What Is Betania Xlll?
Venezuelan mystic and visionary, Maria Esperanza (1928-2004), Servant of God, had many gifts including the stigmata, healing, bilocation and levitation. The cause for her canonization was opened 12 years ago in New Jersey. She spent many summers on Long Beach Island, NJ and died there. She also loved Long Island and visited often. Many of us were privileged to meet her in 1993, at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Brookville. It was a breathtakingly beautiful and immensely profound experience to meet Maria Esperanza and her family.
The word “Betania” means Bethany or Refuge. Maria Esperanza started the very first Betania (Betania I) in Venezuela as a place for people to come for spiritual and physical refuge, and to pray — especially the Rosary at Our Lady’s request. Maria Esperanza’s desire and prayer was to establish these refuges all around the world. Today there are, indeed, 21 Betanias around the world and counting, including in Spain, Germany, Peru, Canada, and three in New Jersey and Florida and our own Betania Xlll — the only New York based Betania, right here at St. Francis of Assisi in Greenlawn.
In 2010, a group of six of us led by Fino Giordano (1936-2021) made a pilgrimage to Betania, Venezuela, which changed our lives forever. Maria’s six daughters and son led the retreat. They are all visionaries themselves, as Our Lady appeared many times in Betania in the 1980s. Fino was asked on this pilgrimage if he would start a Betania and his “yes” was the beginning of Betania Xlll here on Long Island. Fr. Peter very graciously consented for St. Francis to become headquarters for Betania Xlll.
Fino suggested we meet in our homes weekly for community rosary on Thursday evenings, and we still meet at 8pm every Thursday. If necessary, due to pandemic conditions we sometimes do a “Zoom-only” meeting. Periodically we are very blessed to have a Betania Mass, most recently for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7, 2021. It was a very special Mass concelebrated by the late Rev. Fr. Paul Driscoll (1938-2022), and Rev. Fr. Joseph Habila, who also blesses us and joins us most weeks for our weekly meetings and rosary. Fr. Driscoll’s homily reflected this special feast day and reminded us of several Marian apparitions, citing Our Lady’s request to pray, pray, pray, especially the rosary every day. Father detailed how the rosary is our greatest weapon in these challenging times, and how the rosary has even stopped wars.
After Mass, our special guest speaker, Mr. Bob Walsh, Lay Evangelist, who has many healing gifts, spoke to us about the power of prayer. He spoke of many instances of healing and miracles and answered prayer as well as some of the common “roadblocks” to healing. Many people came forward to be prayed over by Bob in front of Jesus in the Tabernacle. One couple later testified to being healed from infertility; they had conceived a child soon after this night, having struggled for many years with infertility. Bob Walsh has written many books available on Amazon. We hope to have him back again in the future.
Our next Betania Mass is scheduled for the feast of the Annunciation, March 25. This is a special feast for Betania, as Our Lady appeared in Betania on this day many times through the years. On one occasion, 150 people present witnessed the apparition. Please join us for this special Mass. All are welcome. Details to follow in the bulletin. Please also join us for our weekly prayer meetings on Thursday evenings at 8pm. We have had so many blessings and miracles that Fino dubbed us, “Our Mother Queen of Peace Betania Xlll Miracle Rosary Prayer Group.” May God Bless you.
For more information and for prayer meeting locations:
Tom and Anne
631 339 2217 Cell
631 651 2619 Home
631 988 7255 Cell
With words of wisdom and compassion, The Pastor’s Desk archives the many Messages of the month of June 2022 starting with the most recent by our very own Fr. Peter.
WE’RE BAA-ACK! After a two-year hiatus due to the Covid -19 pandemic, the St. Anthony’s Family Feast & Festival will return this June to celebrate its 29th Anniversary!