Friday, July 26, 2013

Holy Turkey!

Our next stop was the House of the Virgin Mary. So yup, we've entered the Holy parts of Turkey! 

There has been some debate as to what part of Mary’s life was spent here. Was she really here? Was it her final resting place?

Yelda told us that after all of the back and forth, the current evidence does point to her coming here and living here. The foundation of the house and the stones of the keyhole shaped pool carbon date to the right time. As well as the painting that you can see inside of the house, which is thought to be of Mary – also carbon dates back to the time that Mary would have been living at this home.

The keyhole shaped pool that was part of the vision of the nun who had visions of Mary's home before it was discovered.

The foundation was all that would have remained of Mary’s house. The rest of the small building has been reconstructed to be a small chapel. The smaller room is thought to be where Mary would have slept. It is set in a very beautiful, lush mountainside. You can just imagine Mary living out her final days here in peace.   There were no pictures allowed inside of the house.

After walking through the home we went to the area outside known as the “Wall of Wishes”. This is a large wall, similar to so many in the world, where pilgrims, or visitors like us, can write our wishes on a piece of paper or fabric and leave them in the wall. Megan, Mimi and I all chose to leave a wish, or personal intention here. 

There is also a water fountain here at the wall that some pilgrims believe to have special healing powers or powers of fertility. 

I am not a particularly religious person, but I was however raised Catholic. I would say I have a spiritual side to me rather than a religious side. Many people have asked me if being at such a religious place would have significance for someone who is not Catholic, or not religious. I can answer for myself – for me it was a very peaceful place. I don’t believe one has to be Catholic to understand the journey that these people from history took and the effect they had on the modern world we now live in. Much of Turkey is now Muslim and they honor the Catholic beginnings that came from their lands.

As we left this mountain, Mt. Koressos, we knew it was time for lunch! Yelda would be taking us to a local restaurant. Here we wouldn’t even have menus! We’d choose our food by looking at it and pointing to what we wanted! Yum!...

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