Vassula in Maseru, Lesotho - Africa
January 13 - 16, 1999
Wednesday 13th, 1830:
There was more luggages than one car could carry; however, Providence smiled on us and came to our assistance. Mr. Tsepo Mokuku of Maseru drove Norman with, some of the luggage, straight to his hotel at Maseru Sun Hotel. We, four, got into the 'Knight Rider's" car with the rest of the luggage to the Lesotho Sun where, Vassula and Georgia were to be accommodated. The 145 km drive felt like a 45 km one; for we talked a lot â€“ about the program, the arrangements and generally catching up on the early eighties when Vassula, her husband and their two sons lived in Maseru, Lesotho.
Evelyn Lebina then gave a brief introduction of Vassula, the former socialite, tennis player and painter in Maseru (1982-1984) and presently a mystic of the latter part of this 20th century. When she stood up and walked towards the podium to give her long awaited and anticipated address, she was accompanied by loud cheers. Her African Tour had started on the 7th inst. KENYA, then ZAMBIA, and culminated inst. in LESOTHO. From here, she flew straight to her home in Europe. So when she opened her talk by announcing that she had received a message from Jesus Christ, that very morning, there was a hush of anticipation of the unknown.
She read the message:
There was a very enthusiastic reception of this "Message". She then began to trace her lifestyle before her 'conversion' till now when she lives on a spiritual level and dimension. Some of the points she touched on were: her tutelage under her guardian angel, Daniel; the kindness and gentleness of God; filial intimacy with God to the level of a true Father or "Abba" or "Daddy"; the slow rendition of Our Lord's Prayer with deliberateness of concentration and meaningfulness, the wide spectrum of Love â€“ (to neighbour and enemy alike); the Rosary - the one prayer that chains Satan; the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; the wonderful role the Blessed Virgin Mary plays in our lives - Mother, intercessor, her paramount activity of leading us to Her Son, Jesus; Prayer â€“ i.e. prayer with the heart (and not with lips only) which is a revitalising spiritual exercise when engaged daily and tenaciously. It brings bountiful results and manifold graces in one's life. Faith, hope, trust, and love are the embodiment of TRUE LIFE IN GOD. Her whole address kept everyone spellbound in its simplicity and depth. When she had finished, there was a thunderous applause from the hall. Yes, God the Divine Potter, chooses His own "clay"; He moulds it as He pleases - where, when and how He wills. Vassula is one such clay; moulded by Him gradually over the years.
Without sitting down, she then led a prayer of the Rosary in Aramaic - a Semitic language used by Jesus. Only one decade - the Fifth Joyful Mysteries - was recited. It was moving to listen to this ancient language that was used six centuries before Christ was born.
Immediately after, Vassula prayed the prayers of healing by the Holy Spirit. Instinctively, many went down on their knees, with reverence and obeisance to the Holy Spirit. A minute of silent prayer intensified this communion with the Holy Trinity. Whilst most were enveloped in this meditative and pensive mood, the assembled sang with great feeling a hymn invoking the descent and infusion of the Holy Spirit in our souls; first in Sesotho "TLO MOEA MOPI OA RONA" and then in English (sung to the same tune) "O COME CREATOR. SPIRIT! COME!"
Fr. Gabriel Tlaba O.M.I. - a Mosotho Catholic Priest, formerly a lecturer in Philosophy at N.U.L. at St. Augustine Seminary and at ST. JOHN VIANNEY (S. Africa) presently serving as General Manager of the Mazenod Institute and at the Mazenod Printing Works, gave a very expressive and meaningful vote of thanks to Vassula on behalf of all present. He articulated the feelings and sentiments of all present splendidly and eloquently.
This blessed day ended with the singing of the Lesotho National Anthem. Its second verse was sung as a closing prayer: -
Molimo a k'u boloke Lesotho
O Lord, preserve Lesotho
As people left the Hall, singing:
Donations were collected at the door to help defray some expenses that had been incurred. Vassula was gracious enough to meet the people, and let them shake hands with her as they expressed their gratitude and joy for her presence, message and visit to Lesotho.
Friday 15th, 11:30
During the course of the day, Ulla had brought a Pink Rose bush to be planted at "Adeve Cragmal View" as a gift and memento of Vassula's visit here. What a kind and thoughtful gesture! Vassula duly planted it. Its fragrance will always symbolise the presence of the Holy Trinity, its thorns â€“ the acceptance of suffering and trust in God; its beautiful rose colour - God's graces and blessings. A glance at Vassula's painting of "The Mosotho Man on A Horse" in the lounge, and the "Vassula Rose" outside in the garden will strengthen the Message and implant the seeds of a True Life of God.
We had a good wrap-up session, which proved very beneficial to all concerned (TLIG in South Africa & Lesotho) and especially to me in particular. This was the first time that I was involved in organising a TLIG meeting. "But Our Father up there in Heaven is very rich" (Vassula's quotation)- He helped us TREMENDOUSLY. THANK YOU, JESUS FOR ORGANISING YOUR MEETING!
As we were about to leave Roma, we met a very interesting man, "the farmer". He was very curious about this motley crowd of Greeks, Basothos, Nigerian, Portuguese, South Africans and a Belgian. We told him about Vassula, this Greek mystic and her message. "Atch!" (This is a Lesotho exclamation of wonder and surprise). "That is impossible", he exclaimed in disbelief. A poster/flyer still stuck on the Pro-Cathedral door (advertising Vassula's talk in Maseru at 5pm on 14th January) confirmed that she is the one standing before him. Luckily, he could understand and speak a good smattering of English, so Vassula engaged him in a conversation. He turned to me and said, "Atch"!!! I believe, but this is not possible; how can a live person who is not yet dead have a conversation with Christ Himself, hear His voice in dictation and write His words? Atch!!!" Then Vassula gave him some holy "goodies" one by one, at intervals - a prayer card, ... then a Rosary, ... then a medal. "This was too much for me", he said. He was bowled over with joy and gratitude. As though that was not enough, Vassula asked for a photo of him, i.e. snapshot. Wow!! He pulled himself absolutely straight erect "to attention", tilted his old straw hat back at a jaunty angle in order to reveal his WHOLE face, caressed his left cheek with his forefinger and third finger in an exaggerated "arty" pose, his umbrella leaning against his torso; He looked straight into the camera without blinking an eyelid or moving. "Please", he said in all seriousness, "Do send me the snapshot when it is ready. I want to show it to my neighbours in the village; to my Parish Priest over there (pointing at the nearby Presbytery) and to the congregation at large. They will have to believe that I, PHILLIP (beating his breast with his third finger) and not a holy priest actually shook hands with this lucky lady, a visionary sent by God Himself to deepen our faith. I am afraid they will just have to believe when they see my photo in juxtaposition to this poster bearing the image of this lucky lady!!"
There is no doubt that he is going to be a SOWER of the SEEDS in this Roma Valley (Luke 8:4-15). Some "seeds" from his mouth might fall on the disbelieving "on the path"; or on some confused ones "on the rocky ground"; or on some negative ones "amongst the thorns"; however, some will fall on the believing ears - the "rich soil", from which TLIG groups will start to grow, flourish and have their lives and their faith deepened. There were also two seminarians who promised with fervour (after many questions) to plant the "seeds" as soon as the "set of TLIG books" are received, for their libraries i.e. - at St. Theresa's Minor Seminary and St. Augustine's Major Seminary. As we drove towards Maseru, we deviated and went to St. Michael Mission Church - the first and oldest Mission opened by Fr. Gerard. His first house and church still stand to this day.
Saturday 16th, 06:00
Then, all of a sudden EUREKA - "There it is," Vassula exclaimed with glee and surprise! As Georgia and I followed her gaze and her pointed finger we could hardly believe what we saw. There nailed on the wooden gate was a small dark grey rectangular wooden board with RYDEN printed in white paint!! You could have knocked me down with a feather! What? after all these FOURTEEN years!! Why did none of the subsequent occupants (and there were several) think of replacing RYDEN with their own names !!! It was my turn to exclaim "Atch!!!" - amazing!!
What a blessed spiritual mini-odyssey it has been!!
"All Praise and Thanksgiving go to "Our Father up there in Heaven, Who is very rich" with blessings, graces and Divine Providence. Thank you Vassula, for including Lesotho in your African trip. Thank you Georgia for your companionship.