THE HOUSE OF THE VIRGIN
The home of Mary, Meryemana, is now visited by over a hundered thousend pilgrims each year,of whom many are Muslims who revere her.the pilgirims come to drink the waters of the sacred spring,to meditate,to pray for health,and to breathe the atmosphere of what undoubtedly is an ancient spot of worship.In 1967 Pope Paul VI celebrated mass here,are prayed both in the Church of St. John and in the Double Church ( the church of St.Mary)ın Ephesus itself.Pope John II was here in November 1979 and last visit made by Pope 16th Benedict October 2006
The house of Virgin Mary’s Home is situated at the top of Mt Salimus (Aladag) and is known as ` Panaya Kapulu`or Meryemana in Turkish this is now a sanctuary where according to the belief of people of many religious faiths, the Virgin Mary lived her last days.
*A name partly Greek and Turkish,mening `Gate`,or `House of Panagia`(all holy)`
The scriptures do not give any information about the latter part of the Virgin’s life.However,a popular Christian tradition which goes back at least to the Council of Ephesus (431) maintains that she came with the Apostle John to Ephesus and lived and died there. There is also no information about where John was during the tumultuous period in Palestine between 37 and 48 when Christians fled to Antioch, Phoenicia or Cyprus and it is very probable that he may have taken the Virgin to Ephesus in this period and begun his first missionary activities there. The Bible informs us that at the Crucifixion when Jesus saw his mother and his disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother,`Woman,behold,your son.` Then he said to the disciple,`Behold,your mother. And from that hour the disciple took her his home (In 19:26-27) and eventually to Ephesus.
The Place was identified by the lazarists of Smyrna in 1891 on the basis of a German nun named Anne Catherine Emerich (1774-1824) Sister Emerich had never left Germany but she had visions of house. She claimed that `Mary did not live in Ephesus itself, but in country near Ephesus.
Since the house discovered, the house of Virgin has been attributed with a variety of cures for hopeless patients by the use of water coming out of the spring beneath her room. At the time these lines were being written the fireplace had been removed but the spring was still pouring its sweet water with healing powers.
Mary’s House was the only one built stone house and the whole area around the house is so beautiful and peaceful has such tranquil atmosphere here that it is like an open-air sanctuary.
In 1967 Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II in 1979 have celebrated mass there and the last visit paid by 16th Benedict on 29 November 2006.
THE CHURCH OF VIRGIN MARY (DOUBLE CHURCH)
The first church was probably built in the middle of the fourth century. The church was the first one dedicated to Virgin is regarded as evidence that there was very early tradition which accepted that her last years were spent at Ephesus. Mary in the World, and is thus one of the most important structures in the Christianity.
The Double Church where in 431 the Third Ecumenical Council members fought over `
Orthodox Christian belief. Here it was confirmed that the Virgin is the mother of Christ’s human and divine natures, because the two can not be divided, this is the teaching of Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople, the Virgin could only be the mother of human aspect of Christ.Thus,it was reconfirmed that the Virgin was Theotokos,the council also accepted that the Virgin lived in Ephesus with St.John.
THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE THEOLOGIA
According to one Christian, during the last part of his life St,John withdrew from Ephesus to the hill of Ayasuluk (The word derives from the Greek Ayios Theologos to mean `Holly Breath` or `Aya Suluk` in Turkish.
The church of St John was built in the 6th century AD the port of Ephesus had become silted from the eroted silt of the Cayster River (Kucuk Menderes)and the city itself was a malarial swamp. Therefore its residents moved about 2 km north to the higher ground near the Basilica of St.John which the Emperor Justinian and the Empress Theodora were building. the church was located at the traditional grave of John.
Most of the building material came from the ruins of The Ephesus and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis just below the hill. The floor was covered with geometric mosaics, the subjects from the old and new testaments.
A large octagonal baptistery with the stairs for total immersion.
John is believed to have lived in Ephesus before and after his exile on the island of Patmos.
The Ephesians were the first congregation of Christians John addresses; the others order were Smyrna,Pergamum,Thyatira,Sardis,Philadelphia and Laodicea.
The Basilica of St.John was on the hill above the town. It has been partly reconstructed. The building was in a shape of a cross and was covered with six domes. Under the central dome was the tomb of John.
Like other churches that Justinian and Theodora built the capitals of the supporting colums were incised with their monograms.