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The Holy Land Trip, Continued
2005-10-28

After we left Nazareth, we were on our way to Jerusalem. We checked in at the Notre Dame Monastery and Guest House across from the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. We had been invited by Bishop Riah to another graduation, this time at the St. George School in Jerusalem. He had special seats reserved for us in the front rows. It was a beautiful day and the Arabic music that was playing was quite moving.

When Bishop Riah began addressing the distinguished guests who were there, he also addressed and welcomed Vassula as "Sister Vassula." There were many representatives from the different Christian denominations as well as Moslems since both Christian and Moslem students attend the school.

Archbishop Riah and Vassula at the graduation in Jerusalem
Archbishop Riah and Vassula at the graduation in Jerusalem

We then ended our day with our meeting with Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottsein, the Director of The Elijah Interfaith Institute. He spent a couple of hours speaking with Vassula at the Notre Dame Hotel. They spoke about Vassula's guardian angel Daniel, I AM, the intimacy of God the Father, Satan, Unity, Prophecies, Patriarch Bartholomew. He was very interested in listening to Vassula. He asked her about others who are authentic. I was observing and it was as if they were already familiar with one another. He appeared to be very comfortable and it was amusing how they were at times even humorous with one another.

Vassula and Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Ph.D in Jerusalem
Vassula and Rabbi Alon Goshen-Gottstein, Ph.D in Jerusalem

Monday, May 30, 2005, was a marathon day of meetings. Vassula was invited to have lunch in Bethlehem (which means House of Bread) at the Sisters of Emmanuel. We crossed the border on foot from Jerusalem into Bethlehem because at the check point our car was not allowed to go through. We showed our passports and the guards let us walk through. It was a strange feeling walking across the border by the wall that has been built. We felt such a strong sense of division. No one can imagine the height of the wall until one is standing there in person.

Wall in Bethlehem
Wall in Bethlehem

Vassula with the Sisters Emmanuel in Bethlehem
Vassula with the Sisters Emmanuel in Bethlehem

Father Spyridon, who is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church at the Church of the Nativity, was there also and he greeted Vassula and invited all of us to his house for lunch. His gracious Presbytera (wife) served us a wonderful meal that she had cooked for us. Father Spyridon gave Vassula a gift of a beautiful icon. We then went to visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Vassula and Father Spyridon in Bethlehem
Vassula and Father Spyridon in Bethlehem

Vassula at Father Spyridon's house having lunch in Bethlehem
Vassula at Father Spyridon's house having lunch in Bethlehem

assula and the Icon gift at Father Spyridon's house in Bethlehem
Vassula and the Icon gift at Father Spyridon's house in Bethlehem

Vassula at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Vassula at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem

We then went to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Vassula met with Father G. Sellassie and Abba Fissihatsion. Vassula spoke to them about Unity. They told Vassula that she is most welcome in their Church and blessed the work that she is doing. She invited them on the next True Life in God Ecumenical Pilgrimage, 2007, because we had not had the Ethiopian Church represented on any of the four preceding pilgrimages.

Vassula and the Ethiopian Orthodox Priests
Vassula and the Ethiopian Orthodox Priests, Father G. Sellassie and Abba Fissiatsion

Vassula and the Ethiopian Orthodox Priests
Vassula with Father G. Sellassie and Abba Fissiatsion

Vassula Vassula and Father Emmanuel, the Armenian Orthodox Priest in Jerusalem
Vassula and Father Emmanuel, the Armenian Orthodox Priest in Jerusalem

Vassula had a visit with The Greek Orthodox priest, Father Atallah. He and Vassula knew each other previously. He is the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Church in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. In the evening we shared a meal with him at his residence in Jerusalem. He told her that she has the blessings of the Greek Orthodox Church here in the Holy City. Vassula mentioned to him that she had also received blessings from Father Vassilis in Jerusalem. He suggested that we go to the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and visit Patriarch Irineos.

Father Atallah mentioned that he had recommended to the Synod that they should select an Abbot from a monastery to become Patriarch. He added that he would e-mail Patriarch Bartholomew and let him know that Vassula had visited with him.

We called the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate to visit with Patriarch Irineos. However, they said he was not receiving guests at the time.

Vassula and Father Theodosius Hanna (Atallah) in Jerusalem
Vassula and Father Theodosius Hanna (Atallah) in Jerusalem

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 became another marathon day of meetings. Vassula had a meeting at The Romanian Patriarchate where she spoke with Archimandrite Ieronium Cretu, the Patriarchal Representative. He has an ecumenical center. He expressed to Vassula how wonderful it is to bring people together. She explained to him that the True Life in God Messages revive the soul and are for renewal. She spoke to him about unity and emphasized that division is a sin. She also spoke to him about the Apostasy and told him about the prophecy of Romania in the messages. Dec 24, 1989

Vassula and Father Ieronium also exchanged some words in Greek as he speaks Greek. He welcomed Vassula and the TLIG ecumenical group to come to his Cathedral to commune in two years, and because he was so pleased with our ecumenical group, he invited Vassula and our group to come not only to his Cathedral, but also to the new Cathedral in Jericho to commune when it is finished. Vassula mentioned to him that Bishop Theophylactos had welcomed us in the St. George Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt. Upon hearing this, Father Ieronium exclaimed that he said he knows Bishop Theophylactos very well.

In an ensuing conversation, Vassula and Father Ieronium also touched on subjects concerning Freemasonry. Finally, Vassula talked to him about the Beth Myriams and especially the one in the Ukraine.

This same day one of our TLIG pilgrims, Zigmas, met Father Pavich at Notre Dame. At breakfast he spoke with him and explained to him the clarifications on True Life in God and gave him the CDF booklet.

 Vassula with Archimandrite Ieronium Cretu in Jerusalem
Vassula with Archimandrite Ieronium Cretu in Jerusalem

Vassula and Fr. Ieronium offering us hospitality, Romanian Patriachate In Jerusalem
Vassula and Fr. Ieronium offering us hospitality, Romanian Patriachate In Jerusalem

We then were off to St. Mark's Convent and the Syrian Orthodox Church. Vassula met with Father Shemun Can. They had met before as well. He invited us to stay for lunch during which time he said the prayer "The Our Father" in Aramaic. He spent time explaining to Vassula some of the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church. He also blessed Vassula's mission for church unity because of his involvement with the ecumenical group in Jerusalem. This group has an icon that is believed to have been painted by St. Luke, the Evangelist. Father Can is looking forward to participating in the 2007 TLIG Ecumenical Pilgrimage.

Vassula and Father Shemun Syrian Orthodox in Jerusalem
Vassula and Father Shemun Can, Syrian Orthodox priest in Jerusalem

Vassula and Father Shemun Can Syrian Orthodox priest in Jerusalem
Vassula and Father Shemun Can

We then went to The Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem. It is wonderful that they are all so close by. Truly they are neighbors! We were just going from appointments to appointments which we called the "Spiritual Marathon." Bishop Aris Shirvanian and Vassula were sharing on the dialogue of unity and she asked him how he feels about the unification of the dates of Easter. Vassula invited him to the next pilgrimage as well and he said he would be looking forward to it.

Vassula and Bishop Aris Shirvanian Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem
Vassula and Bishop Aris Shirvanian, Armenian Patriarchate in Jerusalem

Vassula and Bishop Aris Shirvanian Armenian Patriarchate In Jerusalem
Vassula and Bishop Aris Shirvanian

Vassula's next meeting was at The Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem where Vassula met with Archbishop Paul Sayah. He was interested to know about her ecumenical meetings so she told him that she had, in 2001, been invited by the International Bridgettine Centre of Farfa in Italy to speak on Ecumenism and Spirituality and that she would mail him her Farfa speech. He then took us to the roof top where there is a beautiful view of Jerusalem from which can be seen the Dome of the Rock on one side and the Mount of Olives on the other.

Vassula and Archbishop Paul Sayah, Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem
Vassula and Archbishop Paul Sayah, Maronite Patriarchate in Jerusalem

We went back to the hotel at Notre Dame to check out, and providentially, while we were putting our luggage into the car, we saw Bishop Timotheos of The Greek Orthodox Patriarchate there in the courtyard. Well, this was the Finale! The Lord surprised us with this one. We had tried earlier to go to the Patriarchate but at that time, they were not receiving guests. It was such a pleasant surprise that the Lord brought Bishop Timotheos to us! He was there in the courtyard having a meeting. He recognized Vassula whom he had met before on a previous visit, and came over to greet her. He expressed his pleasure at seeing her again and asked her for her latest book. I ran to the car to give him the CDF in English, and also two small booklets, the Bridegroom (He had said, "Is this Nimphios?" which means bridegroom in Greek) and the Odes. He assured us that he would read them.

Bishop Timotheos then asked Vassula what she would be able to do for the Church in Greece. They were talking like good friends. He said to her, "I welcomed you into my office. Remember?" I was at an advantage because I knew what they were saying in Greek. Unfortunately, I did not take a photo. Believe me! I was later so upset not to have taken his photo with Vassula, but at the time I was so excited about this Divine Providential meeting of the two, that I just froze. Here at least is a photo of him below from the Jerusalem Patriarchal website.

Bishop Timotheos of Bostra Jerusalem
Bishop Timotheos of Bostra

We then drove to Yehud, which is close to Ben Gurion Airport. Vassula had an interview with a correspondent for the Die Welt. This took place on the grounds of the Hotel Avia in Yehud where we stayed for the evening. We departed the next morning, Wednesday, June 1, 2005.

The True life in God people of the Holy Land did a wonderful job setting up all these meetings and our accommodations. They showed us great hospitality and may God bless their work. It was wonderful spending time with them in the Holy Land right there where they live. I thank God for such a memorable and exciting time with Vassula and meeting His Shepherds who are so unique, diverse, and yet all belong to Him!

In Christ,
Georgia Klamson
TLlG reader, New York City, USA


Other News From 2005-10-28:
Jesus' Favors Reinforce My Faith
A Simple Recommendation Changed my Life
The TLIG Pilgrimage 2007
The Holy Land Trip, Continued
Pictures of Bishops From the True Life in God Pilgrimage May 2005
Walking with St Paul and the Prophets: TLIG Pilgrimage 2005

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