Father Jung’s first expedition ends in failure, but two days later, they started again and this time, thanks to some women working in a tobacco field, they were led on to water and success on Nightingale Mountain. Opinions of Sister Emmerich’s visions then changed.
Father Jung and his small archaeology group began their hunt on 27 July 1891, a very hot, humid day, and carried their provisions along the old Jerusalem road. They really didn’t believe in Anne Catherine’s revelations, so they could search without much help from the Sisters. They searched most of the day, but finally decided they had lost their route, turned around and headed back home.
Father Jung’s idea was the same as Father Poulin, to scientifically prove that Sister Anne Catherine’s revelations were a mistake, “the dreams of a sick woman.”
On 29 July, they started out again on their second excursion, another hot, sticky, humid day. This time, they used a compass and copy of the revelations given to Sister Anne Catherine. They followed her directions and discovered a path they previously had missed on the first trip. It led them towards the top of Nightingale Mountain.
After they had followed the path a short way up the mountain they found a small hut referred to as a monastery. Inside were two monks so they began to talk with them.
Finally one of the priests asked the monks, “Where did the Blessed Virgin Mary die?”
“In Jerusalem,” the one monk answered. His response pleased the priests. It didn’t fit the Ephesus legend or Anne Catherine’s revelations and probably gave much greater hope to those who were opposed to her mysticism, which included Fathers Jung and Poulin.
They finished their talk with the monks and resumed their climb up Nightingale Mountain. It still was hot and the terrain so rugged that one of the priests had to be carried part of the way. It would take them eleven hours to reach the top.
Exhausted, breathing hard and about to give up the search when they neared the top, they shouted to some women working in a small tobacco field on a plateau. “Nero! Nero! (Water! Water!).”
One of the women stopped and looked at them. “We have no water here,” she said, “but ten minutes farther up the mountain there’s a spring of water near the monastery by some trees.”
They rested a few minutes then started the climb again. When they found the water, they fell to the ground and began to drink. They stopped a few moments to catch their breaths, drank some more, rested, and finally began to relax.
After a while, Father Jung decided to explore the area. He followed the stream for a ways and finally called attention to the others. He pointed out that the stream ran through some trees and up ahead were some stone ruins of a house – four walls and no roof.
It was strange, the one of the other men thought, an artesian spring on top of the mountain. How could that be?
Then one of the others recalled that Mary was supposed to have been the only one who had a stone house on the mountain.
Sister Anne Catherine had said in her revelations that from the top of the mountain one can see Ephesus, the Aegean Sea and the islands of Samos, that the house was made of stone and that it was round and octagonal.
It struck them all at about the same time, Father Jung hurried the rest of the way up the mountain.
Another shouted, “Can you see Ephesus?”
“Yes,” Father Jung answered.
The other called out again. “Can you see the sea?”
“Yes,” came his reply.
“Can you see the island?”
Suddenly no one was exhausted. They forgot their unbelief. It was just like Anne Catherine Emmerich’s revelations had said. There was only one place on Nightingale Mountain where you could stand and see to the northeast the Ephesus plain, Ayasoulouk and the ruins of the city of Prion; the vast expanse of the Aegean Sea spread out before Father Jung to the west and southwest; and Samos islands, with their numerous peaks, were there in the middle of the waves.
They checked all the other nearby hilltops, but they found no other place from which Ephesus, the sea and the islands could be seen. Now they were convinced, they had found Mary’s house.
Father Jung was so moved by his discovery that he was certain Mary’s grave must be somewhere near here, maybe only a few steps farther.
They stayed two more days to study a great part of the mountain and recorded everything they could see and examine. They learned from the women that the people called these ruins Panaghia Capouli – the Door of the Virgin.
When the first exploration was finished, Father Jung completely changed his ideas. He returned to Smyrna convinced that Sister Anne Catherine spoke the truth. Panaghia Capouli didn’t have a stronger defender than Father Jung with the possible exception of his superior, Father Poulin.
This was written in part in the Daily Journal (Ephemerides) of the Congregation and Mission and the Daughters of Charity for 29 July 1891, page 298:
“Panaghia Capouli is a small region situated not far from Ephesus. Catherine Emmerich, in her life of the Virgin Mary, tells that the Mother of God lived there in a house built for her by Saint John. She delved into the most minute and most precise details, not only in regard to the house itself, but the surrounding countryside, the site and its orientation, the distances, etc., etc. The missionaries of the House at Smyrna, after they discussed the value of these revelations, decided to make an expedition on site to reach a conclusion, one way or the other. Those who opposed led the works.
After laborious research, they found a ruin, dating from the first centuries, according to the archaeologists, at the place indicated by the visionary, near an ancient chateau. Everything conformed to the description, down to the smallest detail. These observations caused our confreres to have recourse to ecclesiastical authority. The Archbishop of Smyrna named a commission which made a report signed by the Archbishop and whose conclusion is this: “Having good reasons, on the one hand, to believe that the revelations of Catherine Emmerich merit, at least, some credibility, given the homage paid her good faith and to her virtue by her superiors and her contemporaries; noting, on the other hand, book in hand and with our own eyes, the perfect conformity that exists between the ruins that we have visited and that which the visionary describes of the house of the Holy Virgin at Ephesus; knowing still further that local traditions affirm in a positive manner that the Holy Virgin lived in this area, we are strongly inclined to believe that the ruins of Panaghia are truly the remains of the house inhabited by the Holy Virgin.” (Extract of a booklet).”
Segment 15: The archaeological group plans to rest, then return to obtain more proof.
" 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