Celebrating the Feast of the Immaculate Conception at the Virgin Mary's House in Ephesus, Turkey
Izmir (AsiaNews) Dec. 7, 2005 – Not too many pilgrims will be clambering up the slopes of Bulbul dag (“hill of the nightingale”) where the so-called “House of the Blessed Virgin Mary” is found. It could be because now summer is over, winter has crept in and groups of foreigners have melted away; or it may be because 8 December is just another working day in Turkey; then again, perhaps it is because the dogma of the Immaculate Conception is not recognized by Orthodox Christians and Protestants.
And yet, 8 December, precisely because there will be no vast crowds of people, is sure to be a privileged day for the handful of Catholics who will go there from Smyrna and whereabouts to celebrate Mass together with the Community of Capuchins and sisters who are custodians of the house.
“Once again, all those who come will return changed, I am sure of that,” said Fr Adriano Franchini, resident of Meryem Ana Evi (the house of Mary) and superior of the Francisan Custody of Turkey.
“Yes, because the house of Mary brings consolation and peace to all.”
This is because according to tradition, it is right here, not far from Ephesus, that the Mother of Jesus lived and died.
“Mary did not live in Ephesus itself, but in its surroundings, where some of her friends had settled. Her house was right on top of a mountain… the region is a solitary one, embellished with fertile hills, with grottos which could serve as homes and bare trees with smooth trunks, casting a shadow with their pyramidal shape. Only the house of Our Lady was in stone; a path behind the house climbed up a mountain with a rocky peak, from where it was possible to see Ephesus and the sea studded with islands.”
~ Where the Blessed Virgin Mary Lived in Ephesus, Turkey