Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The House of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus

MY YOUNG FRIENDS Nicholas (12 ) and Katie (10 ) have just returned from a summer trip to Padua, Venice, Greece, Croatia and Turkey. While in Turkey they took a bus trip to Ephesus where the Holy House of Mary is located. I told the brother and sister they could create a post for the Pauca Verba blog, sharing their insights and prayer. Here's Nicholas' report followed by Katie's prayer. They're happy to help us get ready for tomorrow's Feast of the Assumption.

In the 19th century, Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich had visions of the house that the Virgin Mary lived in with Saint John the Apostle. A person who had heard both Sister Anne's descriptions and a legend about a house in Ephesus traveled there and found that the house matched Sister Anne's descriptions perfectly.

The house is located on a hill to protect Mary because at the time, Christianity was illegal since it rebelled against the establishment of the Roman Empire.

The house is still standing and there are parts of the walls and foundation that are still original, and if you go there can touch the walls. You feel like you could be touching the wall that the Virgin Mary would have touched herself. Some of the trees outside could have been there for thousands of years, even at the time of Mary.  

One of the most interesting things about the house is that outside there is a fountain where you can drink and fill a water bottle. The fountain has been connected to a well that would have been where Mary got her water. The water is considered to be holy water. It's very wonderful to be able to drink from the well knowing that it's the same place that Mary got her water.

The Virgin Mary's house is one of the coolest places to visit. Just knowing that you are standing in the same place as the Virgin Mary is one of the most exciting things  you can do.

Oh Mary, 
your house is a holy site
for many religions.
Although you mean different things
to different people ~
whether someone believes
you are the Mother of God
or the mother of a great prophet, 
you are special
in many ways to all.

Our religions are different, 
but as we step on the stones you stepped on
we are reminded we are all children of God,
children alike in more ways than not.

We pray to you
that we may realize this in our daily lives.
We ask you to help us lead lives
of peace and love like your own,
to create a better world. Amen.


  1. How sweet. I pray with these children for peace among us all.

  2. It was wonderful to see that these young people have had this experience and have insight into this holy place.

  3. Father,
    As we see Christians persecuted for their faith, it is so important to be reminded to pray for acceptance of our different beliefs. This holds true in all aspects of our lives. Thank you for always reminding us of what it means to live in the way that God wants us to live. Celebrating our joint humanity.

  4. This ten year old Katie's prayer shows an understanding of unity among those that have differing beliefs. It seems to mesh perfectly with your Mary of the Circle post that follows the next day. If we could all spread this message the world would be a better place. You must have taught these children well Father for they show wisdom and appreciation of Mary more so than most Catholic adults these days. Reading their words was both enlightening and uplifting. Our faith is living on in young people today. Praises to all.

  5. I hope to go on such a pilgrimage and have that wonder of being in a holy place such as that where the Blessed Virgin had been along with other disciples who walked alongside Jesus. And blessed are the children who are taught to respect and appreciate such experiences.