The House of the Virgin Mary (Turkish: Meryemana Evi or Meryem Ana Evi, “Mother Mary’s House”) is a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos  in the vicinity of Ephesus, 7 kilometres  from Selçuk in Turkey.

The house was discovered in the 19th century by following the descriptions in the reported visions of Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774–1824), a Roman Catholic nun and visionary, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano after her death.

While the Catholic Church has never pronounced in favour or against the authenticity of the house, it nevertheless has maintained a steady flow of pilgrimage since its discovery.

Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was taken to this stone house by Saint John and lived there until her Assumption (according to Catholic dogma) or Dormition (according to Orthodox belief). John brought the Virgin Mary from Jerusalem to Ephesus, which was the biggest and the safest non-christian city at the time.

The shrine has merited several papal Apostolic Blessings and visits from several popes, the earliest pilgrimage coming from Pope Leo XIII in 1896, and the most recent in 2006 by Pope Benedict XVI.

Wishing wall

Outside the shrine is a particular “wishing wall” which pilgrims have used by tying their personal intentions on paper or fabric. Various types of florals and fruits are grown nearby, and additional lighting has been installed within the vicinity of the shrine for further monitoring of the site. A water fountain or well is also located nearby, believed by some pilgrims to have miraculous powers of healing or fertility.

Special thanks to MEA  for inviting me on this trip and attending MEA Digital Event. It was an opportunity for me to visit the vibrant city of Izmir, historical Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, beautiful village of Sirince, and finally Alacati Herb Festival.