Vassula's Visit to the Philippines 2002
DAY 1 (Saturday, November 16, 2002)
Vassula arrived at the airport on November 16 at 3:00 in the afternoon with her companion, Cecilia Lutz. Father Richie Santos SDB, the spiritual adviser of TLIG Philippines Association together with Cora Zaballa and Sister Mariquita O.S.A welcomed her. A few TLIG members came to greet her too. She was brought to the residence of the hostess Josie Bantug, member of the Center for Peace-Asia, in Makati where she was to stay for the duration of the visit. In the evening, she was briefed of the schedule for the following days.
DAY 2 (Sunday, November 17,2002)
About 200 members of the vineyards from neighboring towns of Cavite namely Calo, Kaylaway, Balagbag and As-is gathered together at the newly built Beth Myriam in Dasmariñas Cavite. Bishop Tagle celebrated mass at 9:00 in the morning and blessed the structure after the mass. Vassula and her companion came in late because the car they were riding on broke down.. She was introduced to the bishop upon her arrival. Vassula gave him the book entitled Vassula Enigma. The many children who were present that day asked for her hand in blessing. The bishop and Vassula talked for a few minutes then left immediately to prepare for the conference at the University of the Philippines in Diliman Quezon City.
According to Francis and Beth Melmon, caregivers of the Beth Myriam, the bishop expressed his pleasure in witnessing the fruits of the True Life in God messages. He was pleased to know that the children and youths actively participate in evangelization. He expressed hopes on integration of the activities of the Beth Myriam into his diocese.
Preparation for the conference at the UP Theatre was ongoing while the blessing of the Beth Myriam took place. A bus-load of people from the Cagayan, north of the Philippines, came as early as 3:30 in the morning after more than 10 hours of travel by bus. There were others who came from other provinces namely Batangas, Laguna and Bulacan. A few others came from far-flung provinces like Dipolog, Aklan, Dumaguete, Davao, Tarlac, Pampanga and Baguio. The majority of the audience came from nearby towns and cities of Metro Manila. A group of adult deaf with their interpreters came too. Attendance was not also limited to Catholics only. About 80% of the seats in the lower orchestra was filled up when the conference started at 2:30 pm.
Vassula introduced herself and the story of the beginnings of the messages. She talked about the TLIG messages in general, the need for deep repentance, an intimate relationship with God, the power of praying the rosary, the unceasing prayer as taught to us by Jesus and the New Pentecost that has already began. She also shared her experiences with the Lord as He taught her lessons on these themes in her daily life. She ended with a prayer for healing and deliverance.
After the conference, a lot of people bought the True Life in God books, rosaries, video cds and other materials that were sold to support the evangelization program of True Life in God - Philippines Association. Response from the audience was very heartwarming since most of them expressed how they were touched by Vassula's speech. They expressed their desire to know more about the messages and put up prayer groups in their own areas. Clamor for more books and materials for evangelization were also expressed by those who were deeply touched by the messages.
DAY 3 (Monday, November 18, 2002)
Vassula attended the morning mass at Malacañang Palace, the office of the President of the Philippines. After the mass, Vassula was introduced to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The complete volumes of True Life in God books were handed to her. Vassula and her companions stayed for breakfast then left to prepare for the next conference which was to be held in Cebu, an island south of Manila.
She left for Cebu at 3:00 in the afternoon by plane. Monsignor Kriekenbeek, spiritual adviser of the Catholic Charismatic groups in Cebu, welcomed her at the airport and brought her to meet Cardinal Vidal. She had a fleeting moment with the Cardinal who was then preparing to celebrate mass. Vassula was able to give the complete volumes of the TLIG books.
Her hostess in Cebu happened to be the owner of the Catholic cable TV in Cebu and a supporter of the TLIG messages. Vassula was invited to the station. She was welcomed by the people at the station and showed her their private chapel with a Greek Orthodox tabernacle. Vassula explained to them the meaning of what they see on the tabernacle. Vassula was informed that they plan to broadcast the videos of her conferences in the different parts of the world via satellite through this network. The owner of the station expressed confidence that this plan will push through.
Members of the different Catholic Charismatic groups flocked Sto. Rosario Parish at about 8:00 in the evening. They started with songs of praise to the Lord as Vassula, with Monsignor Kriekenbeek, came in. Monsignor introduced Vassula and announced the schedule for the night. Father Richie shared how the True Life in God messages renewed his commitment to priesthood, then he gave the floor to Vassula.
Most of the people knew Vassula since she had been to Cebu in 1997. Nevertheless, she began her talk with how she started to receive the messages in 1985 until it was made public after three years. She described her process of purification. She also related her beautiful experiences with the Father as He taught her how to pray the Our Father and how to pray unceasingly. She again touched on the different themes contained in the messages such as repentance, surrendering of the will, and the works of the Holy Spirit. She also highlighted the story of David who sings and dances for joy in the presence of God. She briefly discussed the messages she received on September 11, 1991 which was in reference to the recent event in New York. The audience gave her a warm round of applause after the talk. In the end, Vassula gave a general blessing with a prayer for healing and deliverance.
After the talk, the people bought the TLIG books brought by the TLIG -headquarters in Quezon City. The people expressed their desire for better access to the higher volumes of the messages. Only the first two volumes and My Angel Daniel are available at National Bookstore.
DAY 4 (Tuesday, November 19, 2002)
Vassula left Cebu by plane at 12 noon and arrived in Manila after an hour. She prepared for another conference with the members of the Interfaith. The conference was to take place at the residence of Meldy Cojuangco, a Papal awardee and a lay leader known to have supported several dioceses in the Philippines.
This conference was organized by Center for Peace- Asia. It started at five in the afternoon and there were about 40 people who responded to the invitation. The group was comprised of bishops, archbishop, priests, pastors, muslims, buddhists, other non-christians, lay persons and mediamen. Vassula delivered the speech she gave at the International Bridgettine Centre of Farfa on Ecumenism and Spirituality. A copy of the speech, with Vassula's invitation to the said symposium of Farfa, was distributed to those who attended the gathering. According to Father Richie, who was also present that day, the muslims were the first to convey joy in knowing that Christians are working towards unity.
DAY 5 (Wednesday, November 20, 2002)
The prisoners at the National Penitentiary in Muntinlupa were busy preparing for the visit of Vassula and other members of True Life in God prayer groups early that morning. About 20 inmates from the medium (inmates serving less than 20 years of imprisonment) who have been introduced to the True Life in God messages were moved to the maximum (inmates with more than 20 years and life sentences) compound where the conference will be held. According to TLIG organizers inside the prison, the venue was initially set at the stadium so as not to limit the audience to Catholics. However due to security reasons, the venue was suddenly moved to the chapel.
The conference started at about 10:00 in the morning. About 300 to 400 inmates including the members of TLIG prayer group inside the prison attended the conference. Father Roberto Olaguer, parish priest of Ina ng Awa Parish in Muntinlupa welcomed Vassula and everyone present. Father Richie gave a brief introduction of Vassula. He also acted as Vassula's interpreter in Filipino.
Vassula gave a brief introduction on how she started to receive the messages then talked more on the need for deep repentance that leads to a true conversion. She explained how the Holy Spirit can work in us if we truly repent. She shared her experience of purification and what this has done to her soul. She talked of the other important themes in the messages. In thanksgiving, the vineyards of the TLIG medium and TLIG maximum gave Vassula a portrait of herself and a portrait of God. Vassula commented that as a portraitist herself, both portraits were very good. The members of the pastoral council also gave her a token of their appreciation. She closed the event with a prayer for healing and deliverance.
Vassula requested the members of TLIG vineyard who are also inmates to identify themselves. She inspired them by saying that they are the salt of the earth and that their prayers are very powerful. The other inmates were encouraged to become members of the TLIG vineyard as she welcomed them to join in the group picture. She then left Muntinlupa to prepare for a taped interview on television and another conference in the afternoon.
The taped interview was conducted at the residence of Josie Bantug. Julius Babao of Channel 2 interviewed her and asked about how she began to receive the messages. He also asked for a message for the Filipinos. Vassula referred to the message for the Filipinos given to her in October 24, 1991. They talked more about the different themes in the messages. After the interview, Julius commented that Vassula seemed to be very natural as she related her personal experience with God. But towards the end of the interview, when she was talking about the important role of the Filipinos in the conversion of the world, she seemed to have changed tone. She spoke with so much authority that he felt it was not just her speaking anymore.
Another conference organized by the Center for Peace-Asia at Camp Aguinaldo started with a concelebrated mass by Bishop Arguelles and five priests at 5:00 in the afternoon. The mass was followed by Vassula's talk. She again gave a similar talk to that of UP and Cebu. But towards the end, she stressed on how prayerful the Filipinos are. She commented that having traveled all over the world, she can surely say that the Philippines is the most prayerful nation. She said that she hasn't heard of any country where people in a shopping mall would stop at anything they're doing when the clock strikes 3:00, just to say a prayer. She said that the Filipinos have a special role in the conversion of the world. They have so much faith that their prayers can even avert the impending war. These words were spoken in a very loud voice. She begged everyone to pray more.
Vassula together with the bishop and other priests prayed for the Holy Spirit over those who desired it. Bishop Arguelles prayed over Vassula and she prayed over the bishop too.
After the conference, the crowd trooped around the TLIG books to avail of the messages and other materials sold to support the TLIG-Philippines evangelization program.
DAY 6 (Thursday, November 21, 2002)
Before Vassula left the airport to proceed to Taiwan, June Keithley-Castro of the Center for Peace Asia and a radio commentator, interviewed her. It was broadcasted live at 104.3 FM station that day.