House of Virgin Mary In 1812, a German nun named Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich had a series of visions in which she saw St. John and the Virgin Mary travel to Ephesus. According to her visions, St. John had built a rectangular-shaped stone house for Mary, which included a fireplace, an apse, and a round back wall. Mary's bedroom was located next to the apse, and there was running water nearby. Sister Emmerich believed that Mary had lived in the house until she died at the age of 64. Her coffin was initially placed in a nearby cave, but when it was opened later, both the coffin and burial shroud were found to be empty. The area around the house eventually became a chapel for pilgrims to visit. Years later, a man named Gouyet searched for the house based on Sister Emmerich's descriptions and eventually found it. He sent letters to officials in Paris and Rome, but received no response. Eventually, two Catholic officials and a Lazarist priest went to Ephesus to see the house for themselves in 1891. They found a small chapel with an unrecognizable statue of Mary inside. More priests were sent to the site, and by 1892, it was open for pilgrimage purposes. The house was restored in 1897, and a shelter was built outside the home for visitors. Today, the Virgin Mary House is a popular destination for visitors to Ephesus. A very special event is being celebrated in the shrine on August 15. It is the Feast of the Assumption of Mary. Every year, Orthodox, Muslim and Catholic clergy conduct a service, which is made joint effort by all three branches. This rare occasion has seen all three branches united as one for once.