Three Popes Visited Mary's House
Paul VI kept his word and after a triumphal entry to Istanbul he came to pay his respects to Virgin Mary in Ephesus, on 26th July 1967. He entered the shrine escorted by the crowd. He prayed for a long time in front of the altar and he himself lit the sculpted lamp he had brought. In memory of Sister Marie de Mandat-Grancey, he gave the superior of the sisters of Charity who live there a gold chalice for their oratory. Pope John Paul II also came to Virgin Mary on 30th November 1979, after an official visit to Ankara.
Although the pilgrimage of these two Popes does not constitute official recognition of Virgin Mary House as the place where Mary lived and died, they did at least make known to the whole world, through press and television, the existence of the shrine. Lastly Pope Benedictus XVI visit Turkey in November 2006. Turkey welcomed Pope Benedict with a great honor.
* The House of Virgin Mary: the place where she is believed to have spent her last years. It is recorded that St. John brought Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the death of Christ and that a small house was built for her on Bulbuldagi Mount. On 26th July 1967, Pope Paul VI visited The House of Virgin Mary and declared one of the pilgrimage center for Christianity.
* Ephesus: which has been a religious center of the early Christianity in ancient time– Apostol Paul and Apostol John stayed and preached in Ephesus! Our days, one can see the extensive ruins including the The Odeon, State Agora, The Prytaneion, Domitian Square, Hercules Gate, The Fountain of Trajan-one of the finest monuments in Ephesus, Temple of Hadrian, walk through the Curetes Street, Celsius Library-was the third largest library with the capacity of 12,000 scrolls, The Gymnasium, The Grand Theatre-most magnificent structure in Ephesus, The Arcadian Way..and much more monuments remained preserved till our days, constantly reminding us the great history of this ancient city.
* The Temple of Artemis: one of the Seven Wonders on the Ancient World, a famous temple build for the goddess Artemis, known as Diana in ancient world.