Muslims, for whom Mary was the mother of one of the great prophets of Islam, called Isa Peygamber. Hence, many Muslims come on pilgrimage to Meryem Ana Evi to leave their prayer intentions. They are often written on slips of material – either paper or plastic – and left on the wall that is located below the chapel. This wall is known as the “Wall of Wishes”.

How to get there

The shrine of Meryem Ana Evi is located approximately 70 km. from the airport in Izmir. From Izmir, head for the town of Selçuk, where ıt ıs only another 9 km. to the shrıne. Unfortunately, you cannot get public transport to Meryem Ana. Apart from a few months of the year, when there is the possibility to use a local bus which takes people to Mass, people need to fınd transportation for themselves. So, if you are not traveling with a package tour, you wıll need to rent a car or taxi, or take a fairly long walk up the narrow asphalt road (7 kilometers from the northern gate of Ephesus, or 5.5 kilometers from the south gate).

Source:

The shrine of Meryem Ana Evi is located approximately 70 km. from the airport in Izmir. From Izmir, head for the town of Selçuk, where ıt ıs only another 9 km. to the shrıne. Unfortunately, you cannot get public transport to Meryemana.

Apart from a few months of the year, when there is the possibility to use a local bus which takes people to Mass, people need to fınd transportation for themselves. So, if you are not traveling with a package tour, you wıll need to rent a car or taxi, or take a fairly long walk up the narrow asphalt road (7 kilometers from the northern gate of Ephesus, or 5.5 kilometers from the south gate).

Monday through Saturday

  • 5.15 PM (Nov.- Mar.)
  • 6.15PM (Apr.- Oct.)

Sunday

  • 10.30 AM (in English)
  • 5.15 PM (Nov.- Mar.)
  • 6.15 PM (Apr.- Oct.)

Practical information

The shrine of Meryem Ana Evi is the goal of many pilgrimages as well as group excursions. The shrine offers a place where, even for a brief moment, you can stop and rest. The shrine offers weary wanderers both corporal and spiritual refreshment. Those who come here looking for the presence of Mary, along with the desire to continue to pray and meditate upon God’s Word and enjoy the unique atmosphere that prevails in Her home, will discover and exploit the opportunities offered by this place.

Those for whom Meryem Ana is just another stop on a tour of present-day Turkey will also not be disappointed. It is certainly a peaceful, un-stressful place. Bathed in green foliage, among which hides the House of the Virgin Mary, there are also fresh water streams flowing out in different locations on the grounds. All this invites you to relax and gives you refreshment before continuing your journey.

After a brief visit at the House of Mary, you can take a small break and enjoy the very rich and delicious menu offered in a small cafeteria located just near the parking lot.

Perhaps, sitting at a table, you may want to write some traditional holiday postcards. At your request, the postage stamps you buy will be adorned with the image of the Virgin Mary.

Meryem Ana Evi is located practically in the ruins of ancient Ephesus. Just 6 kilometers from the shrine’s entrance is the Museum of Ephesus. After you visit Ephesus, one of the most important cities of antiquity, you can go towards the next historical sites visited by tourists. Among them are the ruins of Artemision (the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), and the ruins of The Basilica of St. John Apostle with his tomb, located in the center of present day Selçuk.

Selçuk is a still charming village well worth visiting. It is a former Greek colony, which was aptly named Şirince (which means “pleasant”).

In the area around Meryem Ana Evi there are so many interesting places, rich in history but also the beauty of nature, that it is impossible to enumerate them all here. If they persevere, however, tourists certainly will not have any problem locating them and enjoying the beauty and peace that they offer.

For those looking for a good guide to Turkey, we recommend that written by the current custodian of the shrine, an Italian Capuchin, Father Oriano Granella and the late Bishop Luigi Padovese. This is probably the most comprehensive and best guide on the existing market – unfortunately, for now, available only in Italian.

The History of Meryem Ana – House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus

The modern history of Meryem Ana begins in the first half of 19th century on the banks of the Rhine in Germany, in the sickbed of a peasant woman in a village near Diilmen in Westphalia. Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824) suffered from an incurable illness which confined her to bed for 12 years. During that time she took comfort from visions which she had concerning the lives of Jesus and Mary.

These visions were extraordinarily extensive and detailed, and they contained facts, places and people that she could not have otherwise known. This aroused first public curiosity and then the astonished interest not only of local people but also of certain “intellectuals” including the German Romantic poet Clemens Brentano (1778-1849), who moved to Dulmen in 1818 in order to become Katharina’s “secretary”.

 

Day after day he took notes of what Katharina said about the lives of Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Much later, rereading what he had assembled, he decided to make it known, and in 1835 he published a volume called: The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ. After his death in 1842, another volume called: The Life of the Virgin Mary according to the Visions of Anna Katharina Emmerick was published.

In the penultimate chapter we read: “After Our Lord’s Ascension Mary lived for three years on Mount Zion (Jerusalem), for three years in Bethany, and for nine years in Ephesus, whither St. John took her soon after the Jews had set Lazarus and his sisters adrift upon the sea. Mary did not live in Ephesus itself, but in the country near it where several women who were her close friends had settled. Mary’s dwelling was on a hill to the left of the road from Jerusalem some three and a half hours from Ephesus.

Narrow paths lead southwards to a hill near the top of which is an uneven plateau, some half-hour’s journey in circumference, overgrown, like the hill itself, with wild trees and bushes. It was on this plateau that the Jewish settlers had made their home. It is a very lonely place, but has many fertile and pleasant slopes as well as rock-caves, clean and dry and surrounded by patches of sand. It is wild but not desolate, and scattered about it are a number of trees, pyramid shaped, with big shady branches below and smooth trunks.

John had had a house built for the Blessed Virgin before he brought her here. Several Christian families and holy women had already settled here, some in caves in the earth or the rocks, fitted out with light woodwork to make dwellings, and some in fragile huts or tents.

Posted in Europe and Turkey