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Actually House of Mary near Ephesus was found twice and in both cases visions of Emmerich were used as a base. The first discovery started when a French priest Father Abbé Gouyet (†1899) read the revelations of a German peasant woman and impressed by them, he decided to go on an expedition to İzmir from Paris in order to find the House of Mary in Ephesus on the mountains.
In 1881 Abbé Gouyet arriving in İzmir was able to find a house which was matching to the revelations of the mystic woman after many tiring efforts, however, news of exploration only explained that Gouyet found a house which is supposed to be Mary’s on the mountains of Ephesus; it didn’t bring any more results than this. (ABBẾ GOUYET, Découverte dans la montagne d’Ephèese de la Maison où la S.te Vierge est, Paris, 1898).
The second exploration about the House of Mary appears in an event expressed in the registery of a monastery. Sister Maria de Mandat Grancey was on duty in the İzmir French Hospital as a mistress of Caritas Sisters and one day while the book’s related part about “Mary’s Life” was being read in the community her attention was drawn to the details toward the house in Ephesus. She requested Lazarist Father Jung and Father Poulin, who taught at İzmir Sacre Cœur College and went to hospital to celebrate Holy Mass, to find out if the “Revelations” were real or not.
After some enquiries, on 29th July, 1891 Jung and Poulin were almost certain that they found the house which Emmerich described and which was visited as a center of pilgrimage every year by the inhabitants of a small Greek orthodox village that was called Şirince.
Father Poulin, tells the events taking part in those days lukewarmly and a bit humorously: “Father Jung who was the most fervent opponent was called to be the leader of the team. He called another religious man who returned from war of 1870 like himself and who was skeptic about Emmerich’s revelations. He also found a railway official to help them to carry baggage. Claming that the statements of Emmerich are illusive they decided to set out to search the mountain in order to solve the problem created by a poor dreamer. However…a small group devoted to Saint John with a compass in their hands walked towards the direction marked in the book and came to the mountain on 29th July 1891 Wednesday on the feast of Saint Martha. Explorers arrived at an open area around eleven in the morning. They saw some peasant women working with tobacco plants in difficult conditions. If they had been in other conditions they wouldn’t have noticed working people in the fields in such a high place. However at that time, because of exhaustion and sun, they cried together ‘nerò, nerò’ (water, water…”) in one voice. Women: “We don’t have any water at all but if you go to the monastery down the hill you will find water” answered the women. They pointed the small woods which would take nearly ten minutes to go. The group moved to that direction immediatelly. After a while they continued their way and they could’t conceal their astonishments when they came across a ruin of a house namely a church almost hidden among trees next to the spring water.”
(Egidio PICUCCI, Ephesus-House of Mary in Selçuk, İstanbul 1990, pages 25-28)