A chronological background of the visionary Maria Bianchini Esperanza's life is imperative to
realize why this humble, but vibrant lady was chosen to present God's
message to the world in these latter days of the twentieth century. Born
November 22, 1928 in the border city of Barrancas in the far southeastern
corner of the State or Province of Managas, Venezuela (just northeast of
the world's highest waterfalls - the famous Angel Falls), the traditional
Catholic values were instilled upon Maria and her four brothers. At two
years old her father died and the family moved to Cuidad Bolivar on
Venezuela's Orinoco River.
From an early age Maria Esperanza, whose maiden name means "hope" in
Spanish, realized she had been chosen for a very special mission. When she
was five she experienced her first mystical encounter. Bidding adieu as
her mother was embarking on a journey, Maria witnessed the Little Flower of
Jesus, Saint Therese who surfaced from the Orinoco River and tossed her a
rose which miraculously materialized in Maria's hand.
Our Blessed Mother first appeared to Maria seven years later while Maria
lay ill with bronchial pneumonia in Caracas where her family had moved when
she was ten. At 14, Maria encountered heart problems and all expected she
would not live. Even at this age, her faith sustained her as she asked
Jesus to give her a happy death or completely hear her if it was the
Father's Will. Immediately the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared to her,
assuring her she would be healed instantly. This miraculous cure
astonished her physicians.
It's interesting to note here that this little heart, which was so in love
with Jesus, His Blessed Mother and the saints, was not only healed but has
become a special source of grace and miraculous phenomena - for fifteen
times or more an actual rose has emerged from Maria's heart through her
chest and entwined around her, emitting a fragrance that is not of this
earth. The rose petals have been documented to have produced cures.
The rose proved to be pivotal in her life when St. Therese again appeared
to Maria two days after the Little Flower's feast day on October 3, 1954.
This time Maria, then 26, had been in deep prayer hopeful of discernment as
to her calling in life, having entered the convent of the Franciscan
Sisters of Maid in Los Andes in the western section of Venezuela. Again,
the little saint tossed her a rose, which materialized before Maria. As
she reached out to clutch it, one of the thorns caught her hand and bled a
little. This was a sign to Maria not only that she was to become wife and
mother rather than a religious, but also would suffer much as a victim soul
and had also been chosen for the stigmata, which she undergoes every Good
After leaving the convent, Maria was instructed to go to Rome where she
would receive the blessings of Pope Pius XII. On the feast of Our Lady of
the Rosary (October 7th, 1954) Our Lady appeared with the message: "Besides
the daily communion, fasting, prayer, and penance, you must remain in great
seclusion, because I will come back on the twelfth of October (feast of Our
Lady of Pilar in Zaragoza) to prepare your heart as spiritual mother of
souls, which will remain sealed forever as such. Besides you will be
mother of seven children: six roses and one bud."
Shortly after that, she moved to Rome in 1955. There in front of the
Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Rome which had been built by Saint
John Bosco, a prophecy was fulfilled which St. John Bosco himself had
related to Maria four years earlier in a vision. The message he conveyed
to her was that on the feast of All Saints she would meet her husband-to-be
and he would have a sword. It was here she met her fiancÚ Geo Bianchini
Giani, who had been employed in the Vatican and was, at the time of their
rendezvous, a member of the President of the Republic's Guard who, as was
their custom, carried swords. Since that time Geo has been her strongest
ally through all of the suffering and blessings. As a further cementing of
their love and total commitment to the Roman Catholic Church they were
privileged to be wed inside St. Peter's Basilica on the feast of the
Immaculate Conception in 1956 in the very Chapel of the same name where
Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception one hundred
and two years earlier. Fittingly, it was the very first nuptial mass to be
said in the chapel!
Their marriage has been most fruitful, producing one son Giovanni (one
bud), and six daughters (six roses) - Maria Immaculada, Maria Esperanza,
Maria Gracia, Maria Coromoto, Maria Auxiliadora, and Maria del Carmen. All
are now married providing Maria and Geo many, many grandchildren and many
fruits of joy!
Under the musical direction of Maria's daughter Maria Auxiliadora, an
accomplished musician, the families have gathered friends to form a choir
that numbers close to 40 as part of Foundation Betania so that they could
present concerts in Venezuela and around the world bringing the message of
Love, Peace and Reconciliation in song to all.
In the next installment we shall examine how the mission began.