On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, the memory of the Servant of God Maria Esperanza Medrano Bianchini, messenger of Our Lady of Betania, was honored on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of her passing from this world to the abode of the Lord. In the La Caridad del Cobre Church, located in Caracas, priests and parishioners gathered to participate in a solemn Mass, which was presided by the Bishop Exarch of the Greek-Melkite Catholic Church in Venezuela, Bishop Georges Kahhale. Monsignor Henry William Padilla, Rector of La Caridad del Cobre Church, Santa Paula; Father Juan Carlos Silva, Rector of Santa Rosalia, Caracas; Father Angel Rios, Rector of Santa Rosalia de Palermo, El Hatillo; Father Lexander Brito, Rector of Our Lady of Guadalupe, El Junquito; and Father Orlando Gonzalez, Rector of San Jose de Los Altos concelebrated during Mass. The Betania Choir accompanied this special celebration with its music.
During his homily, Bishop Kahhale urged to have faith “because Christ has defeated the world”. He said that the Servant of God Maria Esperanza had left important memories in the hearts, in the community and not only in Betania, but throughout the world, through the Communities of Betania that spread the message of peace and reconciliation. He expressed his desire that she could be elevated to the altars so others could follow her example of love and of conveying the doctrine of Christ.
After the Eucharist, the priests shared their opinions in private interviews. Monsignor Padilla expressed that he had met the Servant of God Maria Esperanza when he was Rector of St. Joseph of El Hatillo, exalting her work, especially with her family and the Betania Choir, which radiated much joy and faith, since all its members acknowledged Jesus Christ. He asserted that the choir had an important message for the country due to its expressions of closeness, joy, faith and hope. Father Rios, on the other hand, said that they had grown up with the Servant of God and that she always transmitted them much joy and hope, and above all, a great desire to draw close to God, “During these fifteen years we have been walking with her, because she also allows us to continue enjoying God’s blessings in communion with the Church, and that is why we are here asking the Lord for the grace to see her be elevated to the altars.” Likewise, Father Silva spoke about the obvious and evident fruits of this servant of God; those of mercy, salvation, compassion and love; of love for brotherly and family unity. Similarly, Father Brito said that he had met her and visited the Sanctuary of Betania when he was little; that God would make men and women emerge from his people to help the world, “I think that this is the legacy Maria Esperanza left,” he said. Father Gonzalez said that to him the Servant of God Maria Esperanza was hope, future and an important influence in Venezuela.
Afterwards, they went to the Eastern Cemetery in La Guairita, in Caracas, to pray the Rosary and ask for her intercession for the yearned peace and reconciliation in the country. It was certainly a great day of light and hope for all Venezuelans.