World's major mystic says that a 'lash' she saw in store for U.S. is still to come


Maria Esperanza as a young girl.
 Maria Esperanza with Michael H. Brown.


Written by Michael H. Brown


February 28, 2004 - Reported in [Spirit] online newspaper. The other day I paid a visit on Venezuelan stigmatic Maria Esperanza de Bianchini, and it was a delight as always to see her. Maria is very infirm and barely able to speak, but she still exudes a sparkling radiance.

For those unacquainted: Esperanza, from the Caracas area, is currently the world's best-known Catholic mystic, associated with the officially Church-sanctioned apparition site known as Betania (which means "Bethany"), as well as with an officially-recognized Eucharistic miracle. The phenomena reported around her have been compared to those around the great Padre Pio -- from visions and healings to stigmata, levitation, the odor of sanctity, and materializations. One young man who was in the room with her recently suddenly saw her transform into a radiant, light-filled woman and said he "heard" her speaking to him mentally. The young man is now converting to Catholicism.

Esperanza, who is now 75, has been suffering a mysterious ailment for the past several years. No one is quite sure what afflicts her. She has been seen by doctors from East Coast hospitals to the the Mayo Clinic and has heard diagnoses ranging from Parkinson's disease (which was interesting because she has offered to suffer for the Pope, who has this particular ailment) to a more generally-labeled neuro-degenerative disorder.

Whatever the case, I am asking prayers here for this great woman who has prayed so much for the entire world, especially this country. In fact, despite her illness -- which has robbed Maria of her ability to walk or eat without assistance -- she has traveled at least six times to Manhattan, praying in a rather mysterious way at the Mother Cabrini Shrine, St. Patrick's Cathedral, and St. Ignatius Church on Park Avenue.

She has been in the U.S. since December on a special, undefined "mission" (she has not even fully explained it to her family), but from all indications that mission in some way involves world events. Over the holidays, Maria saw the United States as ready to incur a "lash." That was the word she used while she was in Connecticut. She has warned repeatedly about responding to terrorism with war.

She is now at a highly private residence near the ocean and is not able to publicly appear or receive visitors. We get many requests from those who want her prayers, and I presented them to Maria for her general intercession. Despite the serious ailment, Maria is very bright-eyed and even joyful in appearance. I have never been in the presence of anyone more dynamic. Her husband, Geo -- who also sparkles with the Holy Spirit -- revealed that, like Anne Catherine Emmerich, Maria was given extensive visions of the Crucifixion and lives of Mary and Jesus, but that it is not yet time to release them. Allegedly, she likewise has been granted prophecies of future scientific inventions.

During the entire five-hour visit, Maria spoke but two sentences in response to my questions. Most of the conversation was with her family. I asked about the new Mel Gibson movie, which has garnered so much publicity and of which she and her family were aware. Maria had foreseen "rivers" of Heavenly light for 2004, and my question was whether this movie -- gathering such unprecedented attention (at least for a Christian film) -- might be what she was alluding to when she mentioned unusual, illuminating events. In a terse way Maria indicated that the movie is part of it, but that what she has seen as "rivers of light" -- a heavenly intercession to enlighten mankind -- is much "larger and higher."

Maria has been urging prayer for the past two years, since September 11 (which she foresaw) -- the 15 decades of the Rosary each day as well as fasting and the Eucharist. In this regard it is interesting that the latest message from Medjugorje is equally urgent. "Today, as never up to now, I call you to open your hearts to my messages," it says. "Little children, be those who draw souls to God and not those who distance them. I am with you and love you all with a special love. This is a time of penance and conversion."

Maria's family members say they get e-mails from many parts of the world, requests pertaining to times and dates of her prophecies, which Maria is always loathe to dispense. God's time is His own. It can change. And Maria always accents the positive. She sees America as having an important mission to help the world, and believes that there can be a wonderful transformation. But when I asked if that "lash" or punishment -- judgment -- for the United States had passed -- if that apparent event had been forestalled -- Maria struggled with her words but in translation came back with the answer that it is "still to come." [Read/view] - The Incredible Story Of Maria Esperanza.