The Church of St. Mary in Ephesus


The first three centuries kept the secret of St. Mary's misfortune and death, but perhaps it was God's will. The ancient world never realized the personality of the Virgin Mary. The city of Ephesus however; was fully conscious of paying honour to her. The first Christian church of Ephesus was built with columns in a classical style in the middle of a large open space, puzzling the people with its apperance and really deserving of its fame. No visitor to Ephesus neglects to visit the remains of the Church of St. Mary, which is very interesting not only from the spiritual point of view but also for its architecture. Some of the old guides tell about a double church, but this is not certain. The old church building was altered theree times with the changing fortunes of the city. The classical church was 260m. in length, and was built with columns in the form of a fine basilica with baptistry. The Council and later on the Synod, declared this as the centre of Christianity in the year 449 A.D. After it was partly destroyed, the western part formed a domed basilica, and when this too was ruined, the eastern part of the old basilica was turned into a church. The baptistry of this church is the best preserved in Asia Minor. Ephesus made many friends owing to St. Mary. It is very interesting from the point of history, archaelogoy and religion. "It reminds us of great Christian leaders like St. John, St. Timotheus, and especially St. Mary who lived a life of meditation, and further; it brings Christianity into the mind of the modern believer. The small modest convent of St. Mary over Panaya-Kapulu mountain, is the most beautiful natural residence imaginable. We feel indebted to write our thanks to all Turks, who showed a very refined and close concern for th subject"