In 2007. Rick retired from a 35+ year career at UPS. We planned two major vacations, one for our birthdays in Winter and one for our 35th Wedding anniversary in Summer. I picked the summer excursion. It included a stay in Rome, a 10-day Mediterranian cruise, and a final four days in Venice.
One of our stops was in Kusadasi, Turkey. We signed up for a tour of Ephesus, which included a little shopping and a tour of the last home of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
The Ruins at Ephesus
The Last Home of the Virgin Mary
The House of the Virgin Mary was rediscovered in 1891. You can read about the rediscovery at the link. This is believed to be the last home of her earthly life. Mary was brought here by Saint John the Apostle, who was one of the first disciples of John the Baptist.
This part of the tour was self-guided, but it was fascinating to see this history. Many Popes have made Papal visits to this location. It is revered by Muslims and Christians alike. The site was elevated to the status of a "Holy Place" made permanent by Pope John XXIII.
I wasn't expecting...
When we went to the ruins at Ephesus, we had some idea of what we would see and learn. But that was not the case at Our Lady of Ephesus home.
September 8th is the Virgin Mary's Birthday.
After we came in by tour bus, many tour buses followed. We couldn't understand why it was so busy. We discovered that the day we visited was the birthday of the Virgin Mary. Her birthday is September 8th!
There was also a spring that went under her house. It has been said that there are healing powers from the fountain's waters (above). We bought a few small bottles to fill with this holy water and gave them as gifts. I kept one bottle; the water is still pure 16 years later.
Church scholars say there are much better indications that Mary's permanent house was in Jerusalem. All I know for sure... This is a very special place, and I was happy that we could make it there to see it.