Vassula Visits South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho
Johannesburg, South Africa
On Sunday, 2nd November, after we had taken our leave of Octavia and the prayer group, we left Swaziland for Johannesburg where Winnie and Emmanuel were waiting for us. After a brief rest, we set out for the Cathedral of Christ the King where, at noon, Vassula would witness to a full church. Over 1,000 people from various denominations and social classes - rich and poor, black and white, clergy and lay people, from various regions - joined in a carnival of colour to sing hymns of praise to the Lord before the beginning of the talk. Fr. Shaun welcomed everyone especially Archbishop Buti Tlhagale who followed the proceedings from the front row of chairs. He then gave Vassula a warm welcome saying: "Vassula is not new to the Cathedral; she has been here many times over the last fifteen years and we claim her as African since she was born in Egypt." Vassula began her testimony by reciting the Our Father and her talk, which lasted about an hour, was full of passion and love for Jesus - a missionary of Christ who travels tirelessly wherever she is invited, often in difficult conditions, to bring the message of Our Lord to all, a living example to all of us. Archbishop Buti Tlhagale blessed all the faithful at the end of the talk.
In the late afternoon, Fr. Emil Blaser interviewed Vassula by telephone on the Catholic Radio Station, Veritas, for an hour.
On Monday, 3rd November, after breakfast with Metropolitan Seraphim and two other priests, there followed a meeting in the offices of the Catholic Church with Fr. Shaun, Emmanuel and Winnie, Gracinda, Martin and several other organisers from Johannesburg. Metropolitan Seraphim had invited the organisers of Vassula's meetings as well as Greek friends from the parish to lunch at noon. The atmosphere was genial and the Metropolitan Seraphim a gracious host who was both attentive and loving towards his guests.
At the Pan-Hellenic Radio Station in Bedfordview in the evening, Vassula was interviewed by Metropolitan Seraphim, answering questions about her mission, prayer and, in particular, the unification of the dates of Easter which is something Jesus fervently desires.
Tuesday, 4th November, was a free day spent at Lesedi Cultural Village, which depicts the cultures and traditions of the people of Africa. On arrival at Lesedi, Vassula, Emmanuel, Winnie, Gracinda and I were welcomed in the traditional African way by a suitable escort to 'their' village who helped us discover many colourful and fascinating aspects of the cultures of the people of Africa.
On Wednesday, 5th November, in the morning, Vassula spoke at the Greek Orthodox Church of Panayia Pantanassa in Johannesburg. Invitations to her talk had been sent out by Metropolitan Seraphim's office to the directors of all the churches in Johannesburg and Pretoria and clergy of different denominations attended. Most of them knew Vassula and had either read or heard about the Messages. Metropolitan Seraphim presented Vassula in the following words: "...Sometimes, God invites people to give us His spiritual instructions, so I welcome you all to the Cathedral of the Orthodox Church and I welcome you Vassula. Thank you for accepting our invitation to speak to us about this important issue..."
Before beginning her talk, Vassula asked Jesus to give her a message to read to the assembly. She opened her book at the Message of 30th June, 1993, "True Shepherds" which is addressed to His priests. She also read the message of 14th October, 1991, on Unity.
"Those who do not claim they see, are faithful..." TLIG, 30th June, 1993
"If you were blind, then you would not be guilty; but since you claim that you can see, this means that you are still guilty." John 9:41
At the end of her talk, Vassula received questions from the priests and lay people in attendance. There was obvious enthusiasm from priests who were hearing Vassula for the first time. A young Roman Catholic priest was inspired by the spirituality of her talk and also with the answers she gave; he was especially impressed by her answer concerning the role of the Blessed Mother in the Church. The Orthodox priests were absent from the meeting.
After the talk, we had the opportunity to meet and speak with the friends of TLIG from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
On the morning of Thursday, 6th November, we left for the airport and Lesotho. We arrived early and checked in and while we were waiting to board in the departure lounge, we suddenly realised that the gate had closed and the plane had left without us.