There is a Shrine Chapel in the ancient city of Ephesus-(present-day Efes, Turkey) that is dedicated to Jesus' Mother, Mary, titled, "House of the Virgin Mary" which is administered by The Roman Catholic Church; (It is also referred to as, "Our Lady of Ephesus"). It is a simple and rather humble looking stone house located in the distant corner of ancient Ephesus. The lore behind the House is that Jesus' Mother lived there shortly after his death. She is also believed to have died in this House, thereby making it both a historical and a sacred site for practicing Christians-(in particular, Roman Catholics).

However, is there any incontrovertible historical proof that Mary traveled to Ephesus after Jesus' death and lived in this particular Ephesian House? Are there any written records? Is there any available archaeological evidence validating this claim? Or is this particular House part of the larger Christian lore?

  • 5
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this belongs on the Christianity site. Nov 20 '17 at 6:14
  • 9
    This is a legitimate history question. As I stated earlier, my question has no mentioning of Mary's religious character; instead, it is asking about Mary's historical whereabouts.
    – user26763
    Nov 20 '17 at 7:38
  • 4
    To date, no contemporary historical or archaeological evidence has been found to confirm the existence of an historical Jesus. Given that, why would you expect there to be historical or archaeological evidence for his mother? If your interest lies in the Christian lore, then @PieterGeerkens is correct, this question belongs on the Christianity site. Nov 20 '17 at 11:55
  • 2
    Okay, a few points to clarify. This posting has to do with the historical whereabouts of Jesus' Mother after his death.......that's it. With regard to the historical existence of Jesus, that is an entirely different discussion. I am not an expert in Biblical History or in the biography of Jesus. However, if you legitimize the synoptic Gospels, as well as the defunct Gospel writings-(dating to the age of the Council of Nicea), as well as the historical writings of Tacitus and Flavius Josephus, there is enough textual evidence pointing to a historical Jesus.
    – user26763
    Nov 20 '17 at 16:21
  • 4
    It seems to me that OP has carefully constructed this question to ask for historical evidence. I suspect that the answer is "No, there is no evidence", but I'm not an expert in the field.
    – MCW
    Nov 20 '17 at 17:45

Shall we look first if Mary really existed? Wikipedia doesn't go into any historical detail at all here. None whatsoever.

Now, if she existed she possibly/probably was 12-13 when she became mother. In those days that was quite normal for girls. But she was not married. According to the lore, she was engaged to Joseph. Being pregnant before marriage, most certainly when the father is not the husband-to-be was not a good idea. Generally speaking, if she wasn't dragged to the edge of town to be stoned, she would be very lucky indeed. The source about Mamzer is a bit vague about it, but if she remained alive she almost certainly would be considered a social outcast.

But Joseph was a loving man, etc. apologists will claim. Joseph was a man of his time. He had his reputation to worry about. Marrying a pregnant fiancée by someone else would make him the laughing stock not of the village, but of the district. He would be known as Joseph with the horns for the rest of his life. He must have been deeply in love to carry that stygma.

Being a bastard became only socially acceptable after WW2. Before WW2 it was a shame you did well to hide. Especially for the mother. (I'm not disrespectful to your religion, but that is the technical term for someone born out of wedlock.)

I conclude that Mary probably didn't exist, just as Jesus (being the son of a god) never existed. I'm not a theologian, but assume existing mother goddesses form the basis of Mary, the mother of Jesus. There are plenty of immaculate birth legends.

Based on the above, no doubt there is a church dedicated the virgin Mary in Ephesus. But that doesn't proof anything. Not even that Mary lived there. Only that people worshiped her.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Dec 20 '17 at 1:58