“The priest makes the message joyful with his entire person,”* were Pope Francis’ words during his homily during the celebration of the Holy Chrism Mass at the beginning of the Easter Triduum, in St. Peter’s Basilica on Holy Thursday, April 13, 2017. With the same joy, members of the Betania Foundation and the Betania Choir celebrated the day of the priesthood and the institution of the Eucharist in the Sanctuary of Betania together with the rector of the shrine, Father Jhonfer Camacho, who recalled, during his homily, that that day the whole world was filled with light, hope and trust in the God of life and love, who came to open his arms to fill us with his infinite mercy. For the Bianchini family and the members of the Betania Foundation this is a day of great importance, since the love of the Servant of God Maria Esperanza Bianchini for priests and the Eucharist was extraordinary. “The Eucharist is our food. The Eucharist is our life. The Eucharist is our feeling for life at the service of those who need us”**, she used to say.
After a short break they met in the oratory of the sugar mill at Finca Betania to share the Passover Meal.
On Good Friday, at 10:30 a.m. they met in the chapel of the sanctuary to accompany the Sisters of the Congregation Mother of the Savior, High and Eternal Priest in order to pray the Stations of the Cross, which took place in the rain, around the chapel. At 3:00 p.m., after the meditation of the Seven Words – accompanied by the participation of the Betania Choir – the Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord was commemorated with Father Camacho, the Sisters and a significant number of pilgrims. Afterwards, everyone worshiped the Holy Cross.
In the evening, the foundation met again in the oratory of the sugar mill with the intention of accompanying the Lord intimately during the Easter Vigil. The moment was perfect for Mrs. Maria Gracia Bianchini Gebran and Mrs. Maria Coromoto Bianchini Marrero to share beautiful reflections on the Lord’s Resurrection, and to invite everyone to pray the novena to the Divine Mercy and the 100 Requiem.
On Holy Saturday, they celebrated the night considered the happiest night for all Christians, for it is the night in which Christ rose from the dead. Members of the Betania Foundation and the Betania Choir accompanied Father Jesus Alexander Godoy in Saint Anne Church, in Caracas to live the rite of the Lord’s Resurrection, with the blessing of the fire and water, and the celebration of Holy Mass. The choir participated with solemn hymns to give glory to the Lord in his day.
*Pope Francis. (2017). Homily 04-13-2017. Holy See. Taken from: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/homilies/2017/documents/papa-francesco_20170413_omelia-crisma.html
**María Esperanza de Bianchini. (1994). Historical overview of the trips of Mrs. María Esperanza. Betania Foundation. Taken from: http://mariaesperanza.org/html/espanol/discursos_cleveland_1994_en.html