Christians, Muslims meet at the crossroads of Mary

house-of-virgin-mary-interior1The three Abrahamic faiths have all sorts of things in common, in addition to their significant differences. But the unique meeting point for Islam and Christianity may be their shared memory of a Jewish peasant girl who gave miraculous birth to Jesus.

That common ground isn’t solely theological. In Turkey, just outside the ancient site of Ephesus, stands a stone house where hundreds, even thousands of Muslim and Christian pilgrims visit daily. Both Christians and Muslims believe this is the home where Mary spent her last years on Earth.

In Christian tradition, Mary was brought there by the Apostle John, to whom Jesus entrusted His mother from the cross.

Tradition attests that John established and led the Christian community in Ephesus. Perhaps the strongest evidence that Mary lived there is that the first church built in Ephesus, dating from the second century, was named not after St. John but after Mary. In those early years of Christianity churches were generally named after saints who had lived in the area.



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