She is widely regarded as the greatest living mystic. The miracles that surround her are vast — among the best documented in Church history. Not since Padre Pio, the famous Italian priest now set for canonization, has there been a thaumaturge, a “wonderworker,” of her scale. She’s a seer. She’s a healer. She’s a stigmatist. She often exudes an inexplicably beautiful fragrance. Some even claim to have seen her in levitation. I speak here of Maria Esperanza from Venezuela. We have had a number of stories about her, but never her background. It is a life that many predict will lead to her canonization. Rarely has a single personage embodied so many mystical gifts, and rarely has a personage stood as a beacon of hope and love (the very name “Esperanza” means hope) to people of all denominations. She is not only a mystic with whom the world needs to acquaint itself – and will find it fascinating to become acquainted with — but also one whose apparition site, known as Betania, which means “Bethany,” has rare Church recognition.