Seer From Church-Approved Site Claims Christ Is Preparing For A Manifestation
By Michael H. Brown
In the revised version of a book based on her visions, seer Maria Esperanza Bianchini of Caracas, Venezuela, claims that Jesus is on the verge of a major appearance or manifestation. The assertion is made in The Bridge To Heaven, a collection of interviews originally published in 1993 and set for re-release this week with updated interviews and information.
A manifestation or the Final Coming? We are leaving this for your own determination and make this distinction because there have been a myriad of similar prophecies since the first century -- when indeed even Christ's disciples expected Him to return within their lifetimes. Similar expectations have been held since, especially during a major chastisement during the Middle Ages, when apocalyptic prophecies reached a special fervor as Europe and Asia suffered through tremendous upheavals in weather and bubonic plague. Speculation has surged in the years following 1981 -- when word came of seers granted secrets by the Blessed Virgin at Medjugorje in Bosnia-Hercegovina, secrets that have not yet been revealed but that some believe have apocalyptic elements.
It was five years before Medjugorje -- in 1976 -- that apparitions began at a smaller spot called Betania (for "Bethany") near Caracas in Venezuela. Those apparitions were followed in 1984 by a major appearance of the Blessed Mother that was witnessed not only by Esperanza (the main seer at Betania) but also at least 490 who wrote declarations for the local bishop, Most Reverend Pio Bello Ricardo, a trained psychologist who personally interviewed the witnesses, consulted the Vatican, and formally declared the apparitions authentic in 1987.
The bishop, who has himself testified to witnessing other forms of phenomena around Esperanza, took the additional extraordinary measure of formally declaring Betania to be "sacred ground."
The site thus became one of only a handful of Church-approved apparitions during the 20th century and for that reason many take the prophecies of Esperanza, whose phenomena have been documented by scientists, into special consideration. Those phenomena include stigmata, visions, apparitions, "reading" souls, healing, bilocation, and other gifts similar to those of Pio, whom Esperanza knew when she was a young woman living in Italy with husband Geo, a native of that country.
In the original version of The Bridge to Heaven, Esperanza had said, "Jesus is coming. His coming is near. Perhaps I will not live to see this, but the Lord is coming. Little time will pass. It will be in a way never before imagined by man, because the Light of His New Rising will be evident to everyone. Jesus will be felt very clearly in our hearts and you will see Him just as on that great day of His resurrection into Heaven."
While, as we have often emphasized, Scripture itself warns that no prophecy (save that of Jesus) is perfect [1 Corinthians 13:8], and while predictions are often conditional, Esperanza has had some impressive "hits" -- including predictions related to September 11. When asked during interviews last autumn and winter for the new book if she believes He is really coming and if so how it might be, Esperanza, who often sees things in ethereal symbolism, elaborated on what seems at the least like a major manifestation. We offer it for your own interpretation.
"It will be very different than what people think," she told writer Michael H. Brown. "Heís going to come in silence. People will realize He is among us little by little. Iím seeing Him right now. He has His mantle covering His hair. He has a robe like white and black. His first presentation will be like this, because in those days an innocent person whom He loves a lot will die, an innocent person. This will shock the world, will move the world. Many people will believe. He will disappear for some days and appear again.
"And when He disappears, people will go back again to the mess, to the disordered things. He will bilocate, He will multiply Himself, to assist everyone, in their homes, because this will be a definite thing. He will come and knock on every door. And then people will realize it is truly Him. He will let Himself be seen for a little while and then will disappear until God decrees what has to be done. And then people will understand what is happening and begin preparing themselves. There is not much time for that. I will say from ten to twenty years. Everything is already in place, in motion. I see palm trees, and they will say again, 'Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.' We are being prepared right now. I know what I am saying sounds crazy, but I have to say what I have to say. Sometimes I am like St. Thomas, who has to put his finger in His side."
The distinction is made between a "manifestation" and the actual, formal Second Coming because the Church teaches that the Second or at least Final Coming of Christ will be followed by the end of the world. When asked: "Are you speaking of visions, or maybe dreams? That Christ will return in visions? We look at Matthew 24 and Luke 21 and it says when He comes again it will be in glory on a cloud. So youíre speaking of a manifestation Ė not the Second Coming?" Maria replied:
"The same way He resurrected, that is how God is going to appear to you, to me, in that way, the same way as He resurrected, as an apparition. Thatís the way He is going to appear, to you, to me, to everyone in that way. He is going to start appearing. He already is among us but is not letting us see Him. With our brains, in this physical reality, we can only see what God wants us to see, but it only needs a little touch from God to open another little door in our brains to see Jesus whenever He wants us to see Him. Thatís why I have been saying to be ready, because things are starting to happen.
"The Catechism says the Second Coming is followed by the end of the world. How do you respond to that?" she was asked, at which point her husband Geo, who often speaks for her because an illness prevents her answering questions in depth, said:
"It is an interpretation. Read Psalm 71. When He comes in glory is the Final Judgment, it is the end of this world. If He comes now, the ones who will receive Him will be the Pope and all the faithful souls in the world, no one else, because they are expecting Him and waiting for Him. We are also waiting..."
Resources: The Bridge to Heaven, The Day Will Come, The Final Hour, Betania Video: Land of Grace]
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