“She had a heart for souls”: The life and cause of Servant of God Maria Esperanza de Bianchini

“Maria Esperanza exemplified the beatitudes,” says Fr. Timothy Byerley, “and therefore was continually reconciling people with God and with one another.”

Servant of God Esperanza de Bianchini (1928-2004) with Mother Angelica in undated photo. (www.mariaesperanza.org)

Servant of God Maria Esperanza de Bianchini (1928-2004), a mystic and visionary from Barrancas, Venezuela, claimed her first mystical experience at the age of five, saying she had a vision of St. Therese of Lisieux giving her a rose. When she was twelve years old she reported having an apparition of the Blessed Mother. Throughout her life, her reported mystical gifts included healings, prophecy, reading of souls, discernment of spirits, the stigmata, transverberation, bilocation, the fragrance of flowers and perfume emanating from her person, miraculous materialization of roses, and visions and locutions of Jesus, Mary and the saints.

As a young woman, she desired to become a nun.  But, in a mystical experience with Christ, she was told that it was her mission to be a wife and mother.  She met her husband Geo Bianchini Gianni in Rome in 1955.  They had seven children.

Maria Esperanza became known worldwide after 1984, when she and 150 other people reported seeing an apparition of the Blessed Mother at Betania, a farm in Venezuela.  Her title was “Mary, Virgin and Mother, Reconciler of all Peoples and Nations.”  The diocesan bishop, Msgr. Pio Bello Ricardo, approved the apparition in 1987, in consultation with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (the future Pope Benedict XVI), who was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time.

She died after a long illness in a home on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, in 2004.  In 2010, Bishop Paul Bootkoski of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, opened her cause for canonization at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, with 1,100 faithful present.

Fr. Timothy Byerley, pastor of St. Peter Church in Merchantville of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, is serving as vice postulator for the Beatification and Canonization Cause of Servant of God Maria Esperanza.  He is also author of the 2014 book, Maria Esperanza and the Grace of Betania (Mary Mother Reconciler Foundation, 2014). He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985; his brother, Joseph, is also a priest of the Diocese of Camden.

He spoke recently with CWR.

CWR: You knew Maria Esperanza personally.  How did you come to meet her, and what do you remember of her?

Fr. Timothy Byerley: After her Betania apparition of the Blessed Mother was approved by the diocesan bishop in 1987, she was thrust into the limelight.  She was invited to be the keynote speaker at Marian conferences in the United States.  She came to speak to such a group in New Jersey in the mid-90s, and I was invited to meet her.  Her work was to proclaim the message of reconciliation and family healing in a world in which the family has been devastated, assisted by her extraordinary mystical gifts.

Maria Esperanza was from the rural interior of Venezuela and eventually moved to Caracas.  She was naturally intelligent but had limited education.  She became a woman of culture through her own efforts.  Her first catechist was her mother, followed by her parish priest in the countryside.  Even as a child she manifested great faith and devotion, and a concern for the things of heaven.

I found her to be a loving mother, a joyful woman and apostolic.  She visited my parish and many others; people would line up to 3, 4 or 5 in the morning just to have a moment with the mystic.  The priest might ask her at 1 in the morning, “Shall we conclude with a general blessing?”  She would respond, “No, I will not do that.  I will be here until the last one leaves.”  That could mean she’d be there for 12 hours.  She had a heart for souls.

Yet despite her mission to save souls, her seven children and husband never felt deprived of her love or attention. They only recall great moments of joy and unity: her splendid meals, family singing and her undivided attention when they needed her counsel.

CWR: Do you have any favorite stories about Maria Esperanza?

Fr. Byerley: Once she was in Phoenix for a series of conferences.  She had some free time one day, so she went sightseeing with family and friends.  At one lookout point, she saw a young couple sitting in the back of a pick-up truck.  The man looked like a rough character, covered in tattoos.

Maria Esperanza’s group took a group photo at the site.  She told her son-in-law to invite the couple to join them for the photo.  They agreed.  Maria Esperanza said to the young man, “Those tattoos must have hurt when you had them put on.”  He replied, “They didn’t hurt like anything I’ve gone through in my life.”

She read his soul, and could see he had had challenging moments in his life.  She suggested he look out to the beautiful sky, talked to him about the beauty of nature and introduced him to the love and mercy of God.  He came to tears, and was healed by the love and prayers and concern of that compassionate woman.

Maria Esperanza also suggested he marry the young woman with him.  The man hugged her, and didn’t want to let her go.  He asked those with Maria Esperanza, “Who is this woman?”  A friend who was with the group told me this story.

These kinds of encounters happened thousands of times.  One moment with a mystic, and a life can be transformed.

CWR: What about her mystical gifts, such as the stigmata, prophecy, bilocation and reading of hearts?

Fr. Byerley: They weren’t always active in a given moment.  You weren’t likely to see the stigmata, for example, except on Good Friday.  Bilocation is also something hard to see; she might be in both Venezuela and Italy at a given time, but people wouldn’t realize it until sometime later.

The gifts people could grasp were things like reading hearts, making prophecies, the scent of roses in her presence, a gold light shimmering around her that was unexplainable or rose petals beginning to fall.  People at a prayer meeting might see her receive Communion mystically; a Host would appear suddenly on her tongue.  I’ve reviewed many such written and spoken testimonies.

It is unusual for a wife and mother to have extraordinary mystical experiences on a regular basis, but not unprecedented in Church history.  Note the lives of Blessed Anna Maria Taigi (1769-1837) and St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510).  God dispenses His graces according to His will, not our expectations.

CWR: There have also been Eucharistic miracles at Betania.

Fr. Byerley: Yes.  In 1991, the chaplain of Betania was celebrating Mass for a big crowd.  The Host began to bleed.  It is being preserved in a monstrance in a convent of sisters in Venezuela.  I’ve seen it myself.  It has been analyzed by medical experts; it is human blood.

CWR: She predicted George W. Bush would win the presidency in 2000.

Fr. Byerley: Yes.  A few weeks before the election, she was in a hotel suite with about a dozen people.  A friend of mine was there.  Someone asked her, “Who is going to win?”  They showed her a newspaper with photographs of both candidates.  She said, “The short one is going to win, but it will take a long time.”

My friend was thinking that there was no way she got it right.  Unlike the elections in Latin America with which she was familiar, in American elections you know the next day.  Well, it turned out she was right.  The vote count was disputed in Florida, and it wasn’t until December 12th that the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the counting, making George W. Bush the president.  But, no one saw it coming.

CWR: What was Maria Esperanza’s message for the world?

Fr. Byerley: Her message was that the fundamental problem in society is the terrible division between people.  We need reconciliation and the healing of wounded relationships, which can be racial, national, international, economic, class or religious-related.  At the heart of it all is broken families.  As goes the family, so goes society.  Our Lady came to Betania not only to call us to family healing, but to help.

CWR: Why was Maria Esperanza in New Jersey at the time of her death?

Fr. Byerley: About 1995, Pope St. John Paul II began to manifest the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.  Maria Esperanza was distressed; she thought, “He’s the moral pillar holding the world together.”  So, she did something radical: she offered herself on behalf of Pope John Paul II.  Shortly after, she began to manifest symptoms of Parkinson’s.  She had trouble walking and had to use a wheelchair.  Eventually, her organs started breaking down.

In 2003, she forced herself to come to the U.S. for a mission.  She spent Christmas 2003 in Connecticut, and then came to New Jersey.  She was too sick to return home.  She stayed at a house on Long Beach Island, New Jersey, where she died surrounded by family and friends.

CWR: Are her children carrying on her work?

Fr. Byerley: Yes.  Her seven children are leaders of the Betania Foundation, which carries on her mission.  There are 20 Betania communities around the world, including ones in the United States, South America and Rome.  People in prayer groups live her spirituality.

CWR: The people in Venezuela have suffered from poverty, starvation and political repression in recent years.  What do you think Maria Esperanza would say about this?

Fr. Byerley: She predicted that it would come to pass.  She also predicted that the country would recover, and become a model for other nations on how to overcome civil strife.

CWR: What did she have to say about the Church?

Fr. Byerley: She loved the Church, and gave her life for Her.  She was concerned about unity in the Church, and authenticity and faithfulness in doctrine.  She had reverence for priests and religious.

CWR: What is the status of her cause for canonization?

Fr. Byerley: We’ve made progress.  The theological commission has concluded its work, declaring that there are no errors in her teaching.  The historical facts of her life have been confirmed.  Right now, what we’re hoping for is greater enthusiasm from the Venezuelan bishops.

CWR: Do you have any final thoughts?

Fr. Byerley: Maria Esperanza is an ideal model of family life for our contemporary world.  She was exquisitely balanced and joyful, yet fully committed to her Catholic Faith.  To read her story is to believe that living a full and happy life is not in contradiction to Christian virtue, but in fact, unattainable without it.

Maria Esperanza exemplified the beatitudes, and therefore was continually reconciling people with God and with one another.  The mission of her life was to proclaim and spread Our Lady’s message of reconciliation and to establish it in society by witnessing to authentic Christian family life.  As St. John Paul II always reminded us, “Society passes by way of the family.”  When the family is fractured, society is fractured.  When the family is healthy, society is healthy.  The promotion of Maria Esperanza’s beatification cause is one of the greatest things the Church can do today to heal the family and thus reconstruct society.

• For more complete information on Maria Esperanza, visit www.mariaesperanza.org.  Fr. Byerley’s book, Maria Esperanza and the Grace of Bethania, may be purchased at www.betaniaiishop.com.

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About Jim Graves 228 Articles
Jim Graves is a Catholic writer living in Newport Beach, California.


  1. I went and read all the messages, etc. at the mariaesperanza website. In the past, I personally helped investigate an alleged Marian apparition and learned a lot from it. If there is something the True Catholic Church has learned through its 2,000 years of history is to not be guided by appeareances (Matthew 7:15) and that not all that shines as “Catholic Gold’ is always such thing: “Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!” (Matthew 7:22).

    Maria Esperanza’s messages contain quite a large amount of what I call “theological poetry”, vocabulary to entice more on the emotions than on the faith. Here’s a copy and paste on one of her messages (February 16, 1989 4:00 p.m.) (capital letters mine): “It is the only truth that can save mankind form a war among brothers, that is to say, in these times, all should resort to the charitable harvest of good deeds, which is the identification of love and truth of the People of God who are longing for SOCIAL JUSTICE… because as long as unity does not come forth, you shall lead a life of anguish, grief, shadows and sorrow”.

    “Social Justice” is a radical activist invented and manufactured term that has nothing to do with “social” or with “justice”. It’s core is eternal bottomless grievance and eternal bottomless unforgiveness. How could the Real Mother of God ever use such a term? Another thing the Church has learned is that we are all sinners (1 John 1:8) and that even the very best of the best Catholics (even our Priests, Bishops, Pope, etc…) can be deceived, which is why Jesus was so severe with Peter (Matthew 16:23) and why the Apostles never made decisons without the Holy Spirit and were so willing to accept brotherly corrections even after Pentecost. We all are humans not God. For these facts and others Maria Esperanza’s Marian apparitions were not accepted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    • The term “social justice” was first used by the Jesuit philosopher Luigi Taparelli D’Azeglio; it has been essentially stolen and misused by modern ideologues. But it is a Catholic term and should be understood rightly as such. For more, see the 2013 article titled “What Is Social Justice?”

      • Like so many other terms hijacked, perverted and poisoned by radical anti-Christian activists, the absolute rulers of “Political Correctness Counterfeit Language” are today in total control of the term “social justice”. It’s way too late to call it “Catholic” unless you want to sponsor, enable and disguise the radicals as if somehow they share any holy Catholic sentiment or ideas that we should all bow to and obey, a preposterous show of false “inclusion” (betrayal is more the right term).

        What one lonely Jesuit philosopher did does not make that term “Catholic legit” at all. Also, excluding the genuine Jesuits, the Jesuit Order has been infiltrated more than any other and is working against True Catholicism like no other Order. Just watch their infiltrator at the top. Maria Esperanza articially puts in the lips of the Virgin Mary a severely tainted term, a total lack of respect for the Holy Mother and a cheap tactic to legitimize the unlegitimate, justify the unjustifiable and sanctify the unsanctifiable: Satan’s Sentimentalist Gospel.

        • Hello Phil, I agree the term “social justice” has been hijacked by those who seek nothing of the sort for humanity. I do not believe the use of the words themselves, however, especially spoken my Maria Esperanza in 1989 were the “tainted term” they are now in 2020 (or in 2019 when you wrote your comment). Because the devil, using those in humanity who hide their deceit and seek to destroy use that phrase now does not mean that the two words used together in the past could demonstrate a lack of legitimacy to a message from the Virgin Mother.
          Real social justice – caring for the poor, hungry, weak, and meek, does not cease to exist because some use the term for evil. What do you think?

    • The charism of Maria Esperanza is not of the same “social justice” of anti-christ….she is always referring to the justice that only Love, sacrificial love, that models the Sun of Justice– She also said, “Humility is the crystal bridge that leads to Heaven.”

    • There are some interesting comments here that implies negatively on this Servant of God.These people would qualify as “the devil’s advocate”😀perhaps they might consider putting in for this unpaid role! As for me I am happy just to wait for The Church to proclaim the truth(or otherwise) of her extraordinary life.I am happy to pray for her beatification and subsequent canonization,if that is what God Wills.

    • Dear Phil:

      Your scripture based approach to problem solving is a great blessing. It demonstrates your fidelity to the Lord and your reliance upon Him to work unseen miracles in our lives. Satan knows his time is short, yet Jesus Christ is all powerful and at work in our lives.

      Thank you for sharing your walk with Jesus,


  2. I had the great privilege of meeting Maria Esperanza at Betania II in Massachusetts in 2003 along with many of my family members. Although she was ill at the time and could not speak the love that came out of her eyes was truly the love of God. I feel so grateful to have received a blessing and rosary from her and pray often for her intercession for my family intensions. She has answered many of my prayer requests. God bless the work of the Betania Foundation and the Bianchini Family.

      • Definition of bless
        transitive verb
        There are different meanings of bless. The person did not mean bless like to consecrate but to invoke divine care for
        1religion : to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word
        asked the priest to bless their marriage
        Bless this home.
        2religion : to hallow with the sign of the cross
        He blessed himself before liftoff.
        3: to invoke divine care for
        bless your heart
        —used in the phrase bless you to wish good health especially to one who has just sneezed
        4a: PRAISE, GLORIFY
        bless his holy name
        b: to speak well of : APPROVE
        5: to confer prosperity or happiness upon
        God has blessed us with four children.
        6archaic : PROTECT, PRESERVE
        Bless me from marrying a usurer!
        — Shakespeare
        7: ENDOW, FAVOR
        blessed with athletic ability

  3. I pray to dear sweet Maria Esperanza to please intercede for my husband and I. Our family is being torn apart by the demons and I pray that she could help me with this. I hope its ok to ask her of this special request. And if anyone else could pray for us i beg you. All my love to you all. May God’s Holy Spirit work within my whole family. marnie

      • Oh dear Father Morello, thank you for replying to me! I never thought I would get a response. God bless you and keep you strong during this horrible time in the world. I will keep you on a prayer list. All my love to you Father.

    • My heart and real prayers to you, Marnie!! I strongly and respectfully suggest that you buy as soon as possible the book: “Manual For Spiritual Warfare” by Paul Thigpen. It will clear many things for you and offer all kinds of help for your situation. It is a mature, level-headed, authentically Catholic, very powerful book. I also strongly suggest that you choose, instead of Maria Esperanza, the well regarded Catholic Saints that faced the Enemy in very difficult and sometimes terrible situations: St. Anthony of the Desert, St. Padre Pio of Petrelcina, St. John Vianney, St. Theresa of Avila, St. Gemma Galgani, and Blessed Bartolo Longo.

      When you face the Enemy of our souls, you have to make use of the very Catholic, authentic and tested. Your sins certainly do not appear as the cause of this situation you suffer, but the Demons absolutely hate the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which powerfully blesses both you AND your family, so do it often. That’s why the demons have pushed so many Catholics away from it in order to divide and infest families. Pray for God to give more power to the Guardian Angels of each of your most demon oppressed family members by each of their names, for the Angels to lead them to freedom and salvation in Jesus and pray also for Church members with similar enslavement. Jesus is never outdone in generosity!!

      • Dear Mr. Alcoceli, Also to Father Morello,, Thank you so much for your prayers!! I am so happy I have gotten replies for my requests. You and Father have no idea how much that means to me. My spiritual life is different now than it was before. I read so much about people who have gone to Heaven, had near death experience’s and have had the hand of God work miracles in their lives. Tons of reading I do! I always try to keep an open mind about people who are believing that they are having a mystical experience. I do stick to the ones approved by Our Holy Catholic Church though. I will for sure get that book you suggested!! I love to read all kinds of books like that. Yes, I do pray to St. Padre Pio, St. Anthony, St. Bernadette (who is my patron Saint). The Church I go to is Little Flower who of course is also known as St. Theresa of Lisieux. So I just began to start praying to her. I always say to them please intercede for me. Thank you for that list. No, this is of his own doing. It was a total shock to me that we seperated. My heart is in so much pain, heart wrenching pain. I do go to confession often. I do pray to my guardian angel,, I always ask them to go to my husband’s guardian angel and wrap their wings around him and help melt his heart. I also pray an exorcism prayer everyday for troubled marriages. I really needed to hear that Jesus is never outdone in generosity . I always feel like He has too many more troubled cases than mine. My faith has been getting a little tested lately but my priest said to me to just say to God “I believe, help my unbelief.” I’m trying to work on that. Thank you kind man for replying to me. It is such a wonderful feeling to have people whom you don’t even know say they will pray and give such wonderful advise. All my love and prayers to you and your family. Thank you. Sincerely , marnie

    • The demons are tearing many families apart as of late. Mine included.. Satan is DESPERATE! I will pray for you and yours if you will pray for mine.

      • Dear TLM:

        God puts our faith to great tests. Thank you for sharing your need for prayer and resolution. It is an honour and privilege to pray for your family. May the Lord give your insight and relief so that you may encourage someone else who is suffering.

        Romans 5:3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance,

        2 Corinthians 1:7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

        Blessings upon blessings,


    • In fact Marnie, we have met with our local parish priest…he stated that our situation along with many in the parish is absolutely a diabolical attack. He said there’s absolutely no question about it. I will ask Maria to intercede for my family and all families going through this. Also pray to St. Michael the Archangel to help…several times a day if necessary.

      • yes, i will pray for you. it’s awful i know. my heart hurts so bad. I do pray to St. Michael everyday all day and i sleep with his card along with Jesus and Mary and St. Theresa.

    • Dear Marnie, Praying for your family and millions more who need Christ, reconciliation with others and so much love. i have 3 grown children (31-40 yrs old) I have prayed so much for them to follow what Christ’s teaches us about reconciliation and so much more. I never hear from my children even though i am always reaching out to them. . It breaks my heart and I know Our Lord hurts too. I’m getting sicker and older and i pray the Lord and Mama Mary crushes the head of Satan who tries to destroy the family. We need to pray so much for Our families and very Holy and Blessed leaders in The Church. My thoughts and prayers are with you. 💗🙏🏻💗🙏🏻💗🙏🏻

    • Dear Marnie:

      God bless you and your family. It is humbling to hear of your distress and the anxiety your family is going through. To hear of another’s suffering causes us to be thankful that we don’t have the same hardship, yet, unburdening our hearts before the Lord and asking for the peace that passes all understanding, we can all do and we thank you for your prayer request.

      To help one another and proclaim the saving mercies of Jesus Christ is what we are called to do. Let us invoke the intercession of the Lord in this matter, for He alone understands and is able to resolve the situation.

      Psalm 86:7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you, for you answer me.

      1 Peter 4:13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory
      is revealed.

      2 Corinthians 1:7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

      Your family is much in our prayers,


  4. You are most welcome, Marnie! God is never too busy for you! Ever! You did receive answers because you are a most generous soul by the action of God in you through your frequent Sacrament of Confession and every other God-inspired thing you do. Satan the Sentimentalist Divider hates that Sacrament and the humility involved in it (just check what California publicly tried to do against the Sacred Seal of Confession) and he also hates humble sacrificial generosity, so Trouble-The-One-Who-Is-Troubling-You!!

    Be even more generous!! Talk to your Priest (and stay in contact with him as you do this) and seek another woman in your same or similar situation and help them pray and stay focused on the God of Mercy and not the problem (be very cautious not to be dragged down, you both should go up to God). Impose God”s Supreme Reality on the reality of both of your problems. As you pray for God to send Angels to melt your husband’s heart, pray in the same way for his mind and heart to be healed. Satan is also the Ultimate Grievance Machine (the Ultimate “Social Activist”) so today more than ever (as Jesus Return approaches) the Evil One puts in many hearts that pain, difficulties, injustices and tragedies should not exist at all and therefore we all “have a sacred entitlement” to rebel and be as anti-God, compromising and as evil as we can (including compromising Catholics).

    Like flies do, the Devil loves unhealed, infected wounds. Your husband may be somehow wounded (or obsessively focused on others people’s wounds, or both) and using those wounds as justification for his actions, whether he will ever admit it or not. Pray for his healing and that of all entitled rebels in this Nation and the World to find healing in Christ.

    Don’t be ever overwhelmed or guilt-ridden if God ever reveals to you one day that you have contributed in a small way to his rebelliousness. We all, and you and me, are just human and all sinners, and God exchanges His Infinite Beauty for our painful ashes!! “… and provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair” (Isaiah 61: 3).

    • I love your comments to me. Makes me cry. Good tears though. Thank you for taking the time to post such a wonderful comment to me. I reread it over and over. Gives me a type of strength. I certainly have open wounds. Much love to you. Thank you again. I will never stop praying I just need more faith and a bit more strength. God bless you always!

      • You are very welcome again, Marnie!! Glad to be of brotherly service to you and all of God’s People! When you stay faithful, devoted and obedient to Him, God always gives you enough Grace, Faith and Light for that single little step you are on in each and every present moment. It’s a matter of appreciating that Great Gift moment by moment. God never chokes you with an open fireman’s hose in your mouth but gives you a cup of Heavenly Water just as you need it, so do not compare yourself with whatever Grace, Faith and Light God gives to others. Be ever more passionately and deeply grateful for what He gives YOU, NOW!! God bless!

  5. Maria Esperanza predicted years ago, the crisis in Venezuela and is greater than it is realized. She stated: “It will begin here.” At the
    time, it was not clear what Maria Esperanza, a mystic of Venezuela was trying to convey, but when we look at what is happening in Venezuela today, this prophetic message is becoming clearer. Maria Esperanza, who received apparitions of Mary, Mother of Jesus at Betania, Venezuela has received formal approval by the Catholic Church. She was an unusual mystic who predicted the destruction of the Towers in New York. She said the yellow races “would stand up.” We see China and North Korea clearly standing their ground these days.
    What will begin in Venezuela? Since 1999, Venezuela socialist governments have tried to have affordable basic goods for all including the poor. Venezuela was one of the highest oil producing nations and considered the top economic nation for a time in South America. Poor management decisions with food, oil, currency controls by President Chavez and continuing with President Maduro has led their nation into chaos with many not having enough to eat and with millions of people leaving their country.
    It has begun in Venezuela. The breakdown of one of the most prosperous nations on earth has begun. The breakdown of nations closer to home such as Canada and the USA have already begun, morally and now politically. In a short time economically. Then food shortages. No one including me, wants to believe this. But it is coming…
    A book and web site called, “After The Warning To 2038,” have many prophecies from credible, Catholic sources that are predicting many more future events.

    • Venezuela is really suffering. I’ve watched some recent videos taken in Caracas where subway trains are free to ride because the govt. can’t afford to pay ticket collectors. It looks like a zombie train station with stopped escalators & folks just walking through turnstiles.
      Per the film maker, the average *monthly* income there is $6.00-7.00

    • You make a very false statement by saying: “Maria Esperanza, who received apparitions of Mary, Mother of Jesus at Betania, Venezuela has received formal approval by the Catholic Church”. False!! That is absolutely, positively, completely NOT true. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith did NOT approve any of her claims of Marian apparition. None!! Do you have independent Vatican official sources we can all visit and see independent verification of your false claim? Of course not!!

      You make outrageous claims of “prophecy” of future events, something at the very core of New Age, mediums, witchcraft, spiritists, etc. True Catholics don’t base any belief in Private Revelations on predictions of the future, none, so those are treated with great and DUE skepticism. That’s not the core of what a true prophet is about at all. Demons can, based on their superior powers of observation, make predictions as well. Anyone seeing the situation in Venezuela for years could have done the same. Also, do you even have SOLID evidence that her predictions were made PREVIOUS to the events? Of course not!!

      The highly dramatic, sentimentalist push and ultra-blind faith to believe in Maria Esperanza at all costs is highly suspicious, especially after she put the highly tainted, devious term “social justice” on the Holy Virgins lips. In the past, I personally helped investigate an alleged Maria apparition later found to be false. The people who followed the “visionary” were as ultra-blind and emotionally idolatrous of this person as those for Maria Esperanza (who, as a caricatue of sanctity, Esperanza supposedly had EVERY single extraordinary manifestation of sanctity, like no other saint before or ever, shamelessly forcing people to believe in her), and, similarly, after this investigation was concluded, the followers continued emotionally and blindly to believe this person even after grave sin was found on the “visionary”. The evidence on Esperanza’s dubious claims is sentimentally ignored. Maria Esperanza”s admirers are false prophets looking for believers. We Catholics are not “holy celebrity” worshippers, a scam repeated very often all over Latin America and other suffering parts of the world.

      Jesus is God, no one else, not even the Virgin Mary or any Saint. As Jesus God Himself said, false prophets are everywhere (Matthew 7:15), “prophets” so arrogant indeed that even though Jesus own human nature chose NOT TO PREDICT the date for the end of the world (Matthew 24:36), still these “prophets” arrogantly claim “future vision”. The True God doesn’t showboat to manipulate emotions. That would belong to idolatry!

        • You are very welcome, brother Kevin, and may God greatly bless you and all you hold dear!! Now pass this on as much as you can as I don’t own any Truth, it owns me, and all Truth belongs to Jesus, who is the Truth Himself (John 14:6).

          Our Catholic Church and all the world needs to be set free by God’s Truth (John 8:31-32) and without Truth there’s absolutely no Real Love or Real Compassion (John 14:15). Let’s take the impostors to the foot of Jesus’ Cross!! We are all sinners and I was taken there long time ago, repented (and also do it daily), and now work for my Savior!! Pass it on!! God bless!!

          • I was reading quite a bit on Maria Esperanza and was amazed at so many gifts she was given by God. Was she not made a Servant of God Philippe? Then the Church must have done some investigating on her to start the CAUSE. I understand your frustrations. But she did not declare she was sinless, right? We are all sinners. Jesus make my heart like unto thine, gentle and meek .We will leave it up to God as to what is the truth, and Holy Mother Church.

      • Phil Alcoceli ,
        I don’t have a dog in this hunt, but while Our Blessed Mother may not have used the term “Social Justice” in scripture she did state this in Luke’s Gospel which to me sounds quite similar:

        “…And His mercy is from generation to generation
        on those who fear Him.
        He has shown might with His arm,
        He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
        He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
        and has exalted the lowly.
        He has filled the hungry with good things,
        and the rich He has sent away empty.”

        • Dear mrscracker, I greatly appreciate your comment and understand your confusion as I was there, very deep, in the past myself. What helped me was that I love the Bible as God’s Word, being educated in it by a Priest who learned all about the Bible right there at the Catholic Bible School in Jerusalem, Israel, earning a PhD. He mastered all of the ancient Bible languages, was a supreme scholar and also supremely humble and genuinely loving at the same time. The first time I met him I had not seen pictures of him, so I confused him with the gardener of the seminary, as he was deep in dirt and mud working in the garden (reminded me of John 20:15-16). Skinny little man but what a Saint!

          He taught me so much but, within those lessons about the Holy Word of God, was the lesson that the Bible itself warns us seriously right from Genesis to Revelation against misinterpreting it and that there’s an Evil One viciously desiring that misinterpretation, a Mocker who is a Total Parasite of God’s Word and SO VERY CLOSELY impersonates it together with his followers.

          Sticking to the actual, factual, hard Truth and not devious propaganda, Mercy in the Bible and “mercy” in “social justice” are ABSOLUTELY TOTAL OPPOSITES (God-centered vs. atheist-political-system-centered), but the impostor terms are so well disguised as to be very easily confused, Satan’s favorite tactic from the beginning and until Jesus returns. How do you think that some well educated Catholic Priests have fallen so deep in scandal and sin? Cunning Highly Sophisticated And Sentimentally Elaborate Deception!! That priestly scandal is a slap to our faces so we don’t naively, emotionally, sentimentally and narcissistically believe whatever any “well-meaning”, “holy”, “admired” people say or teach.

          Beware and focus totally on Jesus Our Lord and the 2,000 years Teaching of the True Catholic Church, but not on the almost-identical but impostor one!! God bless you and all you hold dear!!

          • Mr.Alcoceli, I would like to ask what your opinion is on the subject of Maria Valtorta? What is your stance on her books The Poem of the Man God?
            I am currently reading The Book of Azariah, also by her, and have found it so beautiful and enlightening.

  6. Dear marnie and TLM there is a war going on between good and evil within the Church and sadly you are one of the many victims of evil. Been aware of other victims of evil (with its many different faces) will be of small comfort to you, nevertheless it may help you comprehend the full reality of this war, as it involves whole Church not just those who are entangled in the spider’s web of Clericalism.

    You both are more fortunate than you realise as many victims are/become isolated, you can support each other with the help of your Parish Priest
    Not all priests are Christian (Hence isolation) as I can testify, as I have witnessed many times, over the last thirty-five years, actions that incorporate intimidation, duplicity, gesture, implied talk, murmurings and symbolism, no (Worldly) lawyer or civil agency can expose what these evil men use, while smiling, as they are the tools of the Evil One.

    In the early fifties as a child I lived in a slum street close to the City Centre Leeds England, central to the street, on one side several house had been decimated (I believe bombed) through this gap could be seen a very small Church, which also accommodated the Pastor with his wife and daughter. Through tittle-tattle I was aware that no one played with the pastors daughter and that she was isolated within the community.

    Approximately fifty years later I was made aware of her presence now mentally ill, with her overcoat covered in a dozen or more of different pinned types of Crucifixes, accompanied by her spasmodic laughter and weird behaviour.

    In the mid-seventies during a personal attempt/calling of spiritual renewal, in my brokenness I was encourage to Join the SVP. While waiting outside the Clergies House that was attached to the Church where the SVP met, I was approached by a female parishioner who said “You have been ‘chosen’ to take John’s (pseudonym} place, whose wife has just died” Then the door opened and I was led into the meeting room by an SVP member (President). In the centre of the room was a coffin which I was told contain the body of John’s wife, while fingering the beading on the Coffin he dislodged part of it and then said pointedly “Cheap rubbish” while requesting my attendance at the Requiem Mass, the following evening.

    The Church was full and I was positioned near to the rear, when suddenly from behind me a young accompanied woman (Mentally ill) gave a burst of hysterical laughter, someone said that it was his daughter, John who was at the front of the Church turned and gave an ‘unforgettable cry of anguish’ as I was ushered out of the Church by my only known SVP member, under some pretext that he must speak to me urgently. While conversing with him, he was informed discreetly, that John had collapsed. Unaware of the full reality of this situation, I went home.

    Over the next thirty (indescribable) difficult years for my wife and family, which included my wife’s nervous breakdown, eventually leading to long separation, but reunited with my wife for the last ‘known’ year, of her life.

    When the cortege arrives to collect the remains of my wife from the front room of our family home, one of the coffin bearers ‘fingers’ the beading on the coffin, smiling, then said “ Cheap Rubbish” Just before I enter the Church I am asked “will your daughter be attending” I respond, with words to the effect of “The Hospital have offered to have a nurse accompanier her, but I declined on her behalf, as her psychotic laughter, would be more than I could bear”

    My prayers will be with you as I am sure yours will be with me.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Dear brother:

      A joy to see your name and to blessed by your words. We serve an awesome God and we rejoice in the name of Jesus Christ. Kevin, through suffering God has given you empathy for the need of others.

      1 John 5:11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

      2 Timothy 1:8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,

      Luke 21:13 This will be your opportunity to bear witness.

      Yours in Christ,


  7. Addendum to my post above
    When a serious complaint is made against a priest as my wife (now deceased) made over thirty five years ago the church can and does use its worldly power to protect its IMAGE against the accusation of the individual concerned.

    At the time of my wife’s complaint I went to see one of the parish priests, his words were “he is a good man (and with a faint smile) he would only lie if he had to” At the time his reply confused me as I did not realize the full significance of what he had said.

    I had forgotten about this incident until about 8 years ago, when I read a comment on a web site, made by a young man who had been abused by a priest, when he complained the very same words were said to him by a priest while also smiling.

    This malignant force in the Church is protected by stone walling (refusing to speak the Truth) it appears to be used by all priests black or white. This shameful wall encircles the Church and betrays Christ and all those who profess to love Him, and cannot be justified by any teaching given by Jesus Christ.

    The devil (evil) and those who serve him, fear truth, as The Truth will not permit evil to hide itself. We are ALL sinners, but been honest with ourselves and others permits us to walk in humility on the spiritual plane in friendship with the Holy Spirit (where no deception or lie is tolerated within ourselves or between each other).

    If our Bishops want to lead us on the spiritual plane, they must walk with the Holy Spirit, they must server the Truth (which is the essence of love.) Justification for past sinful actions will only cause further division within the Church, while from without it will continue to be held in contempt, by the world (Unbelievers) for its hypocrisy.

    A true act of contrition is needed to heal the church; authority comes with Truth and those who serve it. The true Divine Mercy Image one of Broken Man gives the Church the means to walk in humility before our Father in heaven, while confronting evil with all its different faces.

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Brother Kevin, my heart is out to you in your grieving and suffering. In the Mystical Body of Christ through the Communion of Saints, your departed wife, you and I and all Catholics are one in Jesus. God is not the God of the dead but of the Living, whether on this earthly life or the other, as Jesus said (Mark 12:26-27). The Church of Our Lord Jesus IS NOT the Enemy, it never is, but Satan ALWAYS IS.

      It was Satan who orchestrated the well organized infiltration of the Church for long decades with Communist and homosexual Priests and complicit Bishops, etc. That has also caused some innocent Priests (the very large majority), to be battered, harrassed, humiliated and persecuted like never before in history by the sins of their malevolent peers, and to sometimes lose some of their best pastoral approach and charity in some situations and those like yours. How would you feel if, wanting to bless and love others as you wake up every morning, you received vicious accusations, total disrespect and fear of being assaulted or worse for the grave sins of your family that you have absolutely nothing to do with? Hm?

      In the very grave crisis the Church is in we have to be very careful not to allow our very true grievances and pain to put us on Satan’s side (Satan’s dearest goal- destruction from within) and contribute to the shackling of the Church to stop it from proclaiming the Truth and saving and restoring all humankind and especially the very victims of the sinful Judases among the Clergy and the victims of the enormously more numerous and bigger Judases among the liberal compromising laity, all too eager to destroy the Church or at least make it totally silent and irrelevant.

      Did the Church stop doing its work when Judas betrayed Jesus, leading the Son of God to be killed (a bigger sin than any other ever)? Did the Church recoil back in perpetual shame and eternal apologizing? Was Jesus less esteemed and worshipped because he “failed” by having a traitor Disciple? Traitors will be amongs us all the way until Jesus returns (Matthew 13:24-29). Should we just go head-chopping, given the horrible sins and abuses? “27The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
      28‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. So the servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29‘No,’ he said, ‘if you pull the weeds now, you might uproot the wheat with them.”

      Let’s fight for True Justice in the Church, BECAUSE we are proud members of the Eternal Church of Jesus, not because we are taught “justice” by its enemies. I will pray for your departed wife. In Heaven her mind is now crystal clear and praying for us to make the right choices and take the right actions. Let’s pray to God for all of us True Catholics to do just that!!

      • Thank you Phillip for your comment, to my addendum to my original post, directed at marnie and TLM, which I was most grateful for, but I was surprised that you did not mention the tragic circumstances relating to my daughter and that of Johns daughter given in my first post.

        We live in difficult times, take care

        kevin your brother
        In Christ

        • Dear brother Kevin, I chose to focus on your wife and the devastation she suffered after the events you just mentioned. Even though they may appear long sometimes, I go thorugh great pains to make my comments as short as humanly possible. For that same reason, I try to focus on the heart of the matter, the broad view instead of on every single detail, painful and tragic (as yours) as they may be.

          All I said in my previous comment does apply to the tragic circumstances of your daughter and Johns daughter. As members of the Body of Christ, yours and John’s sufferings are mine also and mine yours. I will pray for your daughter and John’s. Remember that our human sinfulness and imperfections bring great suffering to ourselves, each other, our dear ones and all humanity. Indeed, there’s no such thing as private sin, it still affects and hurts each other, all of us. That’s why Jesus came to Earth.

          BUT also remember that God loves that bottomless, sinful human poverty of ours, including yours and mine, and He makes awesome things out of it IF WE TRUST HIM regardless of the so very real and so very painful appearances. I will not relate here my own lifetime of suffering, but as I trusted God, he has brought untold Beauty and Blessing and Power out of those ashes brought by the sins of others and my very own, through repentance, forgiveness and the Faith I begged Him to give me every day, even when sometimes I felt only silence and His “absence”.

          I respectfully invite you to do the same, come suffering, tragedy, betrayal or total heartbreak. “At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24: 10-12). Do it for your sake, the Church, but especially for those you love and, regardless of what side of Heaven they are you still dearly love, and are very much alive in Christ. God bless you and embrace you with His Abiding All Powerful Love!!

          • Thank you Phillip for you welcomed comment. As you will be aware from my comments, I have encountered many evils, over decades, some in high places, which include misdirection. Your comment on July 25th @ 8:12PM appeared to address my addendum comment only, with no apparent reference to my initial comment directed at marnie and TLM, on July 25th @ 8:1 AM; as they had not responded, I became wary, as I am aware that it is possible to show a comment on a site that is only seen by the original poster, so I was testing the waters so to say, please forgive my scepticism.

            Yes, we are all part of broken humanity, in “that our human sinfulness and imperfections bring great suffering to ourselves, each other, our dear ones and all humanity” and because of this reality we cannot judge our brother harshly, without judging ourselves.

            I personally see myself as ‘damaged goods’ originating from an early childhood ‘connived’ trauma, when my intellect was separated from my heart, which I hope to enlarge upon, when the opportunity occurs, on this site.

            The true image of Divine Mercy which I proclaim passionately, is an Image of Broken Man, and I see that Image as an image of myself, one of being badly flawed and sinful, while continually acknowledging my need for His Divine Mercy and forgiveness, in my brokenness.

            Thank you once again Phillip for this constructive shared dialogue, as His light/love has shone through often, may God bless you and embrace you also, with His all-powerful abiding Love.

            kevin your brother
            In Christ

  8. Kevin, I usually like to help others in need when I find them, even if their need is totally different from the article I’m commenting on. God has been very merciful to me and in the chaotic spiritual battlefield we live in today, I am always careful to watch for those wounded on the sides and that God loves SO dearly. I also accept your apologies, even though I wasn’t offended.

    All this considered, I usually don’t spend as much time with personal matters as I have spent with you and, by you opening up, I now realize why this has happened. I also suffered great betrayal by the very Bishop of my Diocese when I was investigating this alleged Marian apparition I have mentioned before. I was betrayed too by a nun who was a very good and close personal friend, and that I didn’t know had become part of the as-usual-anti-Church-cult that always results from these false apparitions (all of which hate me for bringing God’s Truth to their false, sentimental mercy). I lost many personal friends because of all this. It all fell like salt upon deep old wounds of betrayal I suffered when growing up, and which like with you, split me inside.

    By allowing God to work in me, especially forgiveness, my life is now mostly healed and those old wounds now help me better understand and help the horrific wounds caused by the Evil one and his allies and to fight fiercely against this deception inflicted on the Church like never before in history. Among many other destructions, the agents of Satan also brought the Sexual Revolution and the sexual infiltration of the Church to provoke grave scandals and therefore disguise, hide and justify their own satanic rape of the Church and the whole world. Distract and destroy, distract and destroy, distract and destroy! I respectfully invite you be an agent of forgiveness, restoration, Truth and Holiness within the Church and never to open false mercy doors to those who, like maggots feeding on open wounds (that they mostly caused themselves to then turn and accuse like Satan does), seek to destroy the Catholic Church.

    Let your own personal wounds be open windows to God, His Hard Truth, His Real Mercy and not that of His impersonators and impostors, EVEN IF they happen to be people very close to your heart. Unless you have any other things you would like to discuss, I’m moving on now, but you certainly will be in my heart and prayers as both our lives indeed have very parallel situations. God bless you and all you hold dear!! Your brother in Christ, Phil.

  9. Thank you Phil my brother in Christ, for your conclusive, sensitive comment and manifest ‘authenticity’ given in our shared difficulties. I will most certainly reflect upon the sound advice, that you have given me.

    An Extract taken from my post(s) in the link below, perhaps you (With others) may consider reflecting on them.

    ”As stated in my post below May 9, 2018, to deliberately separate the intellect from the heart, will lead one to hell.

    It is generally accepted, that there are many causes, attributed to early childhood bonding experiences that can result in the lack of emotional empathy, and in extreme cases result in serious psychological behaviour.

    It could be said that for true emotional inter-dependence to come about with others, we need to show /tell our vulnerability, for when we do so, it confers ‘authenticity’, a place from where we can truly share the communal meal and our life with others”


    I thank God for our encounter Phil, and as you move on, I pray that His Peace will be with you, on your continuing homeward journey, to our Fathers House in heaven

    kevin your brother
    In Christ

    • Addendum to my Post above
      Phill A further reflection

      Jesus teaches us that the Weeds (Maggots) have to grow with the Wheat, as we do not know the ultimate reality of each individual souls and for this reason we are taught

      “But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you”

      A most difficult task for us professed Christians, but nevertheless not to do so, would imply, as yet, that we do not have the full light of Christ within us.
      “Those forgiven much love much” Christ forgives that we may love (Forgive) also, while we walk in our humility before Him, wanting for others that which we have been given ourselves, His known gift of Divine Mercy, (which can only be known/accepted in a vulnerable/sincere/humble heart before Him), because is that not what Christianity is all about.

      kevin your brother
      In Christ

  10. My name is Joanne King. I traveled to Betania, when I was 28. I will be 55 this year.
    I witnessed many miracles happen, while I was there. Maria’s life was about loving Christ. She lived through a lot of pain and suffering, yet she did her best for others.
    While I was there, I witnessed the following; The incredible scent of roses, when Maria went by, The face of Christ appearing in the night sky, clouds going from the left and clouds going from the right at the same time, The sun pulsating, A red cloud forming in the sky, the sky turning yellow and Mary walking above the trees. I didn’t see Mary, but others around me did. There was a young Venezuelan girl next to me… she kept grabbing my leg and saying; “Mira, Mira Maria!!!”. Afterwards we are all in a state of joy, for weeks. The friend I went with saw Mary. I met Maria and she spoke to me.
    A few years later, I went to hear her speak, in Cherry Hill, NJ. I snuck backstage and spent the evening talking with Maria’s husband and a woman from Venezuelan television.
    When the process, for Maria’s canonization began, I went to the ceremony in NJ.
    I have a photo of Gio, Maria and me together. Gio signed it, when I went to the canonization.
    Going to Betania was one of the greatest joys, in my life. I could go on and on about how transforming it was. Whether the church makes her a saint or not, she devoted her life to Christ. I know, without hesitation, she was chosen. Just as she said to the crowd…. “We weren’t there by choice, we were chosen”.

    • Dear Joanne K., Thank you so much for writing what you did about Maria E. I was so disheartened by the severe and somewhat angry replies of Mr. Alcoceli concerning this woman. Didn’t Jesus also say that a house divided will soon fall? Should we believe that just because a person does not seem to meet the church’s requirements for canonization that they were guided by evil after living a life of such devotion to Jesus? And to quote Mr. Kevin Walters we should never deliberately separate the intellect from the heart. I am keeping my heart open to Jesus and trusting Him through the power of the Holy Spirit to lead my heart and mind into all truth. I simply cannot so easily judge a woman so harshly who seemingly has led a very holy life and call her evil.

  11. Very interesting and well-written comments. I will, however, wait for the verdict from my Catholic Church on the authenticity of this woman’s sanctity. God bless my brotbers and sisters in Christ 🙏🏻

  12. I was reading quite a bit on Maria Esperanza and was amazed at so many gifts she was given by God. Was she not made a Servant of God Philippe? Then the Church must have done some investigating on her to start the CAUSE. I understand your frustrations. But she did not declare she was sinless, right? We are all sinners. Jesus make my heart like unto thine, gentle and meek .We will leave it up to God as to what is the truth, and Holy Mother Church. This is my first time posting on this site. God Bless you all.

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