Monday, December 24, 2012

House of Mary







House of Mary

It is Christmas Eve and I am taking a departure from the Venice Series and jumping ahead to our visit to the House of Mary near the ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey. To be honest, I had never heard of this place until we were booking a shore excursion during our stop in Kusadasi. I have included a photo of the English sign (there are many in different languages) that gives information about the "shrine". If interested, you can find more information online at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_the_Virgin_Mary

My wife and I walked into the small building with a long line of people. As we entered the main room of the house, my wife knelt on one of three individual places to pray. I stood next to her and was immediately overwhelmed with the most peaceful and spiritual feelings I had ever experienced.

When my wife finished praying and we left, we shared our feelings and found we both had very similar experiences. Since we had a few minutes before returning to the bus, we got back in the line and went into the house again. She knelt in the same place and again, I stood beside her and again, the experience was overwhelming. Outside the house I overheard several people who were sharing their, very similar, experiences.
The third photo shows another sign with quotations from the Koran. Here is a place where Christians and Muslims stand side by side and pray in peace and reverence.

On the eve of the day Christians celebrate the birth of Christ, my wish is that everyone feel the Peace and Joy that many people experience in this humble house in the hills of Turkey.

Merry Christmas


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