The New Lourdes: Betania - Refuge of Reconciliation
Our Lady Manifests Herself to Many
One of the more extraordinary phenomena at Betania occurred again on the
feast of the Annunciation, this time in 1984. Our Lady had foretold this
would happen when she appeared to Maria Esperanza de Bianchini on November 27th, 1978:
year 1983 you will be able to start with great clearness of labor of the
land movement, and then in 1984 the Great Event of my Presence in the
Place, and there…conversions, healings of body and soul, priestly and
religious vocations, unity in the marriages, regenerated families in the
faith, charisma of the Holy Spirit performing in all that come near with
humility. Those who (are) repentant and crying (over) their misdeeds turn
their eyes to the Grotto of my Apparition asking for forgiveness, will
receive an abundance of graces; all will be well received, their souls will
become pure and clean as the day they were purified by the saintly baptism,
all will resurrect with my Son. The 25th of March of that year (1984), a
very special grace I will give you…and on the 13th of May all those present
there, some will feel me, others will see me, that Great Day is arriving."
True to her words, six years later at approximately the great hour of
mercy (3 pm) the crowd which had gathered heard a child among them cry out
that the Blessed Mother was visible at the top of the spring's grotto.
Everyone raced to the foot of the grotto in awe as they gazed upon the
beautiful vision of Our Lady. She appeared and disappeared seven times
that afternoon. Some could see her as far away as 500 feet. Her image,
like a dense mist, was clear and perfect amidst the background of the dark
verdant foliage. One hundred and fifty people saw her that day and many
saw her as Our Lady of Lourdes; some as Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal,
others as Our Lady of Guadalupe, a few as Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and a
smattering saw her as the Mother of Sorrows, among other visages. During
the last apparition, which lasted a half hour in the early evening she
appeared with the Christ in her right arm Who blessed all in attendance.
Since that time, countless pilgrims have testified to seeing her image in
the trees, near the Tarma river which flows at the entrance to the farm,
coming out of the flower-covered grotto, or in the sky. Others claim she
has walked among them, touching them in a mystical way, while others point
to miraculous pictures revealing the Blessed Mother's image in either a
white smoke or mist or a "holographic" likeness that appears on the photo.
Many, many have experienced the beautiful smell of roses coming from the
grotto, others hear the invisible choir of angels singing, others inhale
the sweet perfume of incense, while others have seen heavenly lights and
colors as well as the cool breezes and pulsating of the sun. All have no
explanation for these supernatural phenomena except that they are Heaven-sent.
Throughout history events such as these have a way of manifesting God's hand in everything
and proving they are from Him. That was evident in Betania as we shall see
in the fifth installment when we cover Approval of the Apparitions.