Vassula in New York and Pittsburgh - USA
November 2 - 7, 1999
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour -
Holy is his name, and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him. He has
used the power of his arm, he has routed he arrogant of heart. He has pulled down princes
from their thrones and raised high the lowly. He has filled the starving with good things,
sent the rich away empty. He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his
faithful love - according to the promise he made to our ancestors - of his mercy to Abraham
and to his descendants for ever." (Lk. 1, 46 ff).
Our Lady's praises that she sang to the faithfulness and power of God at the hour of the
Annunciation of the Messiah and her own son ring in the ears of all those who are her
children too and who follow her and do their best to imitate her "Yes" to the will and the
love of God. And what else can I do than continue her praises to the love and might of God,
having witnessed with my own eyes what He, the Lord, did on the latest trip of Vassula to
the United States. Only praises and thanksgiving are the right answer to the mighty works
that God is doing in our times through and around his Love-Hymn, True Life in God.
Vassula's visit in the US in 1999 was different to all her previous visits to the American
Continent. It contained an excellent meeting in the Greek Orthodox Church of Brooklyn, NY, a
meeting with a special new friendship. Also, it contained the 1999 Medjugorie Steel City
Conference that was different than any of the previous years due to the presence of speakers
that never visited the US before and who are witnesses of some little known but truly
amazing works of the Spirit of God today.
Vassula in New York, November 2 - 4, 1999
Archimandrite Eugene N. Nicolau, Parish Priest of the Greek Orthodox Church "Three
Hierarchs" in Brooklyn, New York, had invited Vassula to speak in his parish for the first
time. Father Eugene, an amazing personality, very open to the moves of the Spirit of God in
our times, proved to be a friend from the first time he met with Vassula and her friends.
Father Eugene knew about Vassula partly through New York TLIG volunteers, partly through the
Greek-Catholic Mystic Myrna Nasour of Damascus, Syria, who visited his parish earlier in the
year and who is a good friend of Vassula. As many will know, more than just being good
friends, Myrna and Vassula carry the same message of Unity, a message in which Jesus asks
for one particular operation of the Churches - the unification of the dates of Easter. When
Myrna visited Father Eugene's parish, Father Eugene and all the faithful had a powerful
experience of the grace, God has bestowed upon Myrna: during her witnessing, oil started
pouring profusely from Myrna's hands. With the same oil, she blessed all the people present
and this event just as the words of Myrna left an indelible mark on the entire parish.
Knowing the friendship between Vassula and Myrna, Father Eugene was already very open to the
mystical approach of Christ and His call for Church Unity. In fact, Father Eugene for
several years has been preaching the Lord's desire for unity, even before he got to know
Myrna or Vassula.
Before the meeting, Vassula, Teckie Johnides and myself had a meeting with Father Eugene.
While we were talking, the issue of Church Unity came up, and Father Eugene started to
express his convictions on how much Christ longed for the Unity of his Body, how he
envisaged the future unity to be and which were the problems, the Church was facing before
unification. Vassula, Teckie and myself looked at each other in amazement, and I exclaimed:
"Are you sure, you have not read Vassula's messages prior to our meeting?!" Father Eugene
expressed exactly the same desires and insights that Jesus is giving through True Life in
God, to the point of quoting the words of Christ. He never read them prior to the meeting
Father Eugene Nicolau is active in the ecumenical and interfaith projects and was
instrumental as the first Orthodox foreign missionary having served in the Phillipines,
Corea, and Japan in the late sixties and early seventies and has been pastering the parish
of the Three Hierarchs for the past 17 years. He studied under the Dominicans, has a degree
in Ecumenical theology from the World Council of Churches in Geneva, and is presently the
representative of the Greek-Orthodox Archbishop in New York to different ecumenical
gatherings, such as the USA National Council of Churches. Thus, the dialogue between Father
Eugene and Vassula prior to her talk was one of mutual understanding, sharing the same
No one had announced the meeting in public. It was held at an hour at which most people are
working - at one o'clock on a Wednesday afternoon. This was the only appointment that could
be accommodated in Vassula's schedule. Even so, over five hundred people showed up. They
were a wonderful mixture of Coptic, Greek, Russian and Rumanian Orthodox and mainly Italian
and Polish Catholics. Most of the people had not heard about Vassula before.
After a short introduction by Father Eugene himself, I briefly introduced Vassula and her by
now world-wide mission. Because of the many "new-comers" to True Life in God, Vassula gave
an introduction to how the messages began, as well as a general view on the contents and
meanings of the messages. People were very attentive and responsive. There was an amazing
silence in the hall. Father Eugene himself followed every word of Vassula. At the end of Her
talk, Vassula read a famous message of Jesus in which he talks about the "Administrators" in
His house: You have industrialized My House, this House which should have been a House of
prayer! (February 7 1991) At the passage where Jesus says: "You have industrialized my
house", Father Eugene exclaimed "Yes! That's right!" And when Vassula finished her talk,
Father Eugene without this being planned, seized the microphone and gave a very animated
talk along the same lines of Jesus that the entire audience had just heard Vassula relate to
them. The synergy between Vassula and Father Eugene's messages was amazing.
After the end of the talks, Vassula was asked to conduct a healing service. Most of the
Orthodox believers present never heard about such a ceremony and certainly never had
experienced the phenomenon of being slain in the Spirit. And yet many of the newcomers fell.
You saw many who, after having fallen, got up again, crossing themselves in the
Greek-Orthodox way repeatedly, exclaiming "thoxa sto theo" - Glory be to God!
Father Eugene is going to visit Myrna on 26 November 1999. Is it a coincidence, that this
date is two days prior to the fourteenth anniversary of True Life in God?
The Seventh Steel City Medjugorie Conference.
The Steel City Medjugorie Conference last year was a tough one for Conference organizer, Dr.
Samuel Wuslich. A few years ago some of the main speakers had threatened to boycott the
conference by canceling their participation if he would not cast out Vassula of the list of
speakers. At that time he had conceded to the threats. Last year the story was repeated,
only that Samuel Wuslich by the grace of Our Lady stood firm to the Lord's work through True
Life in God and told these speakers that it was up to them if they wanted to participate or
not - Vassula was to speak. Basta! As many may know, either from having been present or by
having read the report, it became a very blessed and powerful conference that Our Lady
herself took in her hands and blessed in a particular way.
This year held the presence of new speakers, speakers that never spoke at American Marian
conferences before. One of them was Father Ignacius Prassad of India, one of the main
witnesses of the apparitions and many miraculous events, including the exhumation of Little
Moses, that have happened in Vadiakadu.
Vassula had a busy program in Pittsburgh with three talks and a healing service. On Friday 5
November, I spoke before Vassula. I recalled how I had come across the Messages of True Life
in God, how God had touched me on Patmos, and which direction the meeting with Vassula had
made me take as a theologian, doing research in the little known theological topic of
Christian Prophecy. I also related how it is truly God who has blessed True Life in God from
the very beginning. At a point in the first months of Vassula's call, Jesus told her that
the message would spread all over the world, becoming "an ocean of Peace and Love."
Vassula's answer was: "Well, what can I do? I can only make photo-copies of your messages
and give them to my friends at the tennis club!" to which Jesus answered: "You will do much
more than photo-copies!" In fact, today the message is in over 35 languages, Vassula has
held well over 600 meetings in 54 countries. Jesus' prophecy has already been fulfilled, but
only He knows how far he will realize the prophecy of His Love Hymn becoming an Ocean!
Vassula spoke at this first presentation on the importance of knowing God in an intimate
way. She related many examples and little stories connected to Jesus desire that we should
always use the "We, us" when speaking with Jesus - let us go shopping, let us work now, what
shall we do with this problem - She made it clear that no one can truly know God without
knowing Him in an intimate way. It the same time, we need to remember that He is holy. It is
with a Father on earth. If the relationship is healthy, Vassula said, then the child will
both feel immensely confident and secure with its father and at the same time have a
tremendous respect for him. It is not that one excludes the other, on the contrary they
support each other. Vassula also spoke about the mighty works God has been and is doing in
the Greek Orthodox Church and that we would like to make these miracles known in the
Catholic Church. This is a simple way of creating unity among all kinds of people. It is a
way that does not necessitate long sessions of dialogue but that show how the same God, we
know has worked miracles in the Catholic world, is alive and active, producing the same
marvels in the Orthodox world. Thus we can recognize the same Lord and the same Holy Spirit
in each other's traditions and praise him that he is One and the same. Vassula also talked
about the importance of giving God free space in our hearts, so that the Lord can turn us
into a heaven, where he can have his rest, into a paradise for himself.
On Saturday 6 November, Vassula spoke about how difficult it is sometimes to work for God.
It is true, she said, it is a great joy sharing in the mission of Christ, but the mission
holds it's Cross. To make people understand how tough it can be, Vassula recalled many very
amusing details and stories from her trips. As an example Vassula recalled her last
experience of obstruction going to Sweden in October. Her flight was at 15:00 hours so she
had asked the taxi to come at 13.30. At 13.00 a heavy storm broke out, heavier than many of
the tempests, she has experienced here in Rome. Trees fell over and blocked the roads and
the highway to the airport was inundated by water, making it impossible for the taxi driver
even to arrive at her house. She missed the plane and the meeting with the bishop. Another
example was her trip last year to India that several times turned out to be something of a
thriller. The gathering had many good laughs on the adventures, Vassula has experienced
during her apostolate for True Life in God, and yet it was clear to everyone that these
stories were not told just to amuse. It was Jesus telling each of us that we must expect
opposition in the most surprising ways, even by nature herself, but that this should never
put us down. We should rather thank Jesus for them, as we through our hardships can obtain
graces of conversion and healing for souls, bringing them home to the Lord, who has created
us all, even those who never think of Him.
Vassula's final talk was on Sunday just before leaving for the airport. At this third talk,
Vassula plunged into the messages themselves, reading parts of them with the impressive and
powerful intuition and "soul" that only Vassula, who has heard Jesus relate the messages to
her, is able to transmit. In fact, a young priest, Fr. John Corbett from New York, came to
Vassula after the meeting, thanking her for reading the messages as she did, as he felt it
was like hearing how Jesus spoke them to her and to us all. Vassula's main focus was on the
nature of God the Father, and she read several messages that truly reveal the face of Our
Heavenly Father. She also spoke at length on the Holy Spirit. She made it clear that the
Holy Spirit is not an "it." "Many people have come to me," Vassula said, "and asked me: Who
is the Holy Spirit? Is it an 'it' or is it a 'he'? Of course it is a He," Vassula said. "The
Holy Spirit is a divine being, just as the Father and the Son. He is a person who has
feelings, and whom we should pray to much more than we do. We all have ideas of God the
Father, of Jesus His Son, but how often do we think of the person of the Holy Spirit and
invoke him? We should invoke Him often!"
Vassula's talks made a big impact of people and the response was tremendous. Many people
noted that the authority and strength combined with the peace and simplicity of Our Lord
comes across through Vassula's presentations more powerfully every year. One person wrote to
me about the impact Vassula's talk had on her, highlighting the intimacy with Jesus and how
important it is to share all, we do with Him, using the we-us at all times:
"I'm still on such a high from the weekend in Pittsburgh, walking around with a big smile on
my face. I'm sure some people are wondering what drug I'm taking. God and I went on a bike
ride yesterday together - a tandum and He drove - I've heard a lot of speakers, but few have
ever moved me to tears. Vassula has truly been sent by God"
But the presence of God was not only obvious through the talks of Vassula, it pervaded the
entire conference. Thus the healing services were special peaks of the gifts of the Holy
Spirit. After a prayer by Vassula to the Holy Spirit many hundreds of people were blessed by
God, and many fell in the embrace of God. The healing service held a new phenomenon that
Vassula has not experienced before. While she was blessing people with the Crucifix
containing the relic of the True Cross, it starting to exude oil, an oil with a wonderful
smell, that reminded of the oil that priests use to anoint the sick. Before she noticed the
oil, Vassula and some of the catchers noticed the beautiful scent. But after a few minutes
Vassula noticed that oil had formed on the Crucifix and that this Holy Unction was
transferred as a token of the Divine outpouring on the people that came to be blessed. After
the healing service was over, the oil dried up as suddenly and unexpectedly as it had
appeared, but many people that had been blessed by Vassula as well as the catchers noticed
the perfume and saw the oil.
Skeptical to any supernatural phenomenon as Vassula is by nature, she went to her room after
the healing service and asked Jesus for a message. She opened one of the True Life in God
books and her finger fell on a passage that reads:
"as David said in his
psalm: "You anoint my head with oil," I tell you, with My Heart in My Hand: I will pay
homage to you My bride by anointing your head again with oil for having gone, for My sake,
through hardships and persecutions. Let this oil, My loved one, cover your head and heal all
(Notebook 89, p.64 06.05.97).
Niels Christian Hvidt