NOTE: Maria Esperanza died Saturday August 7, 2004, at 4:36 a.m. in Southern Ocean County Hospital near the New Jersey shore, after a long bout with a Parkinson's like ailment. All her family members were by her side at the hospital. After her death the room was filled with a strong fragrance of roses. She was 75.
Approved by the Catholic Church, November 21, 1987, this 20th century apparition is still taking place. Our Lady of Betania, Venezuela appears to visionary Maria Esperanza. The Virgin Mary manifests herself under the title, "Mary, Virgin and mother Reconciler of all people and nations.
Maria Esperanza is considered to be one of the greatest mystics of our time. Showered with many gifts from God, this 70 year old woman (as of 1998), has displayed a number of incredible unexplainable phenomena that defies natural humanistic explanation. She suffers with the piercing sign of stigmata, (the bleeding wounds of Christ,) Maria Esperanza has the wondrous ability of healing, levitation, bilocation, and capability of predicting future events, many yet to come.
One of the most unusual phenomena which reveals itself on the body of Maria Esperanza is the appearance of a rose which spontaneously bursts out from her chest. This miraculous occurrence has taken place sixteen times. The Eucharist has materialized in her mouth, and emissions of the scents of roses, and fruits emanate from her body, much like Father Pio. Lastly the apparitions of rose petals much like that of St. Theresa, the Little Flower.
The Eucharistic Miracles is the last event I will mention here. 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 has seven children, a boy and six girls, all married and with 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.
Mrs. Maria Esperanza has received countless messages from Our Lady. At times she receives 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. Even in such tragic prophecy Mrs. Esperanza always delivers her messages with hope.