It all began a day in which Mrs. Maria Esperanza Medrano de Bianchini received a letter sent by the president of the Rotary Club of Maracaibo, Dr. Dennis Schmilinski, inviting her to spread the message of Our Lady Reconciler of all People and Nations to the people of Zulia. She said that the letter had deeply touched her and that the words of Dr. Dennis seemed sincere. Mrs. Maria Esperanza accepted the invitation and asked the members of the Betania Foundation to prepare themselves, for they were about to begin a pilgrimage to Zulia State.
On October 22, in 1991, 100 people of the Betania Foundation left for Maracaibo at 8:30 in the morning. The pleasant experience began at the airport. A great number of the personnel of the Aeropostal airline, several nuns, Dr. Dennis, Mrs. Connie Chumaceiro, other organizers of the event, and Channel 2 of Maracaibo went to the disembarking zone to greet with flowers and applause the image of Our Lady under the title of Mary Virgin and Mother Reconciler of all People and Nations. She had been brought by Mrs. Maria Esperanza, her family, and other members of the Betania Foundation. It became even more emotional, when all realized that a deep scent of roses invaded the place.
The first visit the group made was to the Bishopric where the Archbishop, His Excellency, Bishop Domingo Roa Perez was waiting. Afterwards, they were taken to El Guacamayo restaurant where Los Galenos’s band performed a beautiful theme dedicated to Our Lady Reconciler of all People, to Mrs. Maria Esperanza, and to Betania. Happiness in the environment made them all stand, singing and dancing.
At 5:00 in the afternoon the Basilica of Our Lady of Chiquinquira was completely filled with parishioners. They assisted to pray the holy rosary and to a concelebrated Mass, in which these two titles came together: Our Lady of Chiquinquira and Our Lady of Betania. Our Lady Reconciler of People entered in procession with Mrs. Maria Esperanza who was guarded by the police, while the Betania Choir sang beautiful songs. The image was placed on the altar and the holy rosary began, it was directed by Mrs. Maria Esperanza who devoutly offered it recalling the innumerable intentions and needs everyone had. Bishop Domingo Roa Perez, during the homily insisted on the fact that it was needed to unite in one heart, soul, and mind. These words moved the members of the Betania Foundation in a special way, because they had been the exact words Mrs. Maria Esperanza told them before travelling.
During Holy Communion one lady gave Mrs. Maria Esperanza her son who had cerebral paralysis so that she could touch him, she held him, and began to open and close her mouth so he would do the same thing. It was surprising to see how the boy imitated her and how he was totally full of glitter when she gave the boy back to his mother. Then, a boy with cancer approached her, a boy who had a very sad attitude, Mrs. Maria Esperanza looked at him, spoke to him, and the boy changed completely, he was happy, and was joyfully jumping with his crutches. Thus, a great number of ill children began to parade, and she shared with them with much love.
Then, Bishop Domingo Roa asked Mrs. Maria Esperanza to speak to the people of Zulia, inviting them to reconciliation.
On Wednesday, 23, they visited the Centro de Pesquisa de la Liga Anticancerosa of Zulia State, where its director expressed: “The presence of all this public, of all these people, gives you an idea of the benefits that the visit of Mrs. Maria Esperanza of Betania is going to bring. Because there are many people with faith here, and we as doctors know that faith is a fundamental element to obtain healing, to obtain the benefit of any ill person, not only with medicine, but through that desire to live that people must have. Therefore, we highly esteem her presence here, we are pleased, and we welcome her.” There, she comforted a lady who approached her crying, and she spoke to a group of nurses and doctors, and to several groups of people that she met in her visit to the Center.
They also visited the children with cancer in the University Hospital, where Mrs. Maria Esperanza with immense love shared with the ill children, and where she distributed medals of Our Lady to all of them. When arriving, she also spoke to a group of children and adults.
Then, there was a meeting with 800 youngsters of the parochial and private schools in the Teatro Ninos Cantores. The children and young ones sang to Mrs. Maria Esperanza, and then she left them her words of direction and orientation.
At 5:15 in the afternoon the prayer of the rosary and Holy Mass took place in the Church Our Lady of the Rosary, where Bishop Jesus Hernandez Bracho asked Mrs. Maria Esperanza to share during the homily her experiences with the Virgin.
Later, there was a full-dress dinner at the Club Nautico of Maracaibo. In his speech, Dr. Dennis asked Mrs. Maria Esperanza that with her presence as an intermediary of the Virgin, to enlighten all the rulers and members of the Rotary Club to better fulfil their mission. Then, he invited her to address her heartfelt message to all. On the other hand, the Archbishop of Maracaibo, Bishop Domingo Roa Perez, expressed in an interview that Channel 4 of Venezuela did: “A town that has difficulties in which adverse currents try to create an uncomfortable climate, Our Lady is manifesting herself in a thousand ways.
Therefore, the visit of Mrs. Maria Esperanza, and the events that have been held in the occasion of her visit have renewed faith in Zulia. The event that was held in the Basilica was truly extraordinary, such fervor, such withdrawal, a feeling of love of Our Lady, and of Christian brotherhood. At this moment, I want to call all the people of Zulia to unite, to overcome group differences, in order to form one heart and one soul.”
On Thursday the 24th, they left at 8:00 in the morning to the Barrio de la Etnia Guajira. At the site, everyone waited for Mrs. Maria Esperanza eagerly, who when arriving fed all with her word, generosity, kindness, tenderness and simplicity; and in gratefulness the Indians danced to honor her.
They continued towards PEQUIVEN, they crossed the bridge on the lake and when arriving at El Tablazo, the first experience was to hear the testimony of one of the workers who had undergone a heart attack on December 22 of 1990, and his sister, who went to Betania, brought him water from the grotto, he drank it for several consecutive days, and when they operated on him, the doctors were surprised, because they did not expect that the operation was going to be so successful.
They continued their journey towards Cabimas, experiencing the phenomenon of the sun spinning. In Cabimas the bells of the Church Nuestra Senora de Altagracia rang without stopping and a multitude of people sang: “Hail Mary!” From 3:00 in the afternoon the people waited for the arrival of the image of the Virgin Reconciler of all People and Nations as well as for Mrs. Maria Esperanza, but it was at 7:00 in the night, after a long journey full of the love of the people, when it was finally possible to arrive. The priest opened his arms with great joy while the honored guests entered, and all shouted with great enthusiasm: “Long live the Virgin, long live the Virgin and welcome Maria Esperanza, welcome!”
Holy Mass was concelebrated by Bishop Luis Raul Sandoval and Bishop Jose Omana, who was the one who invited Mrs. Maria Esperanza to share her spiritual experiences with all the faithful.
Friday, 25th was the day the group from the Betania Foundation returned to Caracas. Many from Maracaibo who had participated in the events went to the airport to bid them good-bye. Thus, with her sweet countenance and a glance full of love, the Blessed Virgin Reconciler of all Nations left her message in Maracaibo through her intermediary Mrs. Maria Esperanza.