St. Virgin Mary House Association Official Web Site

Council of Epheus Basilica (Church of Mary)

The church known as the Council Basilica has been proved to be the one where the Council gathered in 431. Roman style building originally was in the measures of 260 metres to 30 metres and belongs to the second century. Each of its three naves is ended with an apsis.

During this counsil a decision is taken against Nestorius and Mary is given the title of “Theotokos” (Mother of God). Because although Jesus has two natures (divine and human) he is united both as a human and Son of God in One; accordingly although human nature is born of Mary, Jesus Christ has also divine nature. By this adjudication as Jesus is the Son of God, Mary is the Mother of God. 

The testimonies which reached our present age reflects the importance of this church we mentioned as it is the first church dedicated to Mother Mary and in 431 the Ecumenical Ephesus Council took place here.

We get the confirmation that “the Basilica is attributed to holy, ever Virgin Mary, Mother of God” from Saint Ignatius’ epigraphy in the reign of Emperor Justinian.

If the mentioned basilica is the first church attributed to Mary, during the first eras of Christianity when saints lived, where died and respected during worships we must consider it was a custom to build and name churches for their honour.

For this reason, it is not a coinsidence that a basilica is built and attributed to Virgin Mary before 431, because before this date according to traditions, the belief of Jesus Christ’s Mother Mary and her Assumption was common.

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