DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     November 4, 1998     vol. 9, no. 216

THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE & SECTION TWO
    INTRODUCTION
          In the lush South American country of Venezuela that the Blessed Virgin Mary calls her "land of grace," which is bordered by the Carribean Sea to the north, the Andes Mountains to the southwest and the Amazon Jungle in the south, Our Lady has been appearing for centuries. And ever since 1976, she has been coming to a tiny, remote, tropical farm in Betania, Venezuela to establish a special Refuge for all her children as the New Ark of Salvation under the special title "Mary, Virgin and Mother of Reconciliation for all people and nations." She calls Betania the "New Lourdes" offering the same healing waters to all who will take refuge in her Immaculate Heart. God has chosen Maria Esperanza de Bianchini as His special visionary with many mystical graces to convey His Mother's messages to all His children as she beckons us all to become her "Ambassadors of Reconciliation."

          No matter the age, Our Lady has been imparting the same message: "Pray! Pray! Pray!" It is only through constant prayer, taken as a bouquet in loving, motherly intercession before the Throne of God, that the hearts of mankind will eventually be softened and all her little ones brought into accord with the Will of God. This continuing in-depth series on the grace-filled mystical phenomena of Our Lady's appearances through the ages and the meaning of her messages will open eyes and hearts because she is the mother of us all and her words of wisdom and warnings must be taken seriously...very seriously!

The New Lourdes: Betania - Refuge of Reconciliation
part fiver

Approval of the Apparitions and the Universal Meaning of the Messages

      These testimonies were instrumental in the apparition being approved one day before Maria Esperanza de Bianchini's 59th birthday on November 22, 1987. The new bishop of Los Teques, Bishop Pio Ricardo Bello, who first met Maria in 1944, was the perfect instrument in God's plan. Though admitting to having an "interior attitude of doubt and skepticism," prayer and his expertise as a professor at the Catholic University in Caracas in theological and psychological training benefited him in deciphering over 381 written declarations and interviewing over 200 principles over a 500 hour span, which included a special trip to Rome to consult with the Holy See. Finally, convinced of the authenticity of the Apparition, he officially issued the Church's approval on November 21, 1987 with the following statement:

          "In consequence, after studying with determination the Apparitions of Our Blessed Virgin Mary in Finca Betania, and after assiduously asking Our Lord for Spiritual discernment, I declare that to my judgment these Apparitions are authentic and have a supernatural character. I therefore officially approve that the site where the same have occurred be considered as sacred, that the same be kept as a place for pilgrimages and as a place for prayer, meditation and worship and where liturgical acts can be carried out especially the Mass and the administration of the Sacraments, always following the laws of the Church and the norms of the Diocesan Pastoral Council."

      Bishop Pio Bello stated to us in a private audience that, "Ricardo is actually my mother's maiden name and therefore I am not really Bishop Pio Bello Ricardo but rather Bishop Pio Ricardo Bello." He goes on in his Pastoral Letter to clarify the Church's position concerning private revelation:

          "…when the Church intervenes regarding "Private" revelations, it does so for the time being to determine the arrangement of the same with "public" revelation. Consequently, if it finds that "private" revelation contradicts "public" revelation, it declares it false, since God cannot contradict Himself. If it finds agreement between the two, it allows "private" revelations to be accepted…"

      His Pastoral Letter is of some length, and it is not possible to copy it in its entirety in this article. However, for those who wish to read it, you may write the Bishop care of: Monsignor Pio Bellow, Curia Diocesana, Calle Junin. 19 Los Teques, State of Miranda, VENEZUELA. It is recommended you include a donation of two to five dollars and be sure to request the English translation.

      Our Blessed Mother's messages in Betania incorporate the messages of LaSalette, Rue de Bac, Lourdes, Fatima, San Giovanni, Beauraing, Banneaux, Garabandal, San Damiano, Akita, El Escorial in Spain, Medjugorje, San Nicholas, Naju, Hrushiv, Ecuador, Ireland, and here in the United States and Canada, as well as what the Vicar of Christ is exhorting; that is that the messages are becoming ever more urgent. As a loving Mother she begs and pleads and Maria, as a true mystic, knows only too well the seriousness of her supplication.

      A few months before the approval Our Lady delivered a very powerful message on August 11, 1987: "Man is actually abusing the received graces and is going towards perdition; if a change does not come and improve his living he will succumb under the fire, war and death."

      Earlier in 1973, Maria received the following on March 23 regarding the end times and the Reign of the Sacred Heart: "It is the difficult hour for all humanity and it is necessary to detain the misunderstanding between brothers; the nations must be united. My Jesus' love will be the door that will open hearts to give passage to a beautiful age that must resuscitate the nations to a glorious teaching of unity. Take advantage of time because the hour is coming in which my Son will present Himself before all as Judge and Savior; you must be in the necessary conditions to live together with Him that Great Day; do not believe this is far."

      On April 27 of the same year, Our Lady imparted, "The Great Day in which my Son will come is approaching. Pray very much so the horrible clash that is coming and that could end with so many innocents (being hurt) can be detained." This confirms the recent messages of many visionaries and locutionists here in the United States that God's Justice is near.

      Our Lady also followed up with the message Pope John Paul II has been expounding when she stated to Maria: "When you are asked what Messages have been given to you, answer textually: Our Mother has come as Mary, Virgin and Mother - Reconciler of Nations, and her Message is to commit oneself to a better service to the Catholic Church. And we have to do this service reconciling ourselves more and more, all the Christians, since reconcilement encourages human rights, social justice, renovation, and charisma. And furthermore, Reconcilement supposes Truth, Love, Reparation and Liberty of Conscience, to live in consonance with the doctrine that Jesus Christ bequeathed us." This is the essence of the Holy Father'' most recent encyclical, Veritatis Splendor. She relayed to Maria in 1988: "Sons and daughters, I beg you to take advantage of the days, hours, minutes, seconds to prepare yourselves. Evangelization is the representation of the New Golden Age of a New World, where Peace and the ways of Love will take all to reach rectitude and the knowledge of God's sons and daughters. All are God's sons and daughters. His Nation. I keep you in My Heart. Love, love with no limits."

      In the next installment we will treat Our Lady's words in which she urges all her children to Take Refuge in My Immaculate Heart.

November 4, 1998       volume 9, no. 216
THE AGE OF MARIAN APPARITIONS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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