Tomb of Mary: Location and Significance

Q: Where is the tomb of the Virgin Mary and what is its significance?

A: There are actually two traditions that claim Mary's grave. One is Jerusalem, the other is Ephesus. It is the latter which constitutes the Turkish connection, and is based on the assumption that Mary spent the last years of her earthly pilgrimage in the company of St. John -- to whom she was entrusted by Jesus -- in Ephesus. Neither of these two places may claim the honor of having and preserving her bodily remains. The Ephesus tradition is of recent date and does not have a historical and/or archeological foundation. We owe this tradition to the visions of Katharina Emmerich. The Jerusalem tradition is backed by several solid arguments: a much longer tradition (apocryphal), going back to the sixth century, and more recently (Bagotti, 505) some archeological vestiges of a possible Mary tomb. According to the apocryphal witness, Mary was assumed into heaven after resting three days in the tomb.

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