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Ephesus and Mary

Ephesus and Mary

– Answered by Father Johann Roten, S.M.

Q: What is the name of the nun to whom Mary appeared revealing that she had lived in Ephesus, Turkey the last years of her life?

A: The name is Anna Katharina Emmerick (1774-1824). She belonged to the sisters of St. Augustine (1802-1812) when the convent was suppressed). She had visions (Our Lady and especially the Passion of Christ) and received the stigmata (1798: forehead; 1812: hands and feet). She lived without food for years. The German poet, Clemens of Brentano, took down the report of her visions, touching upon Mary's life and Christ's passion. In the Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1852) we find reference to Ephesus where Mary reportedly spent the last years of her earthly dwelling. Of special interest is information conveyed by Emmerick on the house where Mary died and her tomb (Panagia Kaulu) and their confirmation through archeology (J. Goujet, H. Jung, E. Poulin). Neither Emmerick nor Brentano could have anticipated these findings. Anna Katharina Emmerick, whose process of canonization had been initiated in 1828 (to 1899) and again in 1973. On October 3, 2004, Pope John Paul II beatified her together with four other servants of God.

In his homily for that occasion Pope John Paul II said about her:

"Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerick told of "the sorrowful passion of our Lord Jesus Christ" and lived it in her body. The fact that the daughter of poor peasants who sought tenaciously to be close to God became the well-known "Mystic of the Land of Münster" was a work of divine grace. Her material poverty contrasted with her rich interior life. We are equally impressed by the new Blessed's patience in putting up with physical weakness and her strong character, as well as her unshakable faith.

She found this strength in the Most Holy Eucharist. Her example opened the hearts of poor and rich alike, of simple and cultured persons, whom she instructed in loving dedication to Jesus Christ.

Still today, she passes on to all the saving message: Through the wounds of Christ we have been saved." (cf. I Pt 2: 24)

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