Vassula's US tour (A)
27 December 1998 16:40
The report of the first phase of Vassula's US is now available on the
web site. It is being forwarded here in two parts. The second
part (of phase one) will be forwarded in a few days time.
True Life in God Tour of North America, October-November 1998
Reported by Robert Carroll, Trinitas
United Nations, New York
Vassula's 12-city speaking tour in Canada and the
United States began in a conference room at United Nations Headquarters
in New York on October 23, 1998, the day the UN was commemorating
the anniversary of the first General assembly. She concluded
this two-phase tour in San Francisco at the Herbst Theater where
the first UN Charter was signed in 1946. The Lord will no doubt
reveal the significance of this "coincidence" in due
time but the response to His messages in these two cities and
all those in between underlined the fact that there is everywhere
a craving for that "peace which the world cannot give."
Thanks to God's marvelous ways, in which St. Paul tells us the
angels in heaven stand in awe, the True Life In God messages
have penetrated the UN Headquarters.
On the day Vassula spoke to UN officials America's
attention was drawn to New York City as a momentous event unfolded:
the New York Yankees had just won the world series and the home-town
team was being honored with a "ticker-tape parade" through
lower Manhattan, past the New York Stock Exchange, on up Wall
Street and Broadway through the "Canyon of Heroes."
While the Redeemer of Mankind quietly addressed a small gathering
of His creation through His chosen messenger, Vassula, New Yorkers
went into ecstasy as their heroes acknowledged the adulation of
millions by smiling and waving through a blizzard of confetti.
Our God is truly meek and humble of heart. Almost unnoticed,
He planted His seeds and gave bread that will last.
Later I remembered that exactly 20 years ago I had
entered UN Headquarters then as a member of the US mission to
the General Assembly's autumn session. In those days when I was
so far from God - and very close to the Yankees myself - I could
never have imagined returning to this symbolic building under
Vassula had been invited by a group within the UN
that seeks to inculcate a spiritual dimension into the goals and
objectives of the United Nations. In her presentation Vassula
gave her testimony and read True Life in God messages that related
to the UN's quest for peace.
She began by saying that when her experience of this
revelation began she was totally preoccupied with worldly things,
caught up in the social life of diplomats, UN officials, and international
development experts like her husband. She never sought mystical
experiences or knew they occurred. Now her whole life, she said,
is lived for God.
Vassula explained that in times like today when apostasy
is so pervasive God intervenes to bring people back to their senses,
back to an awareness of Him, back to prayer. God's heart can
be touched so "your prayers can change the evil forces and
restore peace in the World." She described how the Holy
Trinity taught her to approach God, to get to know Him, to be
intimate with Him, and to grow in all virtues, the chief of which
is love. We must grow to love our neighbor for the love of God.
Then you plunge yourself into God and your first concern in all
things is "What does God want?" God will then lead
you, if you are sincere. He leads you into unity, into
in the family, then with neighbors, in church and then in and
among nations. But the key always is love and humility. "When
love will grow within us then there will be peace."
Vassula seemed obviously led by the Holy Spirit to
convey especially pertinent insights to these UN officials whose
hearts were open. Vassula, quoted from one of Our Blessed Mother's
messages: "Your prayers can change the world. Your
prayers can obtain God's graces for the conversion of sinners.
The more conversions, the more prayers will be made, and heard,
for more conversions. The faithful are needed more than ever.
God will remember all your sacrifices, my dear children. Your
prayers can destroy every evil empire in this world. Your prayer
can be like incense and purify the world."
God is determined to save us, Vassula said. Our Blessed
Mother is appearing everywhere to prepare us to meet Jesus. Mary
says "I have been sent by the most High to gather you
in large crowds."
Then Vassula introduced some messages from the Holy
Spirit: "Liberty and love is to be found in Me, yet
I am rejected by your generation...I am like a rich soil; come
and sow your seeds in me and your harvest will be eternal life.
I will make you rich through your poverty, strong through your
weakness, zealous and faithful through you wretchedness...
Where you lack, I fill... come and possess
Vassula described how God brought her through the
process of daily abandonment to His divine will. The Lord wants
our whole heart to be able to transfigure us and use all we do
for His glory and the world's salvation. "Work for
unity; work for My interests. Prove yourselves to Me by breaking
My bread together. Unify the dates of Easter...Return to
Me and you will live forever."
An official from one of the permanent UN observer
missions thanked Vassula saying, "This was a beautiful contribution
to the birthday of the UN which we celebrate today. I have felt
for a long time that we in this building must address more the
question of evil and sin. I think that over the past couple of
years we can see that the Holy Spirit is working.
We see in official deliberation talk about values, ethics. We
have neglected this for so long." Now, more than ever, he
said, the Holy Spirit is calling our attention to the struggle
between good and evil. Vassula said "The Holy Spirit is
Hope" and the official responded, "I hope that
this organization can become one of the instruments of the Holy
The official who made Vassula's visit possible said
in conclusion: "We have received a gift today through Vassula
and it will please her to know we will be passing it on."
Earlier, this person had shown us a poster on her office wall.
It depicts a gigantic Jesus facing the famous rectangular facade
of the UN Secretariat Building on the East River. He is knocking
at a window seeking humbly to be let in. After Vassula's visit
had been arranged, this official was stunned to realize, as she
counted the rows of windows, that her office window was the precise
place where the knuckle of Jesus' forefinger was tapping.
The following day, October 24, Vassula's public presentation
in New York took place in the same spacious ballroom of the hotel
where she spoke in November 1996. In spite of a frenzy of efforts
by a few who circulated false rumors to discourage attendance,
there were about 1200 people present.
The program opened with beautiful music led by Al
Barbarino. Fr. Brian Barr of our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Church followed. Vassula was then introduced by Niels Christian
Hvidt, a young Danish theologian who accompanied her from Rome
where he is working on his doctorate at the Gregorian University.
[It was Niels Christian, or "Nicky" who was shown on
the cover of Trinitas newsletter #15 presenting the Holy
Father with the latest True Life in God volume.]
Niels spoke of the impact that True Life in God
has had on his spiritual life, leading him to an intimacy
with God for which he had always longed. The messages led to
his eventual conversion to Catholicism in 1990. The messages
have also given strong direction to his theological studies and
have enabled him to write a master's thesis on mystical theology.
This thesis earned him a prestigious royal gold medal, personally
awarded to him by the Queen of Denmark. Most importantly, he
said, these powerful messages gave him all the strength and all
the nourishment he needed to persevere in his lonely faith journey
in Denmark where Danish Catholics are a rare minority.
Vassula was greeted with a standing ovation even
before she spoke. The audience listened intently. A young girl,
who said she was at the beginning of a spiritual awakening, was
fascinated by the rapt attentiveness of the audience. She ordered
the videotape since she missed some of the talk because she was
so captivated by people's faces. Many of them wept with joy.
The evening was an especially long one. Holy Mass,
concelebrated by half a dozen priests, began just before midnight.
Vassula and priests then prayed over each individual person.
Those of us who stayed to pack things up and get something to
eat did not get back to the retreat house until about 3:00 A.M.
Since the curfew had been 10 P.M. we made arrangements for Bernard
Tansey of Ireland to leave a window open for us to climb in.
Since Bernard had an early flight back to London, he left right
after Mass. We were grateful that Daylight Savings Time, seemingly
a diabolic innovation whose real purpose might have been to suggest
that man, not God, controls time, ended that night so we had an
extra hour to sleep. Unfortunately, no one remembered to point
this out to Bernard who arrived groggily at JFK International
three hours before his 9:00 A.M. flight. Fortunately, the airport
was too far away for Bernard to return to dump cold water on those
of us who slept a few more hours. No doubt the thought crossed
After leaving New York, we heard of special experiences
and reported healings that had occurred. One woman wrote that
she had seen blood trickling from Vassula's eyes and her face
transformed into the image of Jesus in His Passion. Another person
recounted the same experience. Jesus refers to this phenomenon
in NB 86:5, 6 where He says: "You are well aware
of the depths of My wounds and I have let you know how much I
suffer by trickling from your eyes tears of blood."
(On October 19, 1996 this had been witnessed by some while
Vassula was speaking in Dublin, Ireland.)
One woman traveled several hundred miles to hear
about the messages. She wanted to introduce her parents to True
Life in God and was disappointed that only her mother
would accompany her (very reluctantly at that), particularly since
her mother suffered chronic pain in her knee joints and was scheduled
for surgical replacement of them. The daughter felt her mother
had no idea what the evening was about and so she was surprised
when her mother came forward with her to be prayed over in the
healing service. Vassula did pray over her crippled mother who,
the next day was able to walk without pain for the first time
in some years. Her recovery has persisted these past two months.
A medical inquiry is being made to confirm whether the Lord has
granted a miraculous healing.
Another report came from a man who fell two years
ago and severed muscles in his leg. The injury had left a large
lump on his left thigh. He had been walking with a pronounced
limp since then. He was prayed over and later that night, "I
awoke at 3:00 A.M. While I was praying the rosary to get back
to sleep, a severe pain gripped my left thigh. When the pain subsided
I discovered that the large lump had disappeared. The swelling
and stiffness also disappeared. My walking is restored to normal."
He believes he received a healing from God as a result of attending
the 'Evening with Vassula Ryden'.
Vassula had stayed in the home of Thecla Johnides,
a Greek Orthodox, who had arranged this and several previous conferences
for Vassula. When she returned from taking Vassula to LaGuardia
Airport she saw a rainbow over her house and the houses of several
True Life in God volunteers who live in the same neighborhood.
Chicago, Sunday October 25:
Fr. "X" Holup opened the presentation by leading
us in heartfelt prayer to the three Divine Persons of the Holy
Trinity. Father Holup is the pastor of the specially blessed
Assumption Church in Ashkum, Illinois where he hosted Vassula
in August, 1997. Father Edward O'connor, C.S.C. of Notre Dame
University then spoke briefly. His study of the Vatican's position
on Vassula's messages (Vassula and the CDF, Trinitas, 1998)
has been enthusiastically received by readers. He came to
Chicago a day or so after returning from Naju, Korea. Suffering
excruciating back spasms, he thought he would have to speak sitting
down. Just before the presentation, however, Vassula prayed over
him and the pain subsided enough for him to be able to stand to
give his talk.
Father O'Connor spoke about New Testament prophecy,
relating it to comments made about Vassula's writings, which he
said do not conflict in any way with church teaching. He reiterated
his support of the messages and assured listeners that Vassula
may freely present the messages. He assured his audience that
faithful Catholics are allowed to read her writings, attend her
lectures and even to promote them.
After Vassula's talk, little Maria Petropoulis, a
Greek orthodox "living saint" from Milwaukee who had
seen Jesus appear above Vassula during her November 1996 talk
in Minneapolis [see Newsletter #12 of February 1997], told us
that this time she saw the Blessed Mother in place of Vassula's
face. Maria has learned some English since we last spoke: "I
love you, Vassula," she said and made the orthodox sign of
the cross several times. This time she and the family members
who came with her saw a bright light surrounding the Holy shroud
picture of Jesus in front of the podium.
Before leaving for Minneapolis the next morning,
Fr. Victor of the Eastern Catholic Rite Church of Our Lady of
Lebanon concelebrated Mass with Father O'Connor.
Minneapolis/St. Paul, October 26
There was another small but grateful and attentive
gathering at the Hill-Murray High school in St. Paul operated
by the Benedictine monastery. John Campbell cohosted Vassula
with Cecile Muehlbaur who previously hosted Vassula two years
ago. John is a Third order Benedictine who is very effective
in raising the awareness of the special significance these messages
have for the Benedictine Order. In True Life in God Jesus
alludes to St. Gertrude the Great, Benedictine nun and doctor
of the Church, who experienced the same spirituality of intimacy
with Jesus as Vassula experiences.
In the messages Jesus explains how St. Gertrude was
invited to revere His Sacred Heart and that when St. John the
Evangelist appeared to her and showed her "the
value of the Treasures hidden in My Heart, her eyes rained
tears of Joy when she saw those divine Treasures."
(NB 87:16-17; see also Newsletter #13 of May 1997).
John introduced several Benedictine monks and sisters to
the True Life in God messages and they experienced thereby a measure
of the joy their sister Heaven, St. Gertrude experienced. John
Campbell's evangelization of the messages in this way had led
to our being lodged at the Benedictine Monastery and to Vassula's
talk taking place in their school.
John's experience of so many Benedictines being open
to the messages has parallels in other parts of the U.S. and in
Europe. In France, for example, last year a group of Benedictine
nuns appealed for Vassula to speak to them when they heard she
would be speaking elsewhere in France last year.
In introducing Vassula this evening, Nicky mentioned
that his current thesis deals with three important prophetic voices
St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Margaret Mary Alocoque of France, and
Vassula. He noted several parallels among them, one being the
fact that St. Bridget moved to Rome and lived out her life there,
trying to accomplish the mission the Lord had given her to found
a new religious order. Vassula moved to Rome in September when
her husband took up new responsibilities there.
This brings to mind another connection: the first
time Vassula spoke in Stockholm, Sweden it was in the Catholic
Cathedral. As she spoke, I noted that behind her left shoulder
was a stained glass window depicting St. Bridget with pen in hand,
ready to take dictation. During her life Bridget also received
visions and messages from Jesus and Our Blessed Mother. St. Bridget
also had an impact on the Pope through things that were divinely
revealed to her concerning the Holy Father which the Holy Father
knew only Heaven could know. In notebook 89 (p.29-34), Vassula
is given an interior vision of the Holy Father at prayer before
dawn and she takes down as in dictation the words she hears him
utter, praying for his persecutors and for the Mother of God to
continue to intercede for him and all God's children as She interceded
to save his life from the assassination attempt on the Feast Of
Our Lady of Fatima.
Vassula does not know if the words she received in
that message were the Pope's actual words - nor would any
other human being - but the Holy Father, who has a copy of
that message, would know.
One of Nicky's major themes in his thesis is the
tendency of theologians and clergy to discount the importance
of prophecy today. "To suggest that God has no more to say
is disrespectful, perhaps even blasphemous," he believes.
The tradition of Christian prophecy has always been vital and
it remains so in our times. In the Old Testament almost all the
prophets were men. Since the New Testament they have been mostly
women. One thing that has not changed: prophets have never been
very popular. Today more than ever they seem to be persecuted
by theologians "who disparage prophecy as though it represented
competition with their authority."
Nicky also points out that the Protestant "Reformation"
exacerbated suspicion about prophecy as Church authorities became
wary of anything outside the Bible or Tradition. There was the
prevalent rationale that prophetic revelation ended with the passing
of the Apostolic Age, at the death of St. John the Evangelist.
Nicky points out that this view was fostered by a mistranslation
of the Latin term "completare," which indicated not
that prophecy was finished or ended but that Jesus was the fulfillment,
the completeness of revealed truth.
After Nicky's introduction, Vassula began with a
prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help us grow in love, to love
God and obtain His kingdom; "to revive us into Your purity,
to pass on to us the piety of Your Saints so that nothing impure
will be able to find its way in us."
Vassula Said True Life in God is like a school.
"I have been brought up and educated in that school. All
that I know and all you will hear tonight comes from the direct
dictation by God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
I have had no catechism and no time since this mission began
even to open a book of theology."
God, she pointed out, leads us to pray, then He draws
us to higher levels of prayer and to the contemplative life.
"And the contemplative life is open to all who are willing
and have decided wholeheartedly for God, no matter what their
station in life might be. He lifts us up to Him to live a True
Life in Him."
"In the messages He shares with us His pain
over the apostasy of today which is generalized as never before.
This age has rejected Divine Truth. In our peril, God intervenes
by giving such charisms as He has to Vassula, "through no
merits of my own since I had none, but for the good of the Church.
Although it has benefited me, it is not just for me."
God teaches, trains, and corrects "but always
with tenderness, because He is the source of love. I feel the
love of Jesus so great, " Vassula says, "that I do not
even consider that I am being reprimanded" or that He was
being severe with her as some have thought when they read the
messages but don't hear His gentle voice as Vassula does.
The signs of the End of Times are with us: the Apostasy
and the Spirit of Rebellion. "God is intervening to warn
and take care of His children. God always lifts the soul, never
crushes it; so the message of True life in God is hope
because His promise for these times is the tremendous outpouring
of His Holy Spirit. "He never violates our liberty and He
says: "Nor do I come to condemn you, I come
to you out of My Mercy; to give you freely the fullest knowledge
of My Will ...I come not to add new things into that which has
been given you already (Scripture and Tradition) but I come to
place My Kingdom in the middle of your hearts."
Vassula added that even if a heart is stone cold, God will
ignite it and bring it back to spiritual life again. To do this
He wants us to remain small.
When Vassula objected that she was a "nothing"
so how could she "revive" His Church? He told her He
wanted a nothing "so that I can show ... My
authority". When He told Vassula to remain
a "nothing" she felt like He was saying "Don't
you dare become 'something." "Die to yourself
so that My Holy Spirit can breathe in you". Trust
Him, she said, that He knows what is best for you. Jesus complains
now and then, Vassula said, that "some of them do not
trust Me enough". "He will only give what your
soul can take, no more; He will never crush you with a mission,
but always gives the graces you need in the right proportion."
>From all the treasures of His Sacred Heart which
He is offering us throughout the messages, "the greatest
and most elevated divine wealth is the possession of God Himself.
This comes through giving ourselves as slaves to His love. Then
He can 'sell' us to the whole world as slaves, as He was sold.
When the soul will be overflowing with love, it will become as
thirsty as God for Souls. "When I draw you into the
nuptial chamber of My Heart, your soul will voluntarily thrust
herself into the world to draw all sinners to conversion and to
"In order to love, one must serve with love.
In serving with love, one arrives at the perfection of love."
God did not ask Vassula to go out and serve Him until after three
years of purification and formation taught her to serve Him with
love. When He did send her out, she said, "He never failed
me. I was never afraid; He never leaves us alone."
To conclude, Vassula prayed to the Holy Trinity to
spiritually heal those present. Three priests from the audience
came up; each offered beautiful spontaneous prayers for healing
and together they gave the group their blessing, which was the
perfect end to a very blessed evening.
The next morning was free so there was time for sharing
among those who stayed overnight at the convent. Sister Lucy Astuto,
who sang beautifully for the presentation the night before and
would do so again in St. Louis in the next phase, told the story
of Jesus' gift to her in Omaha when she organized the 1993 Marian
conference there. She had invited Vassula and was hit with a
flurry of protests. All the criticism and cajoling her to cancel
Vassula's talk had been wearisome and Sr. Lucy had a heavy heart
as she escorted Vassula to her hotel room, helping her with her
luggage. As she put down the suitcase and started to leave, she
saw Jesus standing in Vassular's place. His arms were open and
His head tilted. She knew He was inviting her to fall in His arms
for comfort. She went to Him and experienced "the most perfect,
gentle embrace" she had ever felt. It was as though He would
not hold her one moment longer than she would have wanted but
let her know that He was grateful for receiving Him, for going
through all the suffering for His sake and for the sake of His
Vassula had not known of Sr. Lucy's experience before
but said: "He is so sensitive, He gets so touched. He wanted
to show His gratitude by appearing to her in my place. Then she
added with a chuckle, "I wonder where I was then. Where
did He put me? In the corner some place?"
Vassula also shared with us some of the scientific
tests that have been performed on her during dictation, such as
the time the French neurologist, Dr. Philippe Loron of Paris was
allowed to be present and ended up almost arm wrestling with the
Lord. Vassula said that as Dr. Loron tried to stop her arm while
Jesus was guiding it in dictation she felt such power in it that
she was sure she could have bent a steel bar with ease. Dr. Loron
meanwhile felt such heat in his arm, forehead and chest that he
thought he must be bright red and sweating profusely, but he was
not. Some time later at a Mass, he was serving as a eucharistic
minister giving out Communion, he began to feel the same kind
of warmth in his arm, forehead and chest as if Jesus were allowing
Himself to be recognized once more "in the breaking of the
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