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MERYEMANA, SELCUK

Meryemana1

Mass: Every Sunday 10am

Feast day of St Mary: 15 August

A popular excursion from Selcuk is to Meryemana (St Mary), a chapel built on the site of the supposed home of St Mary, the mother of Jesus.

According to popular belief St John the Evangelist arrived in the Ephesus area in the early years of the first century, bringing with him Jesus’ elderly mother Mary. Then between 1818 and 1824 a Roman Catholic nun, Anne Catherine Emmerich, had a series of dreams in which she “saw” the house in which the Virgin (Meryemana in Turkish) had lived. These were publicised by an Italian poet in 1841 and picked up in 1890 by a Catholic priest in Smyrna (Izmir) who led a party to Selcuk to see if they could find the house.Meryemana2

Excavations on the site  uncovered a small Byzantine building which is now a chapel whose authenticity has been at least partially endorsed by the visits of several popes, most recently in 2006. The fact remains, though, that there is no evidence to suggest that Mary died anywhere other than in Jerusalem.

The chapel's pretty garden is far too small for the crowds that routinely descend on it. While a pilgrimage here will be important for many people, personally I don't think the cost of the transport justifies the limited time you're likely to spend at the site.

An on-site café offers a handy lunch stop.Meryemana3

Expect enormous crowds on 15 August, the feast day of St Mary.

Transport info

Unfortunately there are no buses to Meryemana from Selçuk (7km) so you will probably have to take a taxi.

In that case see you might want to visit Meryemana on an excursion including the Cave of the Seven Sleepers and perhaps dropping you off at Ephesus

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