by Louis Guido
Does a French nun, who died in 1915 in Turkey, have a critical mission to perform in this 21st century? Let’s look at some basic facts and also some recent events; then perhaps a reasonable answer can be discerned.
Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey, D. C., (1837-1915) was the Mother Superior of the Daughters of Charity who resided and worked at the French naval hospital in Smyrna (Izmir), Turkey. She is the Foundress of the house of the Mother of God at Ephesus, in Turkish, named Meryem Ana Evi. This house is revered as the place where St. John brought Our Lady after their flight from the Christian persecution in Jerusalem. Here Our Lady lived her final days until her Dormition and Assumption.
It’s important to note here that this house is also honored in special devotions by the Muslims to which they, too, pilgrimage and pray to Mary each August 15. In these times, could prayers to Our Lady for peace between Christians and Muslims be any more important? Sr. Marie’s love for Our Lady and her house at Ephesus is one shared by the Muslims and the Orthodox! Mary’s House at Ephesus is a common pilgrimage destination for both Catholics and Muslims along with our Orthodox brothers and sisters where they join in reverent prayer. Here is a singular place of peace between faiths which honor Our Lady; the only place in the world where Christians and Muslims pray together to God, the Father, in peace. Both faiths honor the Mother of God as His only creature, along with Jesus Christ, to be conceived without the stain of sin. Catholics implore the Mother of God under the title of the Immaculate Conception.
As a point of interest, the Catholic Church recognizes that Mary appeared in 1917 to three children at Fatima, Portugal, to urge the world to pray for peace. Fatima is the name of Muhammad’s daughter. Could there be a connection here, not just a strange coincidence?
We may well ask ourselves if there is anything else that could possibly contribute more to the cause of world peace than to recognize that Our Lady has already established the House of Mary as a common meeting ground between Muslim and Christian people. Even though the world may strive to define these two religious groups as enemies, God, Our Father, calls us all His children.
Sr. Marie’s contribution to assist Our Lady by the acquisition, restoration and preservation of Mary’s House at Ephesus is a crucial link in the cause for peace so urgently requested by Our Lady as evidenced at Fatima and throughout the world.
" I am not a priest and cannot bless them, but all that the heart of a mother can ask of God for her children, I ask of Him and will never cease to ask Him." ~ Sister Marie