Vassula in India
November 16 - December 1, 1999
Mrs. Vassula Ryden of Rome, Italy has been receiving messages from the Holy Trinity and Mary our Blessed Mother since 1985. She has been commanded by God to travel all over the world to proclaim and witness these messages and has given well over 600 public prayer meetings. The messages have been printed and today there are over 37 different language editions available.
Vassula was invited to speak in India in November and December 1999 by 5 different groups in 5 different parts of the country in 18 scheduled prayer meetings. In January 1998 she had already spoken in Bombay, Goa, and Kerala. People from those 3 areas had asked that she return there to speak. There were new invitations in New Delhi and Calcutta as well.
She readily accepted these invitations even though she knew that she would have but 4 or 5 days of rest after having been in Sweden in late October where she had twice addressed the Scandinavians. She attended her eldest son Jan's (29) wedding in Sweden, which happened to be around the dates of her meetings. Then in early November, Father Eugene Nicolau, a Greek Orthodox Archimandrite, invited her to New York City to address his community for the first time. Then she had spoken a few times in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at a conference Nov. 4th to Nov. 7th. And then only 3 days after the return from India she would leave for more than one week in South America giving her testimony to 2 different countries.
I had arranged this trip over a number of months and it had not been easy. Fortunately all inviting people had access to E-Mail on the internet which is much more efficient than fax or telephone as it is never busy, keeps a record of every message and always assures that the message arrives. There was a late unexpected cancellation as well as a need to switch dates in 3 places but finally all was arranged.
I have almost never traveled to any extent with Vassula but she asked if I would like to join her on this trip. I immediately said yes as I have always been intrigued by the idea of going to India and had never even been to Asia before. I really had no idea what it would be like.
Because of the need to make last minute changes, direct flights to New Delhi on the day we wished to travel were full so Vassula finally had to leave Rome Nov. 12th, two full days earlier than originally planned. We met in Geneva and had our first problem already in normally trouble-free Switzerland on trouble-free Swissair. My Â«confirmedÂ» ticket was unexpectedly only a Â«waiting listÂ» ticket. But a few telephone calls to our travel agent straightened this out. We had to sleep one night in Bombay where our Bombay hosts had arranged the extra night's lodgings for us.
On Nov. 14th we were to fly Bombay to Delhi at 5 P.M. However at check-in we discovered that we were booked on two different 5 P.M. flights in two different terminals so we had to change our tickets and take a later plane together. We both felt that behind these minor trials Â« someone Â» was trying to make things tough for us on this trip, even to the extent of possibly making Vassula miss the important first scheduled meeting.
Delhi (Nov 15th and 16th, 1999)
The first stop was Delhi where organizers Doris and Ben Samson had arranged an initial meeting at 10 A.M. on November 15th with an important ecumenical group known as the Delhi Fellowship Society. It is comprised of members of the Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic churches. Among the 16 religious leaders present were Fr. Eletho Ecluppattu of the Syrian Orthodox Church, Collin C. Theodore of the Church of North India and His Grace Archbishop Alan De Lastic who is also President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India.
After a short introduction by Fr. "X", the members listened very attentively to Vassula's one-hour talk. She explained that one of the major themes of True Life in God given by Jesus concerns the Unity of Christians and she read and explained a few of these messages. A discussion among group members confirmed that church unity is indeed also one of their goals and so they were happy to hear it from Vassula who quoted the messages.
During the lunch that followed the conference, Archbishop De Lastic asked Vassula to come to his office in the afternoon for a cup of coffee. At that meeting, after a warm welcome, talk turned to the topic of Mother Teresa. Vassula shared with His Grace that right after her death she had prayed to her. In her prayer Vassula said that now that you are with Jesus, you know my mission. So why don't you open the door of India? I've never gone there before. Within about 1 week she received 3 separate invitations from India, which resulted in her first, speaking tour there in 1998.
That same evening Vassula spoke (in English) in the main Delhi cathedral, Sacred Heart Cathedral, just one week after the Pope had spoken there. The church was overflowing with over 700 people. Following the evening mass, Vassula witnessed about the beginnings of the messages she receives, particularly the very first contacts she had with her guardian angel Daniel when she lived in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Then she explained how Jesus himself began to communicate with her, her initial fear of Him, the purification she had to suffer, and the catechism He Himself began to give to her in and through the messages. She explained that in the True Life in God messages readers should remove the name of Vassula and replace it with their own as these messages are for everyone. The crowd was very attentive and her words were obviously well received by all.
Calcutta: (Nov. 17th and 18th)
On the morning of Nov. 17th we also visited Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity house in downtown Calcutta. Vassula met Nirmala, the new Mother Superior, who had not originally even been a Christian, and gave her a complete set of the TLIG books. Local organizer Fr. Stephan Raphael and Fr. "X" celebrated mass for us there in the chapel where Mother Teresa's tomb is also located. All present then prayed together for a moment next to her tomb.
Later that same morning Vassula and a few of the local organizers had a meeting with Archbishop Henry De Souza in his offices. After a very cordial and open welcome Vassula explained her mission to him. Both of them shared together their views on the dialogues that are being made between Churches for unity. When His Grace asked Vassula on what subject would be her talk, she answered that it would be focused on how to pray and come closer to God, and that people should reconcile with God and neighbor.
Before leaving, the small group and Archbishop De Souza prayed together, and then he blessed Vassula and the organizers.
That afternoon Vassula spoke outside on Protestant church grounds to over 5,000 people for the public meeting. This was a surprising turnout in view of the fact that this was a Monday, a workday. During the opening procession 6 women did a local dance, anointed our foreheads with oil, symbolically washed our hands, and laid a beautiful flowered wreath over our necks. After an introduction again given by Fr. "X", Vassula spoke in English, starting again with the beginnings of the True Life in God messages. Then she explained the intimacy of Jesus - His desire that we include Him in our daily tasks and thoughts. This, she explained, can be accomplished by using the "We/Us" method which consists of including Jesus in all we do: "Jesus, Let's now go to work, Jesus Let's drive the children to school, Jesus Let's do the cleaning, etc.". She explained that in this way we become intimate with Jesus and He becomes part of our life, which is what He wants.
On the morning of Nov. 18th a meeting was arranged for religious and priests to explain the more advanced messages, especially those that regarded their mission. About 130 people in all attended. As I was leaving the hall, I noticed that a sister from Mother Teresa's Sisters of Charity had been touched during the meeting and was discussing with two friends of hers. I discovered that she was overwhelmed because during the talk she saw Vassula's face transforming into Christ's Holy Face, with beard and mustache, blood on the forehead, and streaks of blood in the hair. She didn't know it but this is a phenomenon that occurs now and then while Vassula is witnessing. Many people around the world have been given the grace to see Christ on Vassula's face while she speaks.
Father Stephan Raphael, about 50, had organized everything for this visit. He has a parish of 9,000, directs a school, an old persons home, and a hospital! He put us up in the Daughter's of the Cross Convent next to the school where the 30-plus sisters took care of us very well. They even sang for us beautifully on arrival and departure. Father Stephan took us into the city of Calcutta "The City of Hope" once. We saw some of the poor shantytowns but went on to his niece's house where we had a typical Indian meal, which was excellent, and the people of his family received us very warmly.
Goa: (Nov. 19th and 20th)
On the evening of Nov. 18th we had to fly all across India from Calcutta to Bombay and stay over one night in Bombay before going on to Goa the next day, a 1 hour flight to the south of Bombay. Goa is like a state with Panjim being the main city. It is on the coast and is a beach resort kind of place. It is quite western in look and the people we met all spoke very good and clear English. The Portuguese left that area 25 years ago and we saw no influence of anything Portuguese except for the names of some of the people. I guess I'm not "with it" but I learned that Goa is very well known as a former and current "hippie" and resort place. I saw a few "sixties-looking" hippies walking around and learned that there are still "hippie beaches" with nightclubs, etc. The day we flew in we were told that 20 charter planes had also arrived that day, many from the UK, the most that had ever landed in Goa in a single day. November is the best (= coolest) month to go there and it attracts a lot of people from the west.
On the evening of Nov. 19th, Vassula spoke in Kala Academy, an open-air amphitheater-type place in Panjim, which was packed with well over 2,500 people. Please see the well-documented report written by Dr. Sielda Gomez for details of this meeting.
On Nov. 20th there was a meeting with the local organizers. Following Vassula's first visit to Goa in January 1998, True Life in God has now been well established in Goa. It is led by Mr. Francis Baretto and has a strong following. This group has organized the printing and distribution of TLIG books as well. It is evident that they have done and will continue to do excellent work for Jesus.
On the evening of November 20th Vassula spoke in Margao, Goa, India to approximately 1,500 people. Vassula began by speaking of recent trips and upcoming trips. Then she spoke of some of the basics of the messages; that TLIG is like a school and that the books should be read in order the same way that you progress through the various grade levels in school each year.
Kerala: (Nov. 21st to 29th)
Vassula had a big meeting scheduled the very next evening in faraway Cochin, Kerala on the southwest coast. However just three weeks before our departure the only scheduled plane service from Goa to Cochin had been unexpectedly cancelled so we had no choice but to take the overnight train 17 hours to get there, to arrive but 3 hours before the meeting. The train ride turned out to be rather pleasant and was much better and less tiring than the road travel in Kerala that awaited us.
Kerala is a state on India's southwest coast and is very green and tropical - quite different from the other places further north we had visited. The population is 1/3 Moslem, 1/3 Hindu, and 1/3 Christian. It is not uncommon to see large images of Jesus or Mary on billboards or even on the backs of trucks. There were no beggars in Kerala, unlike the other places in India we had passed through. The English they speak was a little hard for me to understand and they had some trouble with my "Geneva English" although they perfectly understood Vassula, who speaks very clearly. There I saw absolutely no women in western clothes - almost all were attired in sari's, the wrap-around style dress or a very few in knee-length blouses with pants. It got dark early, about 6:30 P.M., but the streets and roads were full of people until almost midnight. Then I noticed that it was only men!! No women were to be seen outside after dark! And the women never eat at the table with us - always afterwards. The children we saw were all well behaved. 99% of the men in Kerala wear long skirts, which they usually tie up around their waist to make it a knee length skirt. I was one of the few not in sandals or barefoot.
The coordinator for all the meetings in Kerala was John, a professor at the local university and his wife Salilama, who works at a bank. Their 13-year-old daughter gets up at 4 A.M. every day to finish her homework before school starts at 9 A.M.! They also have a 15-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter in a school in Trichur. We stayed in their beautiful private family home John had recently had built (in "Pala", also known as "Palai") surrounded by rice paddies and banana trees. For each meeting we traveled from this house and returned in the evening, which allowed us to have a home base and sleep and eat breakfast and dinner in the same place. This proved to be a good solution-, which was much less tiring for Vassula- and also gave her the privacy and rest she needed.
Since I had informed them in advance that I am 6' 9" tall (2m 05 cm) they had even built an extension on the bed and mattress for me! We ate the local food, which is a lot of rice (18 different types), vegetables and fresh cucumbers, carrots, and tomatoes, a lot of pineapples, mangoes, and bananas, and little meat. The main dish is chicken curry. We had a little pork and lamb and no beef. We had absolutely no alcohol served or offered to us during the entire trip nor did we even see anyone drinking alcohol (except in the hotel in Bombay). They wanted to serve us what for us was dinner-like food even in the morning but were glad to offer us our usual eggs and toast with coffee or tea. We actually ate but twice a day (our choice) due to the heat, usually skipping lunch as Vassula often spoke at 2 P.M. and doesn't like to do so on a full stomach. We both thus lost 10 pounds during the whole trip. We never got sick and avoided any potential problems by drinking only bottled liquids.
Vassula spoke publicly in 7 different places in Kerala, to a total of over 50,000 people. It was translated each time into Malayalan, the local language of Kerala but again many or most people understand/understood Vassula's English. She spoke in the 4 major well-known Christian retreat centers there and also in a few churches, including one Orthodox Church. We traveled 30 minutes to 3 hours each way each day to the meetings in air-conditioned (for us only) cars. Vassula also met privately with 2 more Archbishops, 4 bishops including one Orthodox, and one Vicar General. It is actually a bishop in the Vatican in the Unity section known as Unit 1, with whom Vassula is in contact, who encouraged her to present herself to local high authorities of all religions wherever she goes to present the TLIG messages and her mission to them. In doing so she offers to be completely frank and open as to what she is doing in any place she speaks and establishes communication with them all. I attended all her meetings with the clergy in India and all went very well.
St. George's Forane Church in Edapally (Nov. 21st)
Vassula had not slept very well on the 17-hour train ride from Goa. But as I have seen countless times over the last 10 years, her fatigue was swept away at meeting start and the Holy Spirit just took over and gave her more than the necessary energy to give another great talk. I have seen this happen so many times that I am sure that she is getting assistance from above.
Highlights of topics presented at this meeting - St. George:
Vassula told the 4,000-plus people present that she was very pleased to begin her speaking tour of Kerala at St. George's Church. She explained that this is because St. George is her Patron Saint. She once saw him in a vision as a young man with black curly hair sitting in a chair. A voice said, "This is St. George. Ask him to pray for you". Vassula answered, "St. George, can you pray for me?" Then another scene appeared with St. George on his knees with his hands raised. That was a sign to Vassula that she should ask for his prayers.
Die to your passions:
Vassula explained that we need to remove the rivals inside us, which block the Holy Spirit from performing His Divine Action. To do so we need to die to our passions, die to ourselves to give the Holy Spirit a place. Our biggest rival is our will. She quotes from the TLIG messages "Lower your voice so that you can hear My Voice, lower your head so that you can see My Head, lower yourself so that I can lift you. Be nothing." She said that Jesus doesn't impose Himself- he always asks for your permission. The Holy Spirit can transfigure your soul into a garden; the Holy Spirit can transfigure your soul into a palace where He can reign over you. The Holy Spirit can transform your soul into a heaven where God can be King and thus be glorified.
She told how Jesus forgives, how He will open His arms when you repent. From the messages: "One kind look, one mere moment's regret, and all heaven would celebrate your gesture. One smile at My Holy Face and I shall forgive and forget."
Our Blessed Mother:
In TLIG she has told us to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. Fasting can be of many forms besides limiting food intake. One example would be to fast with your lips. Vassula also said to consecrate our families and nations to both Our Blessed Lady and also to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. She told of how she had to travel a lot and when her son Fabian was younger, she feared he would not do well in school without her being home to encourage him to do his homework and assist him. So she consecrated him to Mary. When she returned after a long trip she was called in by the director of Fabian's school. She thought she would learn that he had not done well but was surprised to learn that his grades had greatly improved during her absence!
On the evening of Nov. 22nd we left Cochin for Vadiakaddu in the Tamil Nadur state in South Central India. Two important events have and are occurring in Vadiakaddu.
The resurrection of baby Moses:
In 1990 the (then) baby Moses was miraculously resurrected after being stillborn and buried for 6 months. Some 50 people were witnesses when Moses was resurrected and there is a video of the event, not available to the public. The well-known Father RenÎ¹ Laurentin of France has written about the events of this story in various French magazines.
Apparitions to Miriama:
A young mother known by the name of Miriama has received and still is receiving apparitions of Our Blessed Lady. Other people present when She appears hear her voice but don't see our Lady.
Our planned travel time from Cochin to Vadiakaddu was first 10 hours to Trichi on an overnight train followed by 3 more hours by car. But heavy rains in that part of India the preceding days lengthened the trip considerably. The train thus arrived some 2 hours late. Then we got a late start by car to Vadiakaddu. After a very long, tiring, and bumpy car ride a flooded bridge blocked us not more than 20 kms/12 miles from Vadiakaddu so we had 2 take another 2-hour detour to get there. Vassula later told me she wondered if we were perhaps not meant to visit Vadiakaddu. But we finally arrived about 4 P.M.- some 7 hours late. And we had to leave at about 6 P.M. to catch the overnight train back to Cochin to be sure to arrive in time for Vassula's next public meeting the very next day.
After our marathon 18-hour trip, we finally arrived at a simple small house and were greeted by a smiling Father Prasad, who Vassula already knew as he had spoken in Pittsburgh with her two weeks earlier. Besides the local Tamil language, he speaks fluent English and French so he translated for us. Some 100 people were also there. We met Moses, now a handsome 9-year-old boy and Miriama, a young mother all dressed in white. She is also Moses aunt as Moses is the son of her brother. The grave from which Moses was resurrected has been left uncovered and we were shown his simple casket, which was not more than a crate. A man from Madras who spoke good English told me the story of Moses resurrection.
I also learned that Miriama and many of the people who have now formed the group around her were not even Christian when our Lady first appeared to her- they were Hindi. But they have now become Catholics and pray together daily. Many of the group have also heard Our Lady speak when she appears to Miriama. However they don't see her. It is probably the first time so many people have heard Our Lady speak. After originally having appeared to Miriama more than once daily, Our Lady now appears to her two or three times per year.
We went into the small prayer room in the house where Vassula distributed religious presents for many people. It is in this room that our Lady appears. We then prayed together. We all shared a meal of chicken and rice. Finally it was time for us to leave but just before we left Vassula spoke to the whole group and told them how important it was to reconcile any problems between themselves- to stay constant in our faith and remain united. She stressed this point very much so that it was clear to all. We prayed one last time together and then departed. It took us 15 hours to reach Cochin as we missed our scheduled train. Thus we had to drive an extra 3 hours to Erode to catch another one. We were lucky to get the 7 last sleeper berths on that 3 A.M. train. We finally arrived back in Cochin but 4 hours before departing for Vassula's next big meeting before some 4,000 people. And so it goes for Vassula.
All those in Vadiakaddu follow exactly and only what Our Lady tells them to do. Father Prasad came to speak in Pittsburgh only after Our Lady told him it was OK to do so. I asked if the messages of Our Lady had been printed in books. I was told no, since Our Lady had not asked that that be done, at least not yet. Pilgrimages are not allowed to Vadiakaddu and will not be until Our Lady tells the people there that they should be.
Divine Retreat Center in Muringoor, Kerala (Nov. 24th)
We were able to get about 2 hours rest following the long trip back from Vadiakaddu. And it was another tiring 2-hour bumpy ride to Muringoor and then 2 hours back. I was wrong about the day's meeting - it was not for 4,000 people but for 7,000 people. I seriously wondered how Vassula could get "up" for this one, as I myself was dead tired. But again, Jesus didn't fail her nor those who came to hear His words- it is simply amazing!
Topics discussed by Vassula:
Vassula began where she had ended when speaking to the people in Vadiakaddu. You must have Constancy in your spiritual life. It is very necessary and important!
Jesus says: "When you pray, pray with love; when you act, act with love; when you speak, speak with love and I will hear you."
On our judgment day we will each be judged according to the love we have given. But we divide ourselves. Jesus is calling us to reconciliation. The devil divides- God unites. The devil's tactics are to first cause confusion. This leads to disputes and finally division. So if you see confusion, recognize the danger and reconcile.
Unity is for nations, families, and churches. Church division is an abomination, God says. Prayer is a weapon for unity. Our Blessed Lady says that prayer is the strongest weapon to make satan flee.
Vassula spoke at length about the Holy Spirit from whom she has directly received messages. His power is dispersed like a breeze and like fire. She reminded us of how a fish cannot live without water, how it dries out and then compared that with us, how we dry out spiritually if we are not bathed in the Holy Spirit. No man can stop these divine messages given through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is poured out, first like a rivulet, then separates into more rivulets, etc. Where this river flows those who are sick, lame, and blind will be healed. It is the Holy Spirit who brings the (spiritually) dead back to life. Vassula said that the Holy Spirit is persecuted by those who deny the Signs of our Times. Apocalypse 21 says that the Holy Spirit will revive us and turn us into a New Heaven.
Vassula ended with this prayer from Our Father. (27 Jan. '96)
"Obey My principles but with a heart and not a rock; resolve to do right for the rest of your life but with a taste of joy; resolve to put an end to stifling My Holy Spirit of Grace around you so that you too can draw your breath in Him."
St. Kaspian Church in Kollam, Kerala (Nov. 25th)
It was another 2 and a half hour bumpy ride to and from Kollam. There were some 7,000-plus people present.
Vassula was very stern in this introduction. She spoke of repentance and how important it was. She spoke of how the True Life in God messages were a Love hymn to humanity - for all nations.
Her Guardian Angel Daniel
She told of how during the first few weeks she had heavenly communications her Guardian Angel Daniel told her "God is near you and loves you. Make peace with God, reconcile with God." She described how she saw her sins with God's eyes- that was a 3-week purification she had to go through and it was terrible for her. She understood that God is offended when we ignore Him, when we reject His blessings, when we fail to give Him praise. Understand that even the family food you have is a blessing from God. Everything good comes from God.
Vassula said that the Father's voice is tender and kind. When she heard it, it was like that of someone she knew. The Father said, "you belong to Me, you come from Me, you descend from Me, you are My Seed. Come to Me, Come to Me like a child." God the Father is asking for repentance and Love. Make the Father a living image in front of you when you say the Our Father. She said that Jesus describes The Father as a King yet so Motherly, a Judge yet so Loving and Tender, the First and the Last yet so Meek.
Vassula said that God the Father is revealing mercy to the world. A question He will ask is: "Have you loved your neighbor as yourself? Have you done all you can for peace? Have you offered an enemy food and drink?"
You must give with love. When you offend a neighbor, you are offending Christ's body. You must live holy - follow the second Commandment (love thy neighbor). Fast, but fast with love. Always be generous and good to each other.
She said that the Holy Spirit must be invoked much more. We have received the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit at our baptism. Jesus says that we should pray that the 7 Gifts would be revived in us. The End of Times is right now and it is the end of an Era. Jesus will now pour out the Holy Spirit on all humanity like never before in history.
Prayer without Ceasing:
Desire - you simply thirst for God all day long. Put God first.
Final prayer and ending:
Vassula read aloud the prayer to St. Gertrude, which was then also read in the local Malayalan language by translator Fr. Kurian Mattam. From the stage, Vassula then gave Jesus' Blessing on all those present as well as on all objects present, with her cross that contains a relic of the True Cross of Jesus.
Rev. Fr. Rozarios - Vicar General in Kollam (Nov. 25th)
Vassula and I were driven to the local bishop's house in Kollam. Fr. Rozarios substituted for the local bishop who had had to leave on an urgent matter. After a warm reception, Vassula, in effect, gave a full 90-minute meeting to the 4 priests and 10 sisters present after just having finished the big public meeting! She presented the bibliography of TLIG (she has spoken in 53 countries and has given over 600 prayer meetings in 10 plus years). She also read a message from TLIG, and answered questions. The Vicar General asked that she speak to the local youth if/when she should return and said he would arrange it. Vassula then gave him St. Benedict's Cross which she said had been blessed by Jesus. Happy and full of joy he said that he was very happy to receive it. We left the small crowd rejoicing and happy and then rode the 2 and a half hours back to Palai.
Bishop Thomas Mar Thimothios Thirumeny in Kottayam (Nov. 26th)
On the morning of Nov. 26th, after a 30-minute drive from Palai, Vassula met with Orthodox Bishop Thirumeny. After a cordial welcome, she explained her mission and spoke briefly of the TLIG messages. The Bishop was obviously pleased that Vassula had come to see him.
St. Mary's Forane Jacobite Syrian Orthodox Church in Manarcad (near Kottayam)
Early in the afternoon Vassula spoke in a church not far from Bishop Thirumeny's house which he is responsible for. More than 6,000 people were present - mostly women and students as it was the afternoon of a workday (Friday).
Messages from Jesus and Mary:
Vassula began by saying that in general Jesus and Mary are calling us to be perfect, to reconcile, to have a change of heart. We need to have unceasing prayer and to make peace with God. They want us to have a change from within- we can't live in two worlds. We must live for God entirely.
Vassula as a child:
Said she was not religious and did not pray. But at the age of 10 she had a vision of Our Blessed lady. She said Our Lady took her and dressed her in a bridal gown- fixing her up for Her Son. She said that She tries to make us beautiful for Her Son. Serving Mary means that you are serving Jesus.
Message from Jesus on Our Lady:
Jesus said: "She is the Spouse of the Holy Spirit. Mary's Hearts is one with Ours (the Holy Trinity). Your heart is a fountain which makes gardens fertile. Mary's Heart is a throne". Vassula said that Jesus honors Our Blessed Lady. She is sent everywhere and speaks of love. She asks for fasting and prayer but always with love.
Messages from Our Lady:
"Give away all you possess, even to the point of offering your body for burning. However if it is done without love it serves no purpose. If you hurt your neighbor, you hurt Christ's body. On Judgment Day you will be judged according to the love you have given on earth". "Fast with your lips". Mary also asks us to join our hearts with Jesus' heart.
Bishop His Excellency Mar Joseph Pallickaparampil in Pala
In the evening of Nov. 26th, Vassula along with a small group met with Bishop Pallickaparampil in his office in the bishop's house in Palai. He mentioned that he was fully aware of all that had been written about Vassula and TLIG from the Vatican as well as from the press around the world. Both he and Vassula were very frank and open on all points and a definite confidence that grew between them as the meeting progressed became evident. The bishop offered to both she and the others present rosaries blessed by Pope Jean Paul II himself and Vassula offered him some TLIG material. Discussion then continued over a very cordial cup of coffee together in the cafeteria. Departure time seemed to come too soon and we were all sorry that we had to part.
Charis Bhavan in Athirampuzha, Kerala (Nov. 27th)
At 2 P.M. on Nov. 27th Vassula spoke before some 6,000 people in Athirampuzha.
Be like a Loud Book:
Vassula's speaking tone at the beginning of this one was almost mystical. She said that she had been told to "Be like a loud book" and that is what her mission is about.
God the Father:
She again spoke of Our Father- a major recurring theme on this trip. She said that we have forgotten the sweetness of God. He will teach us that he is sweet and gentle. She reminded everyone that we should remove the name Vassula from the messages and replace it with our own name so that we hear God the Father talking directly to us. God wants two things from us: intimacy and fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom. God wants us perfect- how? Through total abandonment. We must decide for God and be constant. God IS joy and sweetness as David says all through the Psalms.
She spoke of the importance of the Rosary. But you can't just force it on newcomers, as it will be too much. She told of how she began with her son Fabian- they recited one decade only until one day he asked, "why don't we say the whole 5 decades?"
The importance of our guardian angels was stressed. Each one of us has one or more guardian angels. You can use your guardian angel when you have a potentially difficult encounter coming up soon, Vassula said. Just pray to your guardian angel to go in advance to the guardian angels of the person you will soon meet to smooth out any potential tensions and you will find that it works. I must add that Vassula and I, as well as those who accompanied us on this trip, did just that on a number of occasions with great success.
Vassula spoke of how important charity is. She related stories of how she had given away objects that were dear to her- a Sacred Heart medal, a rosary blessed by the Pope himself, and a beautiful statue of Jesus. Each time similar, even more beautiful objects were soon given to her - making her realize that God will see to it that you will get back in abundance all that you have given and even more.
His Excellency Mar Peter Thuruthikonam in Kottayam (Nov. 27th)
Vassula and a small group then went to Bishop Thuruthikonam's House in Kottayam for a short visit. After a cordial welcome, she again presented her bibliography, her mission and gave him a copy of the handwritten TLIG messages. He returned the favor by presenting Vassula with a picture of Pope Jean-Paul II and himself taken a few years earlier.
Assisi Retreat Center in Bharananganam (Nov. 28th)
At 2 P.M. on Nov. 27th about 2,000 people had gathered at this center.
Sweetness of God:
God the Father has all the virtues. He will be your judge only if you rebel. Approach Him as a child and He'll be a Father to you. Your impurities must be burned away. Imperfections, too, are obstacles to the action of the Holy Spirit so you should die to yourself, your will, your passions, vices, and impurities. You need total detachment and to empty yourself so that the Holy Spirit can invade you. Vassula said that before all this started, she knew nothing, never went to church, and was aloof from God. But God captured her with His Sweetness.
14th Anniversary of True Life in God announced
Vassula told the crowd that Nov. 28th was the anniversary of the first True Life in God message given in 1985 and the crowd applauded loudly. Father Gratian, who had provided us spiritual guidance all during our stay in Kerala, closed the meeting with a word of thanks.
That same evening, in honor of TLIG's 14th anniversary, those supporting Vassula's visit in Kerala attended Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This was followed by a mass given by Fr. Gratian. Afterwards a cake was cut by Vassula who also read the following message she had been inspired to give to those present for this anniversary. This message originally given by Jesus to Vassula on Nov. 10th, 1995:
I am the Resurrection and I will raise up all that I have written through your hand, so that everyone may believe that True Life in God was not written by flesh but by the Spirit of Grace. Darkness and distress should not be felt by you, for I have hidden you into My Sacred Heart. My little soul, let My Majestic Voice be heard and do not be frightened by the noise there is around you. My Father's Lips brim with fury for the unrepentant sinners and His anger will be displayed by a glare of a devouring fire; why, He announced it not long ago, by your Mother, to Akita's messenger. (Sister Agnes in Japan) In the end, the earth will open its ears and heart so that salvation springs up, and I will triumph together with the Immaculate Heart of your and My Mother. Vessel of My agonies I will give you enough strength to accomplish your mission with dignity that will glorify Me. My Love for you covers you so do not fear. 'Lo tedhal' (which means "do not fear" in Jesus' language Vassula explained)... I, Jesus Christ, am with you now and always.
His Excellency Rt. Rev. M. Peter Chenaparambil in Allepy On Nov. 29th it was another nearly 2 hour drive to Allepy where Vassula had a scheduled meeting with His Excellency Rev. Chenaparambil. Vassula again spoke of her mission, how she receives the messages, showed him her bibliography and gave him one set of the TLIG books. After this cordial meeting we all had lunch together before departing for the meeting.
IMS Retreat Center in Allepy, Kerala
Approximately 20,000 people had gathered at this major retreat center to hear Vassula speak.
For this final meeting in Kerala, Vassula again spoke of God the Father, Her Guardian Angel, the fear of God, Die to yourself/Detachment, consecrating your families to Our Blessed Lady, the 2nd Pentecost, and the Holy Spirit.
Rt. Rev. Geevarghese Mar Timotheos and his Auxiliary Bishop Thomas Mar Koorilos in Thiruvalla
Following this meeting, Vassula met with His Excellency Timotheos and his Bishop Auxiliary Koorilos. Vassula gave her usual introduction to the TLIG messages and left them with one complete set of the TLIG books in Malayalan. We all had coffee and cakes together before our return to Palai.
We had just finished 6 big meetings in 6 days and had had many smaller meetings with bishops. Could Vassula do two more in the next two days? I was beginning to wonder. This was the heaviest schedule Vassula had ever had in the 10 years she has been traveling.
Bombay: (Nov. 30th-Dec. 1st)
We flew 2 hours Cochin to Bombay for the last two days and the last two meetings.
Bombay - Don Bosco School:
Organizer Priyanka Timmins perfectly and beautifully prepared the first Bombay area meeting that same evening of Nov. 30th. There were 3,500 people present outside in the Don Bosco school courtyard, two giant video screens on either side for those not directly in front of the stage, great sound and lighting, a beautiful giant hand-painting of Jesus as a backdrop, and an excellent Christian group of musicians and singers. Vassula spoke in English and no translation was necessary, which makes the flow of her talk more effective. This, the perfect evening weather wise that it was, and the professional setup all motivated Vassula to give probably the best talk of this extended trip, in spite of her accumulated fatigue.
She spoke on the same themes as in the previous talks but in addition spoke of:
She stressed the importance of the Eucharist. She told the story of how in the early days of the TLIG messages she went to her first Catholic mass with her sister and innocently didn't know that what she received in the front of the church was the Eucharist- the Body and Blood of Christ. She later told Jesus how ashamed she was but He didn't scold her. He was just happy with her for wanting to learn.
Tabor Divine Retreat Center Ashram, Kalyan, Mumbai:
The second Bombay meeting and the very last one of this tour was on Dec. 1st where Vassula spoke in Kalyan, a northern suburb of Bombay in another retreat center before some 1,500 people.
It was again a tiring three hour bumpy ride to get there on a hot day cramped in a small car with its air conditioning not functioning very well. This was the 8th consecutive big meeting in 8 days and Vassula and I were definitely tired. But incredibly, she was again given the strength to give an excellent talk, obviously aided by the woman doing the excellent and rapid translation into Hindi. I noted that this translator had recollected herself deeply in prayer before the meeting had started and the fruits of her prayers were evident in her presentation.
For my part it took me 1 week to recover from this trip. But imagine Vassula then flying Geneva to Rome the next day. Three days later she left Rome accompanied by an Orthodox bishop, flying to Venezuela where she was invited to speak by the Archbishop of Caracas and in front of a crowd of 18,000 people. Then later that week she spoke in Colombia before returning home.
It is obvious that Vassula is getting "help from above" or it simply wouldn't be humanly possible to do all she does. She receives no money for any of her talks. She only has her expenses paid. She has simply decided to give up everything else she used to do (up to 6 hours of tennis each day, painting, etc.) to travel the world to make known the TLIG messages as she has been requested to do by God. May God continue to bless her mission and give her the strength she needs. And may He help all of us associated with True Life in God so that we each do our little part to make His Love Hymn to Mankind known throughout the world.
We were extremely well treated everywhere we went in India. The people were very kind and thoughtful of our needs in each place. The TLIG messages were attentively listened to everywhere Vassula spoke and the people's high interest in them was very evident.
Vassula may return to India in 2 years time - also to places where she has not yet spoken, which have shown interest (Madras being one). May the Lord prepare the way for her return according to His wishes.
Notes for Organizers:
At the end of this tour I realized how important it is that organizers follow to the letter the document entitled "Guidelines for Organizing TLIG meetings" that is given to organizers well in advance of her arrival to speak. Vassula needs her rest while traveling, needs to get to bed early and cannot function as well if she is asked to get up early. It is difficult enough having to travel long distances, change times zones, eat inhabitual food, drink different water, and sleep in so many different places. The fact that we had stayed in one place in Kerala and were more or less allowed privacy was essential in keeping Vassula fresh for the numerous meetings and hard travel that we endured.
Vassula also needs privacy from the endless stream of people who feel the need to approach her personally- this is simply not her mission and is assuredly the most tiring aspect of her travels. The Jesus blessings given in the public meetings suffice for everyone. Repeating them individually does not make them "better" nor "more effective" and actually shows a lack of confidence in the blessings given during the public meetings.
Another absolutely critical part of Vassula's mission concerns the translators provided by local organizers. It is absolutely essential that the translator be carefully selected in advance. It needs to be someone perfectly bilingual in English (or French) and the local language. It must be a spiritual person who understands the language of God and preferably already has an in-depth knowledge of the True Life in God messages. That way he won't stumble when needing to rapidly translate some of the key elements of the TLIG messages. Then Vassula's explanation of the messages can flow along to the public at a normal rate. But the translator needs to do more than simply repeat what he hears; he needs to preach with the same intensity and tone used by Jesus through Vassula. That way the message received has the same impact on those who do not directly understand the English (or French) that Vassula uses when speaking.