The Venerable Servant of God, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich, described the landmarks and landscape of the area around the house of Mary in Ephesus Turkey. From this description the Servant of God, Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey encouraged two priest friends to actually look for Mary’s house. From this book they found it in 1891.
“Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey, Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul was born of a noble and holy family in the Diocese of Dijon, France, Sept. 13th, 1837. She desired from a young age to serve God with all her heart and answered her vocation. (Postulant, May 27, 1857, First Vows, Sept. 27, 1862.) At the end of her second assignment in France she was inspired to find the house of Mary in Ephesus, Turkey. At the time Pope Leo XIII requested missionary assistance in Asia Minor. Sr. Marie responded in 1886, she served at the French Naval Hospital in Smyrna, Turkey, appointed superior in 1890. While in Smyrna she encouraged an expedition to find the House of Mary, Mother of Jesus, headed by Vincentian Priests. July 29, 1891 Mary’s house built by St John the Apostle, was discovered. Archeologist identified the ruins of a 1st. A. D. house with a church from teh 4th century A. D. having been built over it. On October 21, 1891, Sister Marie received permission from Fr. Fiat to purchase the property in her name which occurred on Nov. 15, 1892. Sister Marie restored the House making it a place of pilgrimage for all people, especially Christians and Muslims. During restoration three stones from the hearth, built by the Apostles, were found. One of these stones was given to the de Mandat-Grancey Family Chapel in France to confirm her holy life, work and devotion to God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, uniquely identifying Sister Marie with the primitive Apostolic community. All recent popes have visited the House. Pope Paul VI on July 26, 1967, Pope John Paul II celebrated Mass on Nov. 30, 1979 and Pope Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on Nov. 29 2009. Sister Marie lived a life of detachment, dedication, virtue, obedience and charity; she died on May 31, 1915. Her cause for Beatification was opened on January 21, 2011.”
I copied this from the card from the diocese of Kansas City Missouri that promotes the beatification of Sister Marie de Mandat- Grancey. The finding of Mary’s house took place when Sister Marie was at Smyrna Turkey. She was the one who encouraged the priest to look for it. The priest were at first were very skeptical, but Sister Marie’s insistence won them over, and they found it.
When talking about the passion of Jesus and His way of the cross to Calvary, at this home of Mary in Ephesus, they also found the stations of the cross that Mary created and would pray and meditate on everyday. They found the path and stones with small crosses etched into them.
I was skeptical about the writings of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich until I read this book. This is evidence of God working in our lives right now. How else would we ever have known about the house of Mary if God had not divinely intervened so that Sister Anne Catherine could accurately describe the surrounding landscape of the home. This encourages us to have faith in God’s actions that are happening all around us. If Sister Marie had not been in Smyrna Turkey at that time, it is possible it would have never been found. If one of the priest had not been an archeologist, he may not have been able to find it. If Sister Marie had not continually insisted and coaxed the priest, we would not have found it.
When I visited the Holy Land, I remember visiting a church that said it was where Our Lady was assumed into heaven. When I heard about Ephesus, I was not convinced. But once reading how God worked through these holy nuns, I am convinced as the popes were, that this is where Our Lady lived and was assumed into heaven.
Again these facts help us realize that we are all important to God and Mary. What are we suppose to do with our lives? What is our mission. I know my mission is to spread love for the Tridentine Mass and Rites. I pray some day we can have a Traditional Catholic Televisions and Radio station. Please pray for God to let you know your mission and the grace, energy, passion and will to do it.
This book is available at St. Benedict’s Press (TAN). May we walk with Mary along with her Son Jesus on the way of the Passion to Calvary. This is our way to heaven too.