On January 31 in the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi in Metuchen, New Jersey, USA, 28 miles from New York, the opening of the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of the messenger of the Virgin in Betania, Mrs. Maria Esperanza Medrano of Bianchini, took place.
The Cathedral houses 1000 people, but for this official act this capacity was not enough. A neighboring center with a giant screen was open for more than 400 people who also wished to participate in such an important event.
The Bishop of Metuchen, His Excellency Monsignor Paul Bootkoski opened the process declaring there were enough reasons for the opening of the Cause of Maria Esperanza, a mother of seven children, who from the age of five had had heavenly revelations, visions of the future, the gift of knowledge, the gift of healing, the ability to read the hearts, the stigmata, and the odor of sanctity, among other charisms. “Maria Esperanza was an extraordinary example of humility, hope, and unconditional love throughout her life.”
With the presence of 2 bishops and 43 priests a solemn Mass was carried out at 3:00 in the afternoon, with the participation of the Betania Choir from Venezuela. The 67 members of the Choir are made out of all of Mrs. Maria Esperanza’s children and their spouses, her grandchildren and spiritual children. More than 160 people traveled from Venezuela to New Jersey to assist to this act where many priests and laypeople from the United States of America, Canada, Cayman Islands, Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, and Italy gathered together.
Bishop Paul Bootkoski began the celebration by expressing, “Brothers and sisters, we are here as people filled with faith in the Lord’s creation and in his wonderful people. We believe God gives us men and women as examples to show us the path to the Lord. Today we begin Maria Esperanza’s Cause, a woman of faith. And with this community we beg for God to acknowledge her through the Church as one of her saints. What an occasion to celebrate the Eucharist.”
On the other hand, the Vice-Postulador, Father Timothy Byerley, during the homily affirmed that, “We feel deeply touched by the ways of divine providence and we continue feeling elevated by Maria Esperanza’s life. Five years, five months and three and a half weeks of her departure from this life in the State of New Jersey have passed. And here we are opening the Cause of Beatification and Canonization of Maria Esperanza. […]. The first acknowledgement goes to Bishop Bootkoski for his Episcopal discernment, his appreciation of the Universal Church, and for having realized the importance of family unity. After a thorough analysis of the life and work of Mrs. Maria Esperanza he reached the conclusion that this Cause should be open.
“Mrs. Maria Esperanza always had and has tremendous love of the priests, and this didn’t have to do with their personalities at all, if they were charismatic or not, she simply saw Christ in every priest. Among her gifts, she had the spiritual ability to see the priest’s soul. She always treated all priests with immense dignity, immense respect and great affection. Truly she would have felt deeply happy of seeing this massive presence of priests here. And we must highlight that this Cause is being open exactly during the year of priesthood. Mrs. Maria Esperanza always insisted on the importance of loving our Church.”
Just before those who had been appointed in the process and the members of the different committees recited their oaths, His Excellency Bishop Paul Bootkoski recalled the importance this process had for the Church, by saying “My brothers and sisters, this afternoon we are reminded of the important role of the saints in the life of the Church. When the Church beatifies or canonizes one of the faithful, it does so for many reasons.
“When we study and reflect on the lives of those who have followed Christ faithfully, we are motivated to seek the city that is to come; we learn the way that will enable us most surely to attain complete union with Christ; when we struggle with our earthly cares we find comfort in these friends and co-heirs of Christ, our special benefactors, who intercede ceaselessly for us and are joined to us in a marvelous communion.
“Today we recall in a particular way a saintly follower of Christ and exemplary laywoman, Servant of God Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini. Maria was a great and humble woman chosen by divine providence to spread the message of love, reconciliation and family unity. As we begin the process of investigating her life, virtues and reputation of sanctity, may we be reminded of God’s mercy towards all who bear the burden of suffering, and of our own calls to be instruments of his love and peace.
“O God, source of all grace and holiness, look kindly on your servants who will investigate the life, virtues and reputation of sanctity of Maria Esperanza.”
The Italian lawyer, Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, Postulator of the Cause, explained that once the Cause was open the candidate was called “servant of God”, after proving his/her virtues he/she was declared “venerable”, for his/her beatification a miracle was needed, and a second miracle was requested for the candidate to be inscribed in the catalogue of saints.
Mr. Geo Bianchini, the widower of Mrs. Maria Esperanza, closed the act by expressing his gratitude for the work undertaken by His Excellency Bishop Bootkoski, the Postulador Dr. Ambrosi, the Vice-Postulador Father Byerley and all those who were involved in the process; and he recalled the importance the message Mrs. Maria Esperanza left on the formation of a new family, with new human beings who love one another, but especially love God the Father, “That wonderful time is coming, the presence of God among us, besides the daily presence of his Son in the Eucharist. Our Father definitively wants us to be one with Him. This is the world we are waiting for, and Maria Esperanza’s mission was based on this concept: the renewal of the world. We have the example of her words; let us keep this treasure within, so we may turn into new human beings just as God wants us to be. A new world awaits us; let us fully trust that such longed love will arrive. I am the first one who has been able to understand this through divine grace and through the messages that Maria Esperanza received. It was the nourishment that accompanied me during those years. Thank you for coming to accompany us today. May God bless you all.”
Please, report miracles received through the intercession of Mrs. Maria Esperanza on the Web Site: www.mariaesperanza.org