REPORT: CAUSE FOR CANONIZATION OF MYSTIC MARIA ESPERANZA TO OPEN
Rome, November 25, 2009
Dear brothers and friends,
We wish to share with you the pleasant news for all our family, the Betania Foundation and the communities of Betania in the world that: the cause of beatification and canonization of our beloved mamma, Maria Esperanza de Bianchini, will finally be open the following January 31, 2010, at 3:00 p.m., feast day of Saint John Bosco. The event will take place in the Dioceses of Metuchen, New Jersey, the United States of America, with a beautiful Eucharistic celebration in the Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, presided by the Bishop of the Dioceses, Bishop Paul Bootkoski.
We wish to invite you all to participate at this most precious event for our families and communities.
We would be pleased to have you with us in celebrating this very special occasion, because of the special love and consideration we had for Maria Esperanza, who accompanied us always with sincere love and joy.
(President of the Betania Foundation)
and Bianchini family
METUCHEN DIOCESE TO OPEN BEATIFICATION
CAUSE OF MARIA ESPERANZA
Metuchen, NJ –
Bishop Paul Bootkoski, Ordinary of the Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey, has decided that there are sufficient grounds to open the cause for beatification and canonization of Mrs. Maria Esperanza de Bianchini, a Venezuelan mother of numerous children and alleged mystic, who lived between the years of 1928 and 2004. Bishop Bootkoski will give a truly religious sense to this juridical act by conducting the opening of the cause in the context of a Mass to be celebrated at St. Francis of Assisi Cathedral in Metuchen, on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 3:00 pm. The Betania Choir of Venezuela, composed of the family members and spiritual followers of Maria Esperanza will provide the music for this liturgical celebration.
Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, Roman Postulator of Maria Esperanza’s cause, explained that, “A beatification cause involves a years-long process of examination of the candidate’s life, virtues, writings, reputation for holiness, and reputation for intercession.” When a candidate’s cause is open, that person is called a servant of God. After the servant of God’s heroic virtue has been proven, he or she is declared “venerable”. Then, to be beatified, one miracle must be attributed to the venerable’s intercession. Finally, a second miracle is needed for canonization. Dr. Ambrosi said, “The Church’s criteria for accepting a miracle are very rigorous.”
Maria Esperanza was born in Monagas State, Venezuela, on November 22, 1928. From an early age, she exhibited a life of virtue and devotion to God, and was endowed with special charisms like supernatural knowledge, healings, visions, and the ability to read the hearts of others. Her gifts and virtues attracted many followers. In 1954, she married Mr. Geo Bianchini and they had six daughters and one son. She and her husband raised their children in an exemplary manner and she continued to use her spiritual gifts to assist souls and to form the consciences of all who sought her counsel.
On March 25, 1984, the Blessed Virgin appeared to Maria Esperanza and 150 of her associates at a tropical farm named Betania, 50 miles south of Caracas. Our Lady manifested herself in Betania under the title: “Mary, Virgin and Mother, Reconciler of all Peoples and Nations.” These apparitions were approved in 1987 by the local Bishop, Monsignor Pio Bello, in consultation with then Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. (Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI on April 19, 2005.)
This supernatural event in Betania thrust Maria Esperanza into the international limelight and she was then required to make many trips abroad to announce Our Lady’s message of family reconciliation and fraternal unity. Throughout her life, Maria Esperanza was an extraordinary example of humility, hope, and unconditional love.
During her travels, she visited the United States often, particularly New Jersey, where she spent the last eight months of her life. After a protracted illness, Maria Esperanza passed away in Long Beach Island, New Jersey on August 7, 2004, at the age of 75. A beatification process is usually conducted from the place where a candidate resided or died; hence, the cause of Maria Esperanza is being initiated in New Jersey.
Fr. Timothy Byerley, Vice Postulator of Maria Esperanza’s cause and a priest of the Diocese Camden, New Jersey, said that, “Mr. Geo Bianchini and the family of Maria Esperanza have extended an open invitation
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