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After our trip to Ephesus we took a side trip to Mary’s House. What the…???? (Read more here.)

I was smirking a bit to myself as the guide was giving the explanation of this house. A nun had a vision? Only a foot of the foundation remained after an earthquake? And they recognized it how?

Virgin Mary's house Ephesus

Mary’s House

I had my doubts.

And still I learned something in this beautiful little spot which is overrun by visitors and hushed into supposed silence by signs begging for the reverence which should be accorded a holy place. I learned that this is a pilgrimage for many people. As we passed a mass being said by a priest in the garden I realized that for many, visiting here is a profound religious experience.

Wall of rememberance holds ribbons, notes, etc.

Wall of rememberance holds ribbons, notes, etc.

And I learned that Mary and Jesus hold a prominent place in the Koran. (How had I missed this in all my years.) Thus many of the most ardent worshipers were Muslim.

I can’t say that I believe or disbelieve that this is the last home of the Virgin Mary. If so, good for John the Baptist for taking care of her as instructed and finding her an idyllic spot to grieve her son and live out her days.

If not, for many people this is a sacred place. It is human to want a place to hang our memories and our beliefs; why else would we decorate graves and revisit places which have meant something in our lives. And so, why not rejoice that so many people have found resonance for their faith in this spot?

It is a beautiful, peaceful place where people of many religions gather and share a few moments of oneness.

Amen.