Here you will find information on the apparitions of Our Lady Mary in “Finca Betania”, Venezuela, under the title of “Mary, Virgin and Mother Reconciler of All Peoples and Nations”; apparition officially approved by His Excellency Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo on November 21, 1987.
History of the Apparition
The Servant of God Maria Esperanza Bianchini, through earlier messages of Our Lady, was already aware of the existence of this land. Our Lady, on numerous occasions spoke about a blessed land which would be “the new ark of salvation”.
Our Lady told her that it was located in the north-central part of Venezuela, and that it would come to be a “place of constant prayer and pilgrimage” for Venezuelans and in time, for all nations of the world; so all peoples and nations could hold hands in reconciliation; and where Church and People would be united in one heart, that is, Church and People working together united by one objective: To bring mankind together.
On March 29, 1974, the Servant of God Maria Esperanza Bianchini recognized the land from the description she had received in earlier messages, for it coincided perfectly with the place: The old house, the sugar mill, the sugar cane and coffee plantation and the grotto with crystal clear water.
The symbolic confirmation that it was the announced and chosen place of Our Lady was made to the Servant of God Maria Esperanza through the sign of a blue butterfly. In messages received many years before, Our Lady had announced that when Mrs. Bianchini would find the land, the Virgin would manifest herself by means of a blue butterfly. This took place when Mrs. Bianchini found the land and suddenly from its grotto a blue butterfly fluttered over the place. This reaffirmed what had been announced through the messages in a simple and very beautiful way. At present, the blue butterfly appears during many special moments, flying from the grotto, fluttering over the esplanade and then disappearing into the vegetation.
Two years later, on March 25, 1976, just as it had been announced, the Holy Mother of God appeared for the first time in Betania, under a new title, Mary Virgin and Mother Reconciler of All Peoples and Nations . After this beautiful experience, Our Lady continued to appear in the following years, but it was only until 1984 when she appeared to one hundred and fifty people, who testified to seeing her clearly and distinctly. This was a very diverse group: Children, college students, adults, military men, physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, engineers, judges, etc.
From that moment, the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Teques, Miranda State, Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo, began an investigation, which concluded with an official approval issued in a Pastoral Letter, declaring that the apparitions in Finca Betania were authentic, of supernatural character and divine origin. Therefore, the site should be considered as sacred and that it must be kept as a place for pilgrimage, prayer, reflection and worship, where liturgical acts could take place according to the rules of the Roman Church.
Due to the influx of visitors and pilgrims from Venezuela and other parts of the world, the Sanctuary is open all year round from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Description and History of the Site
Betania is a land full of mountains that is located on Km. 11 of the road between Cua and San Casimiro, in the State of Miranda, Venezuela. It is 65 Km. from Caracas city, the capital. Its main access is by a highway that goes from Caracas to the city of Charallave, where there is a detour to the city of Cua. Then, from Cua, following the road to San Casimiro approximately after 12 Km., stands the entrance of Finca Betania on the left hand side.
It is an area surrounded by small hills that is embellished by tropical vegetation. At the entrance, there is a parking lot for vehicles and buses. Then, there is a pedestrian bridge that was built over the Tarma River, a river that crosses the farm from West to East. The bridge leads to a square and to the grotto, the site where most of the apparitions have taken place. At the square, an open Chapel has been erected.
The name Betania comes from the original name the farm already had. This land was offered to be purchased to the Bianchini, Andreu and Castellano families. And when Mrs. Bianchini saw it, she considered it was the land God had promised her from the beginning of her mission.
Long before the Servant of God Maria Esperanza married, the Lord had told her that she would have a land of great spiritual importance. He would hand it to her when the time was right, and its significance was that it would be a land of promises.
From 1957 to 1974, Mrs. Bianchini had the inspiration to visit many places throughout Venezuela. One day, a gentleman offered Mr. Geo Bianchini and Engineer Jesus Andreu – who were working together – a farm that was for sale in Valles del Tuy. They made the decision to go and see the site, the Servant of God Maria Esperanza agreed; so they set the day to visit the land.
March 29, 1974 was the day they chose. Three families (Mr. Geo and Mrs. Maria Esperanza Bianchini, Mr. Andreu and Mrs. Luisa Andreu, and Mr. Jose Castellano), the owner, Dr. Rafael Perez and the vendor, Mr. Hicle gathered at the site. They all visited the place and then they spoke about all the details.
The main crops of the farm were of sugar cane, with over 49 planted acres. Besides, it had a good sugar mill that produced sugar cane blocks, many fruit trees and chicken breeding. The farm was well cared for and was very nice. It had a house that had been rustically built in a typical tropical style, and it had a river that crossed it, which was fully flowing due to the summer season. All this made it appear like a true paradise.
The Servant of God Maria Esperanza Bianchini agreed and they made the decision to purchase the farm. The conditions were considered to be good, and the owner tuned out to be a gentleman. He said that he had founded the farm himself, purchasing three farms that were adjacent and named it BETANIA (BETHANY), because of the place where Jesus of Nazareth used to go and rest with his friends. Then, they learned that this gentleman was part of an Evangelic group from Caracas, and that he would go to the farm with many of his friends to celebrate collective baptisms by immersion in the river and to pray. For all these reasons, it was concluded that it was truly the place that matched the indications that had been announced by Our Lady.
When they left the place, they all felt joyful and content, because it seemed to them that they had spent that time in another dimension, of absolute peace and calmness.
Mrs. Bianchini confirmed that it was the chosen place since the beginning, that it was the site where a divine design of immense proportion would be carried out, and where great events would also take place. Two years later, on March 25, 1976, this was proven with the apparition of Our Lady to the Servant of God Maria Esperanza at the grotto. She was with 80 friends, and although they were not able to see Our Lady, they witnessed phenomena associated to the apparition. On March 25, 1984 “the great apparition” of the Mother of God took place to a group of approximately 150 people. They all saw her clearly and distinctly, so they gave their oral and written affidavits to the Bishop of the Diocese, His Excellency Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo, who after thoroughly studying the testimonies gave his approval with a Pastoral Letter.
The Mother of God pointed out to the Servant of God that she had to donate this part of the land to the Diocese of Los Teques where the well-known Sanctuary of Betania has been built. On August 28, 1989, 10 acres were donated to the Church. The Bishop continues to give permission to celebrate liturgical acts at the site. The divine indication was to work together for the wellbeing of all souls: “Church and People united.”
How does Our Lady Appear?
According to the affidavits of the witnesses, Our Lady appears in a heavenly way, “She appears out of nowhere… she materializes…” resembling on many occasions Our Lady of Lourdes, but also looking like Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Our Lady of the Pillar, Our Lady of Coromoto and many other titles.
She appears all of a sudden filled with light, most of the time accompanied by a strong and delightful scent of roses, and other mystical phenomena, such as: Heavenly sounds of songs by “invisible choirs”, spinning of the sun, etc.