During his visit to the Sanctuary of Betania, within the framework of the Solemnity of the Annunciation and the 47th anniversary of Our Lady Reconciler of All Peoples, His Eminence Cardinal Baltazar Porras invited everyone to share the joy of faith in sanctuaries such as Betania.
SANCTUARY OF BETANIA, FIXED ROUTE IN EASTER
The Cardinal’s invitation had an immediate response, so the Sanctuary of Betania was overflowing with faithful during the Holy Week. For its part, the Betania Spirituality Movement accompanied Rev. Fr. Antonio Alejandro Rivas, Rector of the Sanctuary of Betania, as well as the Sisters Mother of the Savior, High and Eternal Priest and seminarians, during the rites, reflections and Eucharist in Easter. Among the memories of the pilgrims and members of the BSM are:
On Holy Wednesday, April 5, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. the Way of the Cross on the esplanade of the sanctuary, the Holy Eucharist and a procession in honor of Jesus the Nazarene, with the participation of the Betania Choir.
On Holy Thursday, the double activity of a representation of the Betania Choir, which at 9:00 a.m. went to the Cathedral of Caracas, to participate in the Chrism Mass and then give a private serenade to HE Cardinal Baltazar Porras and to more than a hundred priests on their day, while the rest of the Movement in the Sanctuary of Betania gave support to Fr. Rivas, during the Holy Eucharist of the Lord’s Supper, the washing of the feet and transfer of Jesus in the Sacrament to the monument. After sunset, at Finca Betania, members of the BSM got together to commemorate the Passover Meal.
On Good Friday, the entire sanctuary accompanied the Lord on his Way of the Cross, the meditation on the Seven Words, the commemoration of his Passion, the adoration of the Holy Cross and the beginning of the novena to Jesus of Divine Mercy, with the participation of the Betania Choir that sang with the pilgrims for over five hours. Fr. Rivas rightly expressed, “We can experience nothingness, but we are not orphans, because Jesus has left Mary to care for us, because the Gospel says, ‘From that hour the disciple took her into his home.’ We are not alone; we are with Jesus. Jesus experienced nothingness to embrace us in everything.” Members of the BSM went up to the Sorrowful Mother Oratory at twilight, where they joined the Blessed Mother in prayer for the needs of the Church, the world and Venezuela.
On Glory Saturday, 80 members of the BSM paid a visit to the pools of the river, and spent the night at the Easter Vigil, at the feet of Mary Reconciler of All Peoples in the grotto of her apparitions, with songs and prayers.
Hope and joy embraced all those present on Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, by greeting each other “Happy Easter” at the open chapel of the Sanctuary of Betania. The Paschal Candle, symbol of the light of the Risen Christ, illuminated the Solemn Holy Eucharist of the Resurrection of the Lord, officiated by Rev. Fr. Antonio Rivas, with the music of the Betania Choir, which together with the fervent pilgrims integrated such a majestic day, in this beautiful Marian Sanctuary surrounded by leafy trees, a cascade of holy waters and wild birds chirping.
This is how all those who had the opportunity to visit the Sanctuary of Betania, during Easter, felt the experience of the Resurrection of the Lord, in order to exclaim over and over again: Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! Hallelujah!