HOUSE OF VIRGIN MARY
Tradition tells that Virgin Mary had come to Ephesus together with St. John, had lived in a house on Mt. Koressos for some time and ascended from there. Despite the lack of evidence, it is a fact that Jesus Christ had entrusted Mary to St. John, his favorite apostle while he was on the crucifix. The holy texts give detailed information about his life and journeys but mysteriously silent about the period between the years 37 to 49 which is interpreted as him keeping accompany in Ephesus for her safety, away from the disturbance in Jerusalem.
The 3rd Ecumenical Council which was held in Ephesos in 431 declared her as being “Theotokos” Mother of God. Thus, age-old Mother Goddess cult of Anatolia that has become Artemis Ephesia in the 1st millennium BC has eventually become the faith of Mary.
The house where she had lived and ascended was discovered in the first half of the 19th century following the prophecies of the German nun Anna Katharina Emmerich, which were published as a book by Clemens Brentano. But surprisingly, the Christian and Muslim communities of the region had been gathering annually for hundreds of years to commemorate Ascension of the Virgin Mary.
Pope Leo XIII declared Mary's House as a place of pilgrimage in 1896 and his successor; Pope Pius X announced that sins of pilgrims to the house would be pardoned. Pope John XXIII sent a special candle to the house for Candlemas in 1960. Pope Paul VI visited the house in 1967 and confirmed the authenticity of the House of the Virgin Mary. Pope John Paul II visited the house in 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.