Posts Tagged ‘House of the Virgin Mary’

9:17 am

Sunday Mass at the House of the Virgin Mary

As far as I know, there is no Catholic Church in Kuşadası. The nearest place to attend Mass is the House of the Virgin Mary, above Ephesus, where Mass is said Sunday mornings at 10:30.

There is no direct dolmuş (dolmuşes are the little minivans that serve as buses here) service between Kuşadası and the House, so at a little after 9, I was at the corner to catch the dolmuş to Selçuk, from where I would need to take a taxi. As it happened, there was another passenger heading to Mass, a friendly Irish woman named Liz. We discussed our destination with the dolmuş driver who, in the end, ferried us all the way to the House, waited for us during Mass, and got us back down to the bus station to get a dolmuş back to Kuşadası.

There is a chapel at the site where Mass is held. This is a fairly recent addition, having just been consecrated last year. Apparently, Mass had been said in the House itself, but was constantly being disturbed by tourists.

I was a little surprised that Mass was in English: I had been expecting Turkish, or even, given the need to cater to multilingual pilgrim visitors, Latin. I’m not sure if the English reflects the fact that the core parish community seems to be made up of Anglophone expats or that English is the de facto international language of tourism (if not the Church). At any rate, it made me much more comfortable about the prospect of coming here regularly. Even better was the discovery that in fact some of the local Catholic expats have their own informal minibus service.

There is a spring beneath the House, and its waters are said to have miraculous powers. Adjacent to the faucets for the spring water, there is a prayer wall:

I was more focused on Mass than pictures, but I’ll take more pictures next week. In the meantime, this site has more pictures and information.

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