Maria Esperanza




Below time-line on Maria Esperanza from [here].


Betania, Venezuela (1976-90)The Reconciler of People and Nations


Maria Esperanza of Betania, Venezuela has witnessed 31 apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary over the course of 15 years. The Virgin called herself the "Reconciler of People and Nations" and warned of impending war and suffering. Many visitors have come to the site, reporting numerous miracles and signs. On one occasion in 1984, 108 people claimed to have witnessed a public apparition of the Virgin.

The local bishop approved the authenticity of Maria's experiences in 1987.


November 22, 1928

Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini is born in Betania, Venezuela.


Maria has a vision of St. Theresa of Lisieux who gave her a rose.


Maria nears death from bronchial pneumonia and receives a vision of Mary who recommmends the appropriate medications.


During her adolescence she was healed from a paralyzing illness after an apparition of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.


Visits Padre Pio and promises her that "When I leave, she will be your consolation."

October 3, 1954

She subsequently enters a Franciscan convent for a brief period before being told that she did not have a vocation. St Therese appears to her and tells her that her that she is to be a wife and mother. She receives another vision from the Sacred heart of Jesus instructing her to go to Rome, where she meets her future husband, Geo Bianchini.

December 8, 1956

Maria marries Geo Bianchini on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.


Maria and Geo purchase a farm shown to her by Mary in a vision predicting that it would become a center of "constant prayer and pilgrimage" for all "the nations of the world". Mary introduces herself as "Reconciler of People and Nations".

March 25, 1976

First apparition of Mary at the grotto site.

March 25, 1984

108 people see the Virgin at the grotto as she first appears to the children at a waterfall and then to the adults of the group at Mass.


Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo opens an investigation.

November 21, 1987

Archbishop Pio Bello Ricardo emits the Pastoral Instruction on the apparition of Our Blessed Virgin Mary in Finca Betania, approving the apparitions received by Maria.

January 5, 1990

The Virgin appears for the last time (31) to Maria.

December 8, 1991

A eucharistic miracle was reported in which the Host began to bleed. Tests in Caracas later determined the blood to be human.

August 7, 2004

Maria Esperanza dies in New Jersey, USA.

January 31, 2010

Bishop Paul Bootkoski, Ordinary of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, opens her cause for beatification and canonization. (Since Maria Esperanza died in New Jersey, her cause is being initiated there.)


Description of the Virgin

"And when she revealed herself, she went to the top of the tree, and I saw she was beautiful, with her hair brown, dark brown, her eyes that were light brown and she had very fine, very pretty eyebrows, tiny mouth, a nose very straight and her complexion was so beautiful, it was skin that seemed like silk. It was bronzed. It was beautiful. Very young. Her hair was down to here, to her shoulders."

- Maria Esperanza


The Virgin appeared 31 times between March 25, 1976 to January 5, 1990. Twenty-four of the apparitions came after 1984.

The messages that Our Lady of Betania brought is one of reconciliation and love:

"Behold, children, the love of a Mother, who cherishes you... and comes as a strarting point to lead you toward a law of justice, love, peace, and reconciliation!

I call you, for the great moment of reconciliation has arrived.... I extend my love to all my children, dwellers on earth, and be loyal to Jesus, so may discover the wonderful secret of unity...which will help us find the key to God's kingdom!

...Forgive one another. Love one another. Serve one another... All of you are children of God. All are loved."

Miracles, Cures, and Signs

There have been over 500 miracles and cures reported at Betania. On December 8, 1991, a eucharistic miracle was reported in which the Host began to bleed. Tests in Caracas later determined the blood to be human.

Pilgrims have claimed to have seen the Virgin (over 2,000 testimonies) and various celestial phenomena such as mist coming from the hill, a profusion of flowers, the sound of an invisible choir, the scent of roses and the irregular movement of the sun.

Maria was the subject of many miraculous happenings including the stigmata and exuding sweet aromas. The eucharist has appeared in her mouth and she allegedly displayed gifts of healing, levitation, bilocation, and prophecy. One of the most remarkable phenomena is the rose that spontaneously bursts forth from her chest, having done so 16 times.


The bishop of the diocese, Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo, opened an investigation 1984. He interviewed witnesses and examined more than 500 cures attributed to Our Lady of Betania, among which was the cure of a baby's spina bifida, as documented in Westchester County Medical Center in Valhalla, New York.

November 21, 1987 --"After having studied repeatedly the apparitions of the Most Holy Virgin in Betania, and having begged the Lord earnestly for spiritual discernment, I declare that inn my judgement the said apparitions are authentic and have a supernatural character. I therefore approve, officially, that the site where the apparitions have occurred be considered as sacred."

- Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo