THE FIRST DISCOVERY – The House of Virgin Mary
The discovery of Meryem Ana is linked to an episode in the life of the convent. Sister Marie de Mandat Grancey, superior of the Daughters of Charity in charge of the French hospital in Izmir, listening one day at the table reading this passage from the “Life of the Virgin”, heard the details that relate to the ” House of Ephesus He asked Father Jung and Father Poulin, two Lazarists who taught at the College of the Sacred Heart in Smyrna and who came to celebrate Mass at the hospital, to verify the veracity of these “revelations.”
Father Poulin recounts what happened in those days in a distant and captivating way. “In mid-November 1890, the Life of the Blessed Virgin by Anna Katharina Emmerick, fell into the hands of some priests living in Smyrna. These priests, it must be confessed, was nothing less than willing in favor of his alleged revelations. Yet they read his book.
Great was their astonishment at not finding, instead of the dreams they hoped for, simplicity, sincerity, rectitude, and good sense.
They shared their readings and impressions with those around them. Long and interesting discussions followed, some, most, criticizing with enthusiasm and humor; the others, those who had read, answered with indefatigable patience that, without deciding the basic question, there were at least three merits that could not be denied to the visions of Katharina Emmerick: that of good faith, that of Piedad, that finally, nothing progresses that can fit perfectly with the Gospel data … “
In the last two chapters, the visionary relates that the Blessed Virgin stayed in Ephesus, or rather in the neighborhood of Ephesus, in a house built by Saint John for her. And on this, the most minute and precise details are included, not only of the house itself but of the surrounding country, the site, the orientation, the distances, etc., etc. …, etc.
In this reading there was only one cry from both camps: One must go and see! And, it was decided that we were going to see. Indeed, one might wish for a better opportunity, on both sides, to seize the fortune-teller in the act of falsehood or to determine his perfect veracity.
The most skeptical of the opponents, not the least competent in the matter, was in charge of the expedition (Father Jung). He took with him another priest, a former soldier from 1870 like himself and almost in disbelief, a luggage servant, a railroad man, and set out, determined to search the entire mountain to establish that there was nothing, and end once and for all, as he said, with these girl dreams … We will see how the opposite happened …
On July 29, 1891, a Wednesday, a day dedicated to Saint Joseph and feast from Santa Marta, we resolutely entered the mountain, compass in hand, and we continue straight on, in the direction indicated by Anna Katharina Emmerick. Finally, around eleven o’clock, they finally reach a plateau that They find crowned by a tobacco field where some women work.
At any other time, the sight of these women, from this field in culture, would not fail to attract their attention. But in the state of despair where they are, exhausted from fatigue, dying of thirst and heat, all have a single thought and a cry: Nero! Nero! ¡Water! ¡Water!
We have no more water, say the good women; but there, in Monastiri, there is a fountain; and with their hands, they point to a group of trees ten minutes away. They run there.
Which is not his surprise when approaching the source, they discover, a few steps away, hidden under the high trees, such as the ruins of an old house or chapel, and founded The House of Virgin Mary.
Suddenly a thought arises in their minds. In this field they just crossed … this ancient ruin … the name given to it gave of Panaya-Kapulu, “Gate of the Virgin” … these rocks steep … this mountain behind … this sea in front ??? What! They would fall, unknowingly, in the house, they are looking for! … The emotion is alive. Fast! We must make sure of that.
Katharina Emmerick says that from the top of the mountain that houses the house, one must see Ephesus on one side, and on the other side the sea, closer than it is to Ephesus. We forget the fatigue, the heat, the thirst. We climb, we run, we reach the top of the mountain, without a doubt! To Right is Aya Soluk, the Prion and the Plain of Ephesus, which surrounds it like a horseshoe; And here, on the left, is the sea close by, with Samos in sight!
It would be difficult to express the amazement and joy of our explorers. However, we must not get caught up in some appearances. Therefore, it is a question of being safe before passing judgment, especially before speaking. The next two days are used to study house, terrain, orientation, nearby places, etc. After these two days of examination and study, the sentence was made. Our men later returned to Smyrna to share with friends and foes their surprising discovery.
Fifteen days later, on August 13, a second expedition went to the scene to review the report of the first. Found the merits of all that the authors of the first expedition had said, and even noticed some new and favorable details, which had escaped the first time.
From August 19 to 25, the third expedition, composed of the head of the first and four or five laypeople, educated.
This third expedition stayed a whole week in the field, measuring, drawing, photographing, recording with every precision every bit of importance possible. After six days of this work, returned to Smyrna with plans, maps, measurements, drawings, photographs, and, especially, with the most complete security that had been found, and that there was a need to look elsewhere. Let’s say, finally, that one’s own diocesan authority has spoken of it, consecrating in some way with its own testimony all the previous testimonies, and granting them, through the official character of his word, the last seal of veracity and authenticity. And deciding The House of Virgin Mary is was real or not?
On Thursday, December 1, 1892, Mgr. Timoni, Archbishop of Izmir, whom Ephesus reports, wanting to realize for himself the accuracy of the reports made to him from various locations, was transported from his person, in the company of a dozen notables like also laypeople. Ecclesiastical, in this place of Panaya-Kapulu. After carefully observing everything with his own eyes, His Majesty recognized all that there was an undeniable similarity between the Panaya-Kapulu house and the described by Katharina Emmerick, and she did not hesitate to record the fact in public and official records. “The time has come to tell the world “The time has come to tell the world “Ha llegado el momento de decirle al mundo “It is time to tell the world “Es hora de decirle al mundo Christian. Do you see if what has been found is not the house that the Holy Virgin during his stay in the House of Virgin Mary in Ephesus?