Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Remembering the Marian Apparitions in Betania, Venezuela

August 7th is the 4th anniversary of the death of Maria Esperanza. She was the primary visionary of the apparitions at Betania, Venezuela. It is important that we not forget these apparitions nor the wonderful woman who received them. The following is summarized from information I read at Medjugorje USA.

The apparitions of Betania were approved by the Catholic Church, November 21, 1987. Our Lady of Betania, Venezuela appeared to visionary Maria Esperanza under the title, "Mary, Virgin and mother Reconciler of all people and nations."

Maria Esperanza has been considered to be one of the greatest mystics of our time. Showered with many gifts from God during her lifetime, Maria displayed a number of incredible unexplainable phenomena that defies natural humanistic explanation. She suffered with the piercing sign of stigmata, (the bleeding wounds of Christ,) she had the wondrous ability of healing, levitation, bi-location, and capability of predicting future events, many yet to come.

One of the most unusual phenomena which revealed itself on the body of Maria Esperanza was the appearance of a rose which spontaneously bursts out from her chest. This miraculous occurrence took place many times. The Eucharist materialized in her mouth, and emissions of the scents of roses, and fruits emanated from her body, much like Father Pio. Lastly, there was the apparitions of rose petals much like that of St. Theresa, the Little Flower.

There were allege Eucharistic Miracles as well. On December 8, 1991, Fr. Otty Ossa Aristizabal, pastor assigned to the Betania grotto, was celebrating mass in the outdoor church. Fr. Otty performed the consecration; he broke the host into four pieces, then elevated them. He placed them on the patten and consumed one of the four pieces. After consuming the one portion, he looked down to find that a spot of blood had appeared on one of the sections. Medical tests were performed on the blood which proved it to be of human origin.

Mrs. Maria Esperanza was born in the village of San Rafael, Barrancas, Monagas State, Venezuela on November 22, 1928. She had her first mystical experience at the age of five with the apparition of Saint Theresa of the Little Lower, who from the waters of the Orinoco River tossed her a red rose. At twelve she became sick with an acute bronchial-pneumonia; but after having a vision where she saw Our Lady of the Valley, Patroness of Margarita Island, she recovered miraculously. During her adolescence, Mrs. Maria Esperanza's health was frail and her heart grew weaker and weaker. Later on, the onset of another illness partially paralyzed her. She was told by twenty-two physicians she had no hope of life. Then, she was healed again after the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to her, and gave her the first of hundreds of messages.

Following her profound desire to be a Religious, she lived for a period of time with the Franciscan nuns in Merida. On October 3, 1954, in the Chapel of the Convent, Mrs. Maria Esperanza had a vision of Saint Theresa of the Little Flower who told her that her vocation was not to be a Religious, but a spouse and a mother; that she would sanctify herself, and would travel the world. That same day, the Sacred Heart of Jesus told her to go to Rome. She lived there with the Sisters of the Ravasco Institute until she married Geo Bianchini Giani on December 8, 1956 in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception in Saint Peter's Basilica.

She was mother to seven children, a boy and six girls, and all married and have children of their own. Beginning with the eldest they are: Maria Inmaculada, Maria Esperanza, Maria Gracia, Giovanni, Maria Coromoto, Maria Auxiliadora, and Maria del Carmen.

During her lifetime Mrs. Maria Esperanza received countless messages from Our Lady. At times she received more than one message per day. Since the beginning, Our Lady has predicted many historic events, wars, and different occurrences which have taken place around the world. In the months leading up to September 11, she warned that a small power was about to align with a larger power to provoke America. She stated that “The United States must take care of itself a lot because there is much hatred toward the U.S." But, even in such tragic prophecy Mrs. Esperanza always delivered her messages with hope.

Maria Esperanza died 4 years ago today surrounded by her family and friends. It was reported that after her death the room was filled with a strong fragrance of roses. She was 75 years old. As we recall this wonderful mystic lets pray that we stay close the Virgin Mother that she loved and to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! To learn more about this wonderful woman please check out the archives of Spiritdaily!


Jackie Parkes said...

Fascinating! I remember reading about her some years ago..

RomanCatholic Deacon said...

Yes, a remarkable saintly woman! Each day I say 3 Hail Mary's for her beatification! Did you know she prophesied 9/11? I was there that day in NYC. Two memories that can't be forgotten. Thanks for posting this story.
Deacon John

Mercy Daily said...

I find it fascinating that ST Therese would appear to her and speak that her vocation is to be married. It speaks to me about the sacredness of marriage and lay vocation. Very interesting!

angelritak said...

My husband & I went to Betania on
our own about 15 yrs ago. We were
so grateful to be in such a holy place. It is a humble, but truly
a holy place. We did not see Our Lady, but we felt her prescence.
We we also were blessed to see the
"Blue Butterfly". It was awesome.
We will never forget Betania.
Rita from Northern California

Padre Steve said...

The place sure sounds like a place of peace!

Kevin Symonds said...

In keeping with the two decrees of Pope Urban VIII, let us remember that Maria Esperanza is not recognized by the Apostolic See as a true mystic. Thus, let us not immediately attribute miracles and revelations to her before the Apostolic See verifies such.

She was not the "principle" visionary at Betania. The apparitions at Betania were recognized apart from the phenomena alleged to be happening to Maria Esperanza.

Let us wait for the Apostolic See to decide whether she was a true mystic.

Terry Nelson said...

"One of the most unusual phenomena which revealed itself on the body of Maria Esperanza was the appearance of a rose which spontaneously bursts out from her chest. This miraculous occurrence took place many times. The Eucharist materialized in her mouth, and emissions of the scents of roses, and fruits emanated from her body..."

Yeah , that is pretty strange, and what on earth does it prove or mean? God is a magician?

pamhtyrrell said...

Maria Esperanza was my spiritual mother. I met her when I worked on the documentary "Betania, Land of Grace" with Drew Mariani. Bishop Pio Bello, Maria's spiritual director, approved both one day of apparitions of Our Lady and the Eucharistic miracle of Betania under the guidance of JPII, and I heard Pio Bello describe Maria as the "principle seer" of Betania. When I was discouraged, Maria would tell me, "While there is life, nothing is lost." After 9/11 she told me, "Be serene. Jesus is taking care of everything." The Vatican became aware of the miracles associated with her prayers when she was 17yrs, and she was an obedient daughter of the church her entire life. Pope Pius XII gave permission for her to be married at the Vatican in the chapel where the dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed (no one had been married there before)on that feast day (Dec 8th), also the date of her husband Geo's birthday and the date of the Eucharistic miracle of Betania. Her cause for beatification is being prepared and will be open next year, after the 5th anniversary of her death on August 17th. I called Maria when when both of my parents were diagnosed with cancer at the same time. She asked me what the doctors said. I told her. Then she correctly told me that my mother's case was more serious. Then she scolded me and said, "Now, don't get depressed. You have too much work to do. And remember! It is a time of miracles!" Then she promised to pray for my parents. They both survived and lived many more years. In the end they died of heart attacks and never had cancer again. Ask for her intercession, especially after her cause of beatification is opened. I miss her. And remember, Sans Dieu Rien: Without God Nothing. Pam Tyrrell

The Catholic Travel Guide Blog said...

Here are some pictures taken of one of the events when the rose came out of her chest.