Seer Maria Esperanza To Be Entombed
Under an Altar
The body of seer Maria Esperanza is expected to be transported to her homeland of Venezuela by Monday and eventually placed in a glass tomb under an altar at the Church-sanctioned apparition site of Betania near Caracas, family members told Spirit Daily.
They said there will not be a public viewing of the famous mystic in New Jersey, where she had been staying since last winter at a private residence and under intensive medical care.
Esperanza died last Saturday after a lengthy neurological ailment that bore resemblance to Parkinson's but was not specifically diagnosed. At her bedside at the moment of death were her husband Geo, her seven children, their spouses, and 20 grandchildren who flew in from Caracas, some just days before.
"We all sensed that something was about to happen and got up at about four a.m. to spend the rest of the night in her room," says son-in-law Carlos Marrero Bornn. "One of her daughters sang to her and she died an incredibly beautiful, peaceful death, with that smile she used to have when she knew something she wanted to tell you."
It's expected that a crowd will be at the Caracas airport to greet the body, which will then be placed in a chapel at Maria's home for three days of private viewing. That may be followed by a public wake, though plans have not yet been finalized. The family is looking for a church to temporarily keep the body while the crypt is built. Extensive documentation has been kept for the canonization process.
The apparition site of Betania was formally declared authentic in 1987 after the bishop, who was trained as a psychologist, personally investigated and took testimonies from more than 1,000 witnesses. A small grotto and church currently stand at the site, which is about an hour's drive from Caracas and the place of many claimed miracles. Bornn said the family sees Maria's death as a "sign" that may be followed by major events. Esperanza herself had foreseen 2004 as a momentous year and once had commented that a major event would occur after someone loved by many died.
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