Vassula in Goa, India
November 19 - 20, 1999
Panjim, Goa, India - Nov. 19. About 3,000 people including priests and nuns gathered at the Kala Academy this evening to listen to the modern day 'prophet and mystic' Vassula Ryden share her experiences and messages from Christ.
Ms Ryden held the large gathering spell bound with her simple English and profound thoughts on spirituality. Vassula underscores the words 'reconciliation & Unity' in giving the main thrust of her message. She is heralded as an 'Apostle of unity' and her efforts in the ecumenical movement have been greatly appreciated worldwide. The appeal is not new: it echoes down the ages and finds its response in attentive souls. What is new, instead, is the manner and the tone.
While asserting that the world is coming to the end of time, she clarified that this did not mean the end of life or earth but an end of an epoch. Ms Ryden pointed out that the apostasy that has become very prevalent in today's times was prophesized in the scriptures.
At today's talk, Vassula plunged into the messages themselves, reading parts of them with the impressive and powerful intuition and "soul" that only Vassula, who has heard Jesus relate the messages to her, is able to transmit.
In describing God's intervention to save His people - His reprimanding us for the certain things that we have not been following - Vassula reassures us of His tender hand. "Although He is superior, there is always a tone of tenderness. God intervenes not only by Himself; but also Our Blessed Mother has been appearing in about 300 apparitions worldwide- schooling Her children". "God intervenes very powerfully and this call is a call of Mercy, of forgiveness. It is a call to make peace with God and our neighbour."
Vassula spoke at this her second presentation in Goa on the importance of knowing God in an intimate way. She made it clear that no one can truly know God without knowing Him in an intimate way. At the same time, we need to remember that He is holy. It is as with a Father on earth. If the relationship is healthy, Vassula said, then the child will both feel immensely confident and secure with its father and at the same time have a tremendous respect for him. It is not that one excludes the other, on the contrary they support each other. Vassula also talked about the importance of giving God free space in our hearts, so that the Lord can turn us into a heaven, where he can have his rest, into a paradise for himself.
Vassula's talk was well applauded. Next, the music of the choir led by Mr. Anthony Veigas filled the audience with the hymn of the Holy Spirit. This was followed by a prayer, invoking the Holy Spirit. "Kindle our heart with the fire of the Holy Spirit. Give us the Spirit of Wisdom & Faith, of daring and of patience, of humility and of firmness, of love and of repentance." The Blessing with the Crucifix containing the relic of the true Cross of Jesus followed.
Earlier, Ms Vassula was welcomed by Mr. Francis Baretto. Mr. Baretto recalled Vassula's last visit to Goa, almost two years ago and related many instances of conversion following Vassula's visit. He recalled particularly one Portuguese couple who converted completely after reading only the 1st Volume of the TLIG Message. "In the days gone by, God spoke to people in different ways", Mr. Baretto continued, "God spoke to the shepherds through herds of angels. God spoke to Joseph in a dream. God spoke to the chosen people through various Prophets. Nothing has changed - God continues to speak to His people even today by the same means. God has chosen Mary who has appeared in countless number of places to ask for our conversion. God also continues to speak to us though various visionaries. And today we have among us Vassula Ryden - widely considered as a Prophet by the great Theologians."
Many hymns and intercessory prayers punctuated the prayer meeting. Ms Raynor Veigas and Ms Julia Menezes led the Holy Rosary. Ms Vassula joined in praying in Aramaic - the language of Jesus.
At the end of the talk, many witnessed to seeing the face of Jesus transposed on Vassula. Many extraordinary signs like the smell of roses etc were testified by many who came to the stage to relate their unique experience.
Meeting with the organisers - 20th Nov.'99.
Vassula met with the organisers and members of the TLIG group. Amidst the cordial gathering, a cake was cut and quite a few questions were put forth to Vassula - questions about fulfillment of prophecies, the second Pentecost and queries from TLIG messages. Vassula was unsure about coming to India again and urged the TLIG members to continue holding such conferences, prayer meetings etc. During this organizers-meeting a decision was taken to print some booklets about Our Blessed Mother, Vassula and the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Canticle of the Bridegroom etc. Before concluding, Vassula prayed over each member present with the relic of the true cross. One member was 'slain in the Holy Spirit' and had to be supported by Tom Austin. Another member began crying profusely- probably reflecting a healing. Souvenirs reflecting Church Art in the history of the Goa church were presented both to Vassula and Tom Austin.
Earlier on, before the meeting with the organizers, an attempt was made to seek an appointment with the Archbishop; but unfortunately, the Bishop declined as he had other commitments on that day.
Margao, Goa, India - 20th Nov.'99. Vassula's next public meeting in Goa was in Margao. There were about 1,500 people who gathered in the open grounds, tastefully decorated for the occasion. Dr. Celcio Dias, welcomed Vassula and Tom Austin with the words "Ut Unum sint!" (a call for Christian Unity). 'The unity of all divided humanity is the will of God', explained Dr. Dias. 'To believe in Christ means to desire unity; to desire the communion of grace which corresponds to the Father's plan for all eternity. Such is the meaning of Christ's prayer.' Dr. Dias also endorsed the views of Fr. Edward O'Connor, a theologian at the University of Notre Dame who wrote: "The positive fruits of Vassula's ministry - radical conversions and entry into a deeper spiritual life have been immense - and deserve to be acknowledged frankly."
Tom Austin, who accompanied Vassula and who is with the TLIG, Switzerland spoke about how a reluctant half an hour of his first meeting with Vassula has turned into years of commitment for True Life in God.
Ms Julia Menezes and Mr. W. Verdes led the Holy Rosary. The choir was able managed by Chris Dias. Mention must be made of the Sisters of Charity who sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet thus rendering great fervour to this simple prayer. Vassula took the stage and requested all those who had come for the first time to put their hands up. She was surprised to note that most of those who came, had come for the first time.
Vassula then described her life before her spiritual conversion. She described her spiritual poverty and her materialistic life prior to 1985. She then related the role of her Guardian Angel who came to prepare her before her encounter with God. "He gave me a purification. This purification will come on the whole world, because it is said in the messages that the purification will come to clean up the whole world. The purification is a grace from God. No one should fear it, if he has made peace with God." Vassula also spoke about the condition of the church - also of the church within us - as 'we are the sanctuary of God.' She tells us, sadly, that there is a great rebellion in the Church. 'There is Apostasy such as never before in the history of our times.' The word Apostasy means; that those that have been baptised as Christians knowing the truth and yet rejecting the truth and not wanting to accept it.
Vassula then described the meaning of 'praying without ceasing' without stopping. 'Is this something that we can do? Doesn't Jesus know?'. "So pray without ceasing, doesn't mean I want you 24 hours on your knees". Pray without ceasing means "that you have to desire me - your God - all day long. Long for me your God all day long". This is the prayer without ceasing; it is a prayer without words. You cannot do this until you love God with all your mind and with all your soul. How can you do that? You have first to become intimate with God.
A prayer for healing and deliverance followed the Prayer for Consecration of the Nation. The blessing by the Crucifix containing the relic of the true cross then concluded the evening session. There were a number of testimonies given after the session. Many were touched and enriched with the messages given by Vassula.
In both these Public meetings, a news brief containing an introduction to Vassula and the Messages, vis-ΰ-vis the opinion of the church prelates, including the views of the Holy Father were distributed to the people. The program schedule with some space for writing a testimony and a prayer card (containing the Memorare, Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the St. Michael's Prayer) was also distributed.
Adieus Vassula and Tom Austin. You were sent by God to us! We are grateful to God! "May His word that goes forth from your mouth, not return void; but accomplish what it pleases and may it prosper in the things for which it was sent for" (Isaiah 55:11)
GOA - PANAJI and MARGAO Reports as written by dr. Christopher Dias)