Visitors to the House of the Virgin Mary in the town of Selcuk in Izmir province, which is considered a holy site for Christians, is also a place for those who want their wishes to come true.
The House of the Virgin Mary has become a pilgrimage for Christians who visit the town, light a candle and write their wishes on the wall, as well as on napkins, toilet paper, museum entrance tickets, coupons, a piece of clothing and many other items, which they either attach or leave next to the wall. In their messages, the visitors mostly wish for good health, peace, happiness, long life and money.
The wishing wall at the House of the Virgin Mary is filled with thousands of wishes. While some women and men wish for a “good wife” or a “good husband,” others wish for their “son to find a good bride.”
Among the messages, which are written in numerous languages including English, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, French and Spanish, to name a few, there are a few interesting and funny ones that wish for a “longer annual leave [at work]” or “a red BMW as soon as possible and then a good wife.”“Let this girl be my destiny, God” and “Oh mom, give me a dutiful wife/husband” are some of sincere wishes written on the walls, while a poem by Cemal Sureyya is also visible.
One of the visitors, Bannon Preston of the United States, said he had come to the House of Virgin Mary for religious purposes and learned that the wishes written on the wishing wall actually came true. He said he saw wishes for health, happiness and peace, and then wrote the same wishes on the wall for himself.A psychology student, Oyku Deren Taran, said making a wish brings people psychological relief by making them more hopeful for the future.A friend of Taran, Kardelen Çagla, said she was interested by a message she saw last year that wished for the release of prisoners from Silivri Prison. Another visitor to the house, Yasemin Bayır, 29, said, “I want to have a child but my husband kept his wish a secret.”
Religious functionaries and the managers of the House of the Virgin Mary said that even the empty places between the stones were filled with wishes, as the number of visitors has reached 20,000. Despite stating that they did not encourage people to write on the wall, officials acknowledged they had learned to respect the habit. Also, considering that throwing away paper filled with wishes would be disrespectful, the officials said they burned the papers once a year while cleaning the wall.