Meeting at a Buddhist Temple in Hiroshima, Japan, August 4 to 6th, 1999
During the organization for the arrival of Vassula in Japan, I felt compelled to seek God's counsel in total confidence in Him so that those that would attend the meeting, might be open to conversion of the heart. That they might come to understand the need for unceasing prayer, in order to be in intimate communion with the Lord in their soul and to acquire zeal for His mission.
The meeting was held in August the 4th at 6:30 PM at the Buddhist temple Myjin, a name that means 'Stella Maris'. The theme of the meeting was to teach us "How good is the Lord". Over one hundred people were there, among them Buddhists, Shintoists, Rumanian orthodox, Catholics and Protestants of different denominations, such as Lutherans, Baptists, Methodists, and Anglicans. Attending also were the most reverend bishop of Hiroshima Joseph Misue and some priests and religious. Our Buddhist hosts were sincerely touched by the Christian message, the revealed God that is the cause of our happiness and hope.
The meeting with Vassula coincided with the memorial of the 54th anniversary of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. There was a moment of reverent silence, followed by prayer and hope for the world.
During the distribution of the invitations to Vassula's speech, we sought to contact each potential participant by trying to arouse interest toward God and by answering to questions. As witnesses of the truth contained in True Life In God books and thanks to numerous miracles of conversion observed everywhere around us, we have accomplished a truly missionary work with respect and consideration for the belief of others. With our faith in the reality of Jesus Christ in the history of mankind, and in documents from Vassula as the sole weapon, we have seen the truth triumph, because it shines its clean light. The faith, hope and love that God has given us and the paternal welcome of our bishop, have made possible this encounter in Hiroshima.
All the participants had either read the books of True Life In God or had known who Vassula is through members of True Life In God prayer groups. So everyone knew the mystical dimension of Vassula's mission. However, everyone was surprised listening to this mother of a family, speak in such a simple and sure manner about her interactions with her guardian angel, with the Mother of God and the three persons of the Holy Trinity. It seemed to me that from all hearts gushed forth the exclamation of Saint Peter: "Lord, it is good to be here!"
Vassula has reminded us of the Love of God and His desire that all return to His Heart with ardent love. Simplicity and depth characterized her talk. Finally we were reminded of what our Father told us on June 18th 1994: "Come and learn: in the morning sow your seed of love, at noon sow your seed of peace and in the evening sow your seed of reconciliation".
Finally, Vassula presented the bonze of the Myjin temple with a statue of our Lady of Fatima. She also gave a rosary to a bonze of the temple of Fukuyama and a cross to the bishop. The latter, some days after, showed us the cross and expressed his happiness about the success of the meeting with Vassula.
The statue of the Virgin of Fatima has gone to enrich the patrimony of the inter-religious dialog that Buddhists have begun with Christians in 1987. They have placed this statue near that of our Lady of Lourdes that they have brought during a recent pilgrimage to the Grotto of Massabielle.
On August 5th Vassula visited the survivors of the attack in Hiroshima, at the Hospital of the Atomic Bomb, and these patients have been bedridden for over fifty years. She saw the same persons that Pope John Paul II and Mother Theresa have visited. It is hard to describe the emotion of this encounter of Vassula and the victims and I cannot forget her look kissing them, seeing in each of them the mystery of suffering, the pain and the evil, until the Cross of Jesus.
In the afternoon, the Catholic University put at our disposal a hall for the prayer group of True Life in God. Vassula taught us how it is necessary, in our daily life to live truly our life in God. All of us were struck by the frequent repetition of the word "reconciliation". Our group of Hiroshima understood that it is paramount to live and pray for reconciliation. To all our questions, we have received clear replies and imprints of charity. Then we went to the Cathedral of Hiroshima, where a Requiem Mass for the victims of the atomic bomb was said, concelebrated by the bishops of Hiroshima, Nagoya, Takamatsu and Osaka. Also numerous priests took part.
Receiving with us the Eucharist, Vassula, a Greek orthodox, accomplished her mission of peace, love and unity in our Lord. Thus, she who is the living witness of our Lord's thirst for our reconciliation, pilgrim of the merciful will of God, continued realizing in an ineffable manner the unity in the BODY of CHRIST.
Later during supper, Vassula met the bonze of Hiroshima and his wife. They said they were touched and happy to have reached, through their progress with Christians, to share what they called "the treasure" of True Life in God. Vassula invited them to participate in the great Jubilee of the year 2000, in the Holy Land next March.
The numerous young people attending this supper, asked Vassula for some spiritual advice for their life. With a maternal attention and her sense of humor, she managed to adapt herself to each one of them, with moderated and wise advice. If only we had been able to record all this simple conversation, we would have now a real collection of aphorisms such as those that the 5th century holy Copt Barsanuphe has left us.
On Friday, August 6th at 8:15 AM, we were gathered at the great "Peace Park" above which exploded the first atomic bomb, in that very same day in 1945 at the same hour. Amid the crowd in prayer, we heard the funereal toll of a bonsh, a Buddhist bell, while an alarm siren announced a minute of silence in all Japan. The same azure sky, the same heat...before the tragedy that had a death toll of a hundred thousand people, whose many children were caught by surprise in their schools. Until evening, people tortured by burns and thirst, threw themselves into the river and perished. We left the park remembering the legacy of such tragedy, the many cases of leukemia and thyroid cancer still occurring.
The arrival of Vassula in Hiroshima, a city with such a painful past, was a precious gift of God that will surely bear fruit. My Japanese friends told me that everything in True Life in God reminds them of the book of the Apocalypse of Saint John. We also wait for the end of pain in the world and for the restoration of grace: an end and a beginning that Saint John has announced to us by asking: "Come Lord Jesus!" and the Lord has already told us: "Yes, I'll come soon".
Moments later, Vassula caught the Shinkansen bound for Fukuoka, to visit the next True Life In God prayer group.