Ephesus, Miletus and Izmir
The pilgrimage will take us to places associated with the ministry of St Paul.
Ephesus was an important centre for Christianity from the AD 50s. St Paul lived here from AD 52-54, working with the local Church and working to enable missionary work in the country around. Paul was caught up later in controversy with those whose livelihood depended on the cult of Artemis (Acts 19:23-41). Here Paul wrote the first Letter to the Corinthians. (And later, from Rome, Paul would write to this local Church, the Letter to the Ephesians.)
Ephesus is also associated with St John, and is is possible that it was here that the Gospel of John was written. The city (and its Church) is one of the seven Churches of Asia addressed in the Book of the Revelation to John (the Book of the Apocalypse).
Near to Ephesus is the the shrine of Meryam Ana, the House of the Virgin Mary. A legend from the 4th Century tells of Mary spending some of the last years of her life on earth living here, under the care of St John. The mystical visions of Blessed Catherine Emmerich evoke this time. The shrine is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage, and visited by Blessed Paul VI, Saint John Paul II, and, in 2014, Pope Francis, and .
Miletus is where in 57AD, towards the end of his third great Missionary Journey, St Paul met with the elders of the Church of Ephesus - one of the most moving moments in his story. (Acts 20:15-38).
Izmir, formerly known as Smyrna, was another of the seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The Church of Smyrna met with persecution from the city's Jews. Prominent among the martyrs of Smyrna was St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna and martyred in 155AD.
The Itinerary can be downloaded here.
The booking form can be downloaded here.