Vassula in Mexico
December 4 - 6, 2001
Vassula had already come to Mexico, three times before, in what could be described as very successful visits. However, in 1995, the Notification paralyzed the TLIG movement, but not the reading of the Messages of Our Lord. Although there are many, many people that truly believe in the Messages, Mexico entered into a kind of slumber. However, Jesus had decided to put an end to this, since this visit started through an "unofficial" invitation.
I had no knowledge that, in order for Vassula to visit a country, she has to be formally invited, but as a member of the TLIG Forum, and having read about her visits to other countries, I asked David Armitage if he knew when Vassula was coming to Mexico, and to please tell her to come. Some months later, Tom Austin e-mailed me, asking if I was still willing to organize a visit to Mexico for Vassula. Of course I was! To be honest, I have to say that I had no idea what this really involved, but under no circumstances was I going to let this opportunity go by! As always happens, the problems started from the very beginning, and several times I was convinced that the visit was not going to happen at all. During this period, I met Rafael Aguirre, who leads various prayer groups. He believes in the Messages, and he volunteered to help.
By Divine Intervention, Rafael managed to have a priest of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, to agree to celebrate a Mass, after which Vassula could talk for 15 to 20 minutes!!! This was really great! The Father that agreed to this, knew of the Notification, and the implications that doing this could bring, but, nevertheless, he said he would celebrate the Mass at the Chapel of Saint Joseph (which is at the left of the Main Altar, where Our Lady is placed). The agreed date was December 6.
Oddly, Rafael called to tell me the news when I was leaving the Basilica, after having prayed to Our Lady, that if it was Jesus Will to have His Prophet come to Mexico, to please open the paths to make it possible. When I learned about this, I knew it was a miracle, and a clear sign of what we had to do. The very next day (mid-October) Tom Austin sent Vassulaâ€™s acceptance of our proposed program, and the confirmation of her visit during December 4 to 6, 2001.
The next thing to do was find a venue for the big meeting. This was extremely difficult, since we did not have enough time, and December is a very busy month, due to all of the Christmas parties and events. However, God led us to a well located theatre, which could be rented only 3 days a week. Luckily, Wednesday was one of them, and so, we booked it for December 5.
Carmen and Javier Pelayo, from Guadalajara, State of Jalisco, who had brought Vassula to Mexico in prior visits, and who are the publishers of the TLIG books, kindly gave us advice from their earlier experiences and offered all their help. They offered to send enough books, in Spanish, to be available at the theatre, and arranged for the English volumes to be sent to Mexico, by Trinitas. They also gave us a large image of Jesus, as it appears in the TLIG messages, printed on a big piece of cloth, which had been used in prior meetings. They have been facing extreme opposition, since the bishop of Guadalajara has banned Vassula and TLIG. Despite this, they have continued to work with great zeal for Our Lord. We started to call and e-mail all of the radio networks that we thought could be interested, as well as the two major television networks. One of the most respected Catholic radio personalities, GermÎ±n Figaredo was immediately interested. Unfortunately, he was going to be out of the country during the days that Vassula was going to be here. However, he offered to have Rafael talk about TLIG and Vassula, in one of his shows, so he could explain who Vassula was, and announce the meeting to be held on December 5 and the Mass for December 6. This was a great success. Many people called to ask for tickets for the meeting, which, of course, were free. GermÎ±n arranged to have one of his assistants interview Vassula on December 4, on a pre-recorded show, so it could be broadcasted later on.
Some radio networks were interested, and told us that they might schedule an interview for Vassula. The heads of the Religion Department of one of the television networks were very much interested, but couldnâ€™t get authorization from higher levels.
Rafael called many priests from all denominations, informing them of Vassulaâ€™s visit, and inviting them to the meeting. Only some of them accepted, but at the meeting, we saw that several Catholic priests, who had declined the invitation, were attending incognito.
The news of Vassula talking at the Basilica was spreading, and we started to receive phone calls from "devoted" Catholics, saying that this could not be possible, and was a total act of disobedience, of Vassula and us, towards the Notification. At first, Rafael was not concerned, since the current Director of the Basilica had allowed Vassula to speak at his church, back in 1993, during her last visit to Mexico, and was a great supporter of the Messages. Rafael called him several times, but the Director never took his calls. Sadly, it was clear that power and position made him forget all this and the truth of the Messages. Fearing more turbulence, every week Rafael called the Father that had agreed to give Vassula permission to speak at the Basilica to confirm that he would not change his mind. Although his tone was graver each time, he confirmed that he would stand by his word.
Then, Jesus opened a wonderful door for us! We had the opportunity of getting an interview on the Catholic TV network, Claravision, which has coverage in all of Latin America! However, as expected, there was a problem. All of the programs and interviews broadcasted by Claravision have to be previously authorized by the Censor of the Archdiocese of Mexico, Father Daniel Gagnon. He is known for his severity and strictness, and we immediately knew that we were going to have a difficult time convincing him. The people from Claravision urged us to contact him as soon as possible. They were eager to interview Vassula, since the people working at the network believe in the Messages.
In order to speed things up, we approached him, and, as expected, the only thing Father Gagnon knew about TLIG and Vassula was what was stated in the Notification, and he used it to deny our request. In turn, we rebutted each and every one of his arguments (which were the ones of the Notification), and left him the first two volumes of the Messages, and quite a lot of printed material refuting the Notification (provided to us by Carmen and Javier), including the letter written by English attorneys, defending Vassula in accordance with Canon Law. Nevertheless, two days after, he denied us the authorization. On Friday, two days before Vassulaâ€™s arrival, we were left with only one radio interview, since all of the other stations called to cancel. In the reports of the visits of Vassula to other countries, I have read that there are always many problems, unexpected cancellations of venues, and similar things, but I never imagined this. But, again, as I have also read, the only thing to do was to trust in the Lord. On Saturday night, I became, suddenly, very ill. Within two hours, I had to be rushed to the hospital, with a stomach infection. There had been absolutely no prior signs or symptoms! Sunday was a terrible day. My condition kept getting worse and worse. And Vassula and Father Gerhard Wenzel arrived the next day! When it was clear to me that I was not going to be able to make it, I fell apart emotionally. I couldnâ€™t believe what was happening! Not only did we not have a real program anymore, but now, I wasnâ€™t even going to be able to be with them! Now I know that Our Lord allowed all of this, to show His Glory and Wonders in a more dramatic way.
Monday, December 3, arrived. During the morning, three radio stations called to ask for an interview with Vassula, two of which had cancelled a couple of days before. This was already comforting, in itself, but there was still a big surprise coming up. Father Daniel Gagnon called to say he would like to meet Vassula on Tuesday!!!!! It was evident that he had read the Messages and Jesus had touched his heart.
At 4 PM, Vassula and Father Gerhard were being picked up, at the airport, by Rafael, Tere MÎ¹ndez and Conchita, my assistant, who proved to be indispensable in the whole organization of the visit. They were going to take them directly to their hotel, since they would be tired from the long flight. I couldnâ€™t believe my eyes when I saw Vassula and Father Gerhard come into my hospital room!!!! I just started crying, and couldnâ€™t say a word! Vassula told me that, some months before, she had prayed for Mexico, since she had noticed that the country had fallen asleep, so to speak. Praised be the Lord, Who heard her prayers, and made her visit possible! Since I had to stay in the hospital until Tuesday, we agreed that I would join them on Wednesday. Afterwards, Vassula and Father Gerhard left to the hotel. Tuesday, December 4, Rafael picked up Vassula and Father Gerhard and took them to a live interview at the largest network in Mexico. After that, they left for a pre-recorded interview for the show of GermÎ±n Figaredo, and another one, for a smaller radio station, which specializes in Catholic themes.
In the afternoon, Vassula met, privately, with Father Gagnon and both had a long talk which seemed very fruitful from what was understood from the outcome. Fr. Gagnon gave his permission for Vassula to speak on the Catholic TV program which would reach all of Latin America. Her talk was very much appreciated and the TV station had several calls to repeat this same program.
That night, the director of the Basilica, left a message on Rafaelâ€™s voice mail, saying that he had heard a rumor about "this lady, Vassula, having been allowed to talk at the Basilica". He strongly stated that this was false. She could not do so, but could only attend Mass, like any other pilgrim that goes to there. We really thought there would be big problems on Thursday, but we left everything in Jesusâ€™ Hands.
On Wednesday, December 5, we started very early for a live radio show at the second largest network in Mexico. The interviewer had never heard of the Messages before we approached her requesting an interview, however, she believed they came from God. She was surprised to learn that Vassula is Greek Orthodox, so Vassula took advantage of this, and explained that the Orthodox and Catholic religions are very similar, having the same Sacraments, among other things. This was very beneficial because, usually, lack of knowledge on this matter, stops some rigid Catholics attending TLIG meetings, or even reading the Messages.
Father Gerhard explained that after living many years in Africa, when he returned to Germany he found out that priests had grown colder towards the faithful. They would simply celebrate Mass, but would not try to reach the laity, to communicate to them the love of God. That is when he found the TLIG Messages. That first day he didnâ€™t sleep at all, since he could not put the books down. He explained how Jesus is calling His Priests, to unity, and to have a real intimate relationship with Our Savior.
After that, we went to the Greek Orthodox Church in Mexico City. The Archimandrite Timotheo had expressed his interest in meeting Vassula. Outside of the radio station, Vassula called the Archimandrite and they talked in Greek for about ten minutes. He said he would like to meet her right away, so we left for the Greek Orthodox Church. We arrived to find a wonderful surprise! The Archimandrite, along with Father Kosmas and another priest, were waiting at the door for Vassula, to give her an official welcome reception! They all entered the Church, in procession, singing praises to the Lord, and burning incense! A brief celebration took place, where Vassula was asked to sit in a chair, placed especially for her close to the Altar, and received a special blessing with the Bible, according to the Greek rites. Then, Archimandrite Timotheo addressed Vassula, expressing his interest and desire to finally have unity among the Churches. He told her that the Greek Orthodox Church was right next door to a Catholic Church, and that, in fact, both kitchens were back to back, divided only by a wall. He said that it was time to knock down that wall, to, finally, become one.
After the ceremony, the Archimandrite invited us to have coffee and pastries at the Churchâ€™s dining room. We talked about Vassulaâ€™s visit and he offered his help to get the director of the Basilica not to interfere with Thursdayâ€™s plans. Later on, they showed us around the Church, and took us to a small workshop downstairs, where magnificent icons are handmade. Finally, we said good bye, and promised to send a full set of the TLIG Messages for both Archimandrite Timotheo and Father Kosmas.
From there, we left to the house of Olga AzcÎ±rraga, who had organized Vassulaâ€™s earlier visit to Mexico City. There, Vassula was interviewed by a magazine journalist, for about an hour. This interview will be published in at least two magazines of high circulation. After a brief lunch, we headed to the theatre, where the meeting was going to take place.
Backstage, Vassula met with a Catholic priest from Puebla, who had travelled to Mexico City to hear her talk. We had made 2100 copies of the 3 prayers which Our Lord told Vassula to pray daily, as well as the Consecration Prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus given to her, on January 26, 1992, to be distributed to the audience. Since I had been sick, I had had no time to print a request for all those who, during or after Vassulaâ€™s talk, had a spiritual experience, to report it to firstname.lastname@example.org. I asked permission to use the office of the theatre, and right there, Vassula dictated the text and Father Gerhard and I took care of printing and cutting out 2000 notes! I never thought we would make it on time but with the help of Our Lord we did! We arranged for the prayers and the notes to be handed out by personnel of the theater, to everyone present, at the end of the talk.
The theatre has a capacity for 2100 people, and was totally full. Many people had come from other states of Mexico, like Jalisco, YucatÎ±n, QuerÎ¹taro, Puebla, Coahuila, and Nuevo LeÏƒn. The theatre was decorated with the big picture of Our Lord in the center, which had been given to us by Carmen and Javier Pelayo. There were also three big screens, where everybody, even the persons who were seated at the back of the three-level theatre, could see Vassula clearly. There were various flower arrangements decorating the forum, and a chorus of teenagers, with guitars, who sang well known songs to the Holy Spirit. Using the existing facilities, a video of the talk was made.
The talk started at 6.30 P.M., and lasted for three hours, with a short break, to sing praises to the Holy Spirit. Father Gerhard briefly introduced Vassula, mentioning that the 16th anniversary of TLIG had been just eight days earlier, on November 28, 2001, which they had celebrated in Puerto Rico, on another evangelizing trip. He also talked about all the fruits TLIG has produced, including the many Beth Myriams that have been opened around the world.
Vassula started the conference by saying that all of those who were present there, were there because of a reason. It was no coincidence, it was the Will of Our Lord who had brought them there.
Since this was her fourth visit to Mexico, she went directly into the heart of the Messages, talking about the Second Pentecost, and how, in order to be able to be filled with the Holy Spirit, we have to empty ourselves from all our sins, and convert to God. The Holy Spirit wants to invade us, but we first have to accept Him, since He will never force us to do anything. Then, we have to make space for Him, within us, through repentance and confession. A soul that is immersed in sin cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit. Purity of the soul is the key to have God with us. We have to die to our passions and love only God, want only God, live only for God. We must be meek and humble, like Jesus is.
She mentioned that, nowadays, we are living the signs of the end of times, which, as Saint Paul said, are apostasy and rebellion. As a result of the apostasy, people tend to forget, or not even believe, that Jesus is present in the Holy Eucharist. This is the desolation of the abomination, which was prophesized by the Prophet Daniel. (Later on, we received some mails telling us that when Vassula was talking about this, they could see a bright light surrounding her).
She said that division is a sin, wherever it is found: in our families, in our society, in our country, in the Church. She talked about how much Jesus wants the Unity of His Church, and how it is, mainly, the high level authorities of the Churches who are impeding the Unity, since most of the laity and priests are sick of division.
She said that we are sons and daughters of the Most High and that no one can take that away from us. She talked about how Jesus wants us to be intimate with Him, but never forgetting that He is Holy. We should not be afraid of Him, but we must have fear of the Lord, meaning that in our intimacy with Him, we must always respect Him. She also talked about how everything we have is a gift from God, and that the best gift we can give the Lord is to return to Him one soul.
She told us about how she had trouble getting used to saying: "We, us", as Jesus had asked her to refer to Him and herself, since He is always with us. So she kept reminding herself about this. One day, she took a bus to go to see her sister, and when she was asked how many tickets did she want, she said one. Then she said to Jesus: "You see? We are two, and we are only paying one ticket!". And Jesus told her: "What do you mean two? Arenâ€™t we supposed to be One, together?". Everybody laughed at this Holy Humour, as Vassula calls it.
The talk ended at 9:30, and while the choir sang, we rushed out, through the back door of the theatre, to go to the live TV interview at Claravision. When we arrived, everybody there greeted Vassula very warmly. The program started with a question about her view of the events of September 11. To this, she talked about the Message that Our Lady gave her on May 15, 1990, where She says that evil brings evil, and it is not God who sends us all these catastrophes. She talked about conversion, the Second Pentecost and Unity.
The interviewer asked her if she had received a message for Mexico, lately, to which she replied no. However, she asked if we, Mexicans, have been consecrating our country to the Two Hearts of Jesus and Mary, as Our Lord had told us to do in the message given to her, on July 9, 1992. There was a silence to this question. I think this reflects a lot of our weak human nature. Suddenly, we are enthusiastic and passionate about something, but later on we grow cold again and forget.
I was amazed to see the strength and vigour Vassula had! She had had two interviews and a three hour talk, and there she was, 14 hours later, in a live interview, basically, saying the same things she had talked about all day! Her zeal and love for Jesus are so palpable! Certainly, it is Our Lord and her great love for Him that made her speak during the interview, as if it was the very first interview of the day. She talked about how she learned to pray the Our Father. How she spent one full day with Jesus, until she finally got it right, when she was really feeling each word of the prayer. And then she prayed the Our Father, slowly, like Our Lord wants it to be prayed. It was a very emotional moment. You could feel it in the room.
Since it was a live show, people were calling in with questions for her, greetings and/or blessings. It was great to see that the calls were coming from all over the country! The program ended at 11PM and we headed back to the hotel. It had been a long, but productive day.
Thursday, December 6. We started earlier than the day before. The Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe was at 10:30, but we had to leave very early because of the traffic and the distances in this huge city. When we arrived, the Chapel of Saint Joseph was already full. Father Gerhard concelebrated the Mass, and he personally gave us Holy Communion, under the two Species: the Holy Body and the Blood of Our Lord and Savior. He had previously told me that it was very important that the Catholic Church returns to the correct practice of giving Communion in this manner, like the Orthodox Church does, since we are supposed to receive both the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as He taught us at the Last Supper.
After the Mass, Vassula addressed the audience for only 15 minutes, since another Mass was starting immediately after ours. There, she talked about the urgent call for unity that Our Lord makes through the TLIG Messages, emphasizing the attitude of high level Church officials. We left through the back door, not knowing that Our Lady had a wonderful surprise for us! Trying to find our way to the exit, through the back door, one of the priests that we met there, led the way, and took us to a place where we could see Our Lady of Guadalupe at eye level! The original cloth of Juan Diego where She imprinted Her Blessed Image was right there, almost at graspâ€™s distance! Of course, this was not even expected, since this area is restricted for priests. We said goodbye, and the priest asked Vassula to bless him. After that, Carmen, Javier, Olga, Tere, Rafael and myself went to the pyramids of Teotihuacan, an archaeological site near Mexico City, which are the remains of an ancient pre-hispanic culture. Later, we had lunch and Vassula took this opportunity to pull all of us together and revive the Mexican TLIG movement, despite the withdrawal that the Notification had caused! She left us with a great zeal and desire to serve Our Lord in every way we can. As a matter of fact, Carmen and Javier are already organizing a visit for Vassula, for this year, to Guadalajara, MÎ¹rida and Monterrey.
It was time, then, to take Vassula and Father Gerhard to the airport, where we said goodbye. This was sad but, at the same time, our hearts were happy, for we felt that the visit had been a great success. GermÎ±n Figaredo broadcasted the taped interview that Vassula gave. To our surprise, he introduced the tape by saying that Father Daniel Gagnon, "who is very, very strict, has told me that Vassula is a woman of great spirituality. After talking with her, he was absolutely convinced that she is telling the truth and that the Messages come from God." Undoubtedly, this was a great accomplishment of Our Lord! We have already sent to Father Gagnon a full set of the TLIG books.
The interview at Claravision has been broadcasted a couple of times more, and we know that there is a waiting list in order to obtain a copy of the tape. Many people wrote and called, asking where can they buy the TLIG books.
Once more, Jesus has performed a miracle. Like He did to Lazarus, He has ordered Mexico to rise and walk! Blessed and praised be His Holy Name forever!