We started early once again and headed to Ephesis, Turkey to spend the day. The morning was cool and a little drizzly. We went to the House of the Virgin Mary first. What a power time we spent there. My thoughts went to what it would have been like in 33 A.D. which was when most of the ruins were dated. This is both a Catholic and a Muslim Shrine. While we visited, many of the groups took a moment to sing or pray together. And we did too.

The bus trip up the mountian was beautiful, we drove through a spring ladened landscape, upward towards the Shrine. The mountain on which the Shrine is located is called¬†Mount Nightingale. I saw a beautiful bird and wondered what species it was. It turned out to be a Eurasian Jay, which was a long way from it’s normal migration pattern. ¬†Although it was not a nightingale, it felt like a messenger none the less. It spoke of faithfulness. And like the blue of our American Jays, it brought to mind the presence of the Mother of Jesus. Especially, the story of the Wedding of Canaan, where Mary would not take no for an answer. Faithful and fierce.

Eurasian Jay at the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesis, Turkey

We took a moment to share the prayer intentions that we traveled with from our parish community in the prayer wall. It was powerful to think of our connectedness.

Prayer Wall at the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesis, Turkey

It was a powerful way to begin our day in Turkey.