Los Angeles is the largest city in California and the metropolitan area is home to nearly 12.9 million residents, who hail from all over the globe and speak many different languages.
Vassula has previously been invited seven times to LA to witness on the True Life in God Divine Inspirations. On this occasion, she was invited to speak on Unity, on 18th January 2009, the first day of Christian Unity week. Today, God is offering us freely through this message, joy, peace and our inheritance. He is offering us an "Inestimable Treasure more beautiful than any man could conceive of obtaining".
On Friday, 9th January, we were welcomed at LA airport by Dr. Antoine and Clair Mansour, one of the organizers of Vassula's meetings. Together with the TLIG prayer groups in LA, they had worked for 18 months to prepare for this visit. All of them are volunteers who do their best in order to spread the Divine Messages of the Holy Trinity.
A well-known public relations group provided assistance with advertising on radio and cable television as well as in newspapers and magazines. 15,000 flyers were distributed - some by email, some were hung on the gates of homes, some at business premises, some on cars and in churches. Large posters were placed in a university and some schools.
The mission started on Sunday January 11th, by going to San Diego, near the border of Mexico, where Vassula was invited to speak at the Maronite Catholic Church of Saint Ephraim, after Holy Mass. Upon arrival, Vassula was welcomed by Fr. Mouannes Nabil, the local priest, who thanked her for accepting the invitation to go there and talk about the unity of the churches.
Vassula speaks at St. Ephraim Maronite Church in San Diego after Mass
Fr. Nabil, who hadn't heard of Vassula or the True Life in God Messages before, upon hearing Vassula's witness was overwhelmed and touched. He asked us to gather around a statue of Our Lady with Jesus in her arms, in the garden of the church; the TLIG group joined the parishioners to pray the Rosary. Every decade was prayed in a different language reflecting the mother-tongue of those present: English, Aramaic, Arabic, Armenian, Chaldean and Greek. It was a very moving to see the unity in prayer of all types of people and nations. It was really wonderful!
Praying the Rosary with Fr. Nabil and the TLIG Prayer Groups
Immediately after, Vassula was asked to give an interview to the Armenian Russian TV Network. This was done in the church. The journalist asked her about her background and about unity and the most important themes of the TLIG Messages. The journalist was so much impressed from what she heard that sometimes she forgot to ask her the next question...
The people of the parish who attended Vassula's speech wanted to know more about Vassula, her experience with Jesus and True Life in God. We left with the hope that this meeting was the sowing of a seed that will last and that would bear much fruit. As we were leaving, Fr. Nabil, moved by what he heard during the TV interview, said sympathetically to Vassula: "You have a very difficult mission".
"...lean on Me; accomplish your mission with Me; enlarge My Kingdom and give! give generously My Celestial Manna to the hungry and to the poor; I formed your lips to speak and be My Echo; so speak, My little one, I shall speak through your lips;"June 9, 1993
Vassula Never Gets Tired of Repeating the Same Words
Spending time in L.A. was not idle. Every day that passed was being filled with programs. On Tuesday, January 13th, a member of the Armenian TLIG prayer group visited Vassula and was interviewed by AABC Channel 284, for the program Barev, which in English means Hello. Vassula in that interview covered almost all the subjects of TLIG. One should mention here that in L.A. there is a large Armenian community.
On Thursday, January 15th, New York newspaper, Catholic News interviewed Vassula by phone, which was later transmitted.
Over the course of several days, Vassula was also interviewed and recorded for the promotion of the new single volume book containing all the True Life in God Messages.
During these days, I, Gethsemane, have been watching Vassula, how she always gives more than 100% of herself in this mission; she does not tire of repeating each time how Our Lord began the messages by using her as His instrument to transmit for His Word and His Will to reach people's hearts, so as to soften them and transform them with His mercy and love.
"...always be available for Me and well-disposed, and in this way you will save both yourself and those who listen to you; I formed you to become My pupil;" 2-11-97
On Saturday January 17th, the eve before her unity speech, we were blessed to have Fr. Struzzo, a Clarisse priest celebrate Mass in the small chapel at the house of the Mansour´s. Fr. Struzzo, who had heard about Vassula and her mission, spent some time with her afterwards.
In the evening, we went to the Church of St. Victor for adoration. There were no lights in the church, only some candles around the Holy Sacrament which was in the center of the Tabernacle and bathed in soft light. One person played the guitar while accompanying voices sang softly: "Jesus, have Mercy on us." The atmosphere was devout and the church was full, especially with young people including many actors.
Los Angeles is a city known for business, media, entertainment and Hollywood film studios and we know that many celebrities live there - but believe it or not it is also a city with spirituality. Here I want to praise our Lord for we can see how His Spirit is touching all these people. They are full of love and desire for Jesus Christ and priests who serve Our Lord as His good shepherds and indeed nurturing His sheep.
January 18th, First Day of Unity Week
The big event in L.A. was set for the 18 January, at Barnum Hall in Santa Monica Malibu High School. Vassula's speech would was based on unity, referring to Christ's words about His Church. That first day is the day of the Unity Week which happens to coincide with Vassula's birthday. The TLIG organizers had invited the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, but unfortunately a bit late. However, he was honored by our invitation asking that in the event of any future conference, he would appreciate that we send our invitation at an adequate time so that it maybe reviewed.
Before Vassula addressed the people, Dr. Antoine Mansour welcomed the people to this day of peace and unity and reminded them that prophecy does not belong to the past and that Yahweh never stopped speaking to His people through His prophets. He added that the way the prophet Elijah was taken to heaven signifies symbolically that prophecy will never die and the prophetic ministry of Elijah will continue. He also shared with the audience a letter from Bishop Oscar Solis who sent his greetings and his blessings for the Christian Unity Conference. He wrote that he regretted that he could not make it as he and his staff would be out of town: "Rest assured I will be with you in spirit keeping all the participants of the conference and all other fellow Christians in my prayer intention as we continue our common pursuit for our unity and solidarity as members of God's one family. With wishes for God's bountiful blessings for a grace-filled conference, I remain sincerely yours in Christ. Bishop Solis".
Then the organizers projected a video with Dr. Bob Edgar, former National Secretary of the Council of Churches and now CEO of Common Cause, opened the conference with a recorded greeting and introduction to Vassula Ryden (as he could not be physically present).
His inspiring words were: ..."For the last 23 years Vassula Ryden is travelling the world seeking peace and working for Christian Unity. She works with ecumenical organizations throughout the world to seek peace and understanding and dialogue and help people understanding the real meaning of Christianity. This is an important time. If we are going to face the challenges of global warming, of the care and stewardship of this fragile planet we call earth we need to hear voices like Vassula's. We live in a word that is different from the world we were born into. God is calling us to be the disciples and the prophets of this time. And the good news is that God chooses average, ordinary and common people to do the extraordinary... Dr. Martin Luther King said: 'you and I will have to repent for this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of bad people but for the appalling silence of good people'... I believe that you cannot live for a moment without hope. This is a hope-building conference. It's an opportunity for us to hope that in our lifetime that we end poverty that kills, we seek a world that loves each other so badly..."
Following that, to lead the people into prayer, a video was shown with the Lord's Prayer. This was prayed by Vassula in Aramaic, the language of Jesus. So often people love to hear this prayer that Jesus taught us in His own language.
Bishop Faber Mc Donald and several priests from the Roman Catholic and Armenian churches were also present. The gathering of that day was an estimated of 600 people who had come both from California and from all around the USA.
Vassula with Bishop Faber Mc Donald and several priests from the Roman Catholic and Armenian churches
The audience for this significant speech was made up of a beautiful bouquet of people of all colors, Christians and non-Christians. Vassula conveyed tirelessly, as ever, her testimony wherever she is invited. Jesus' wish for the Unity of the Churches dominates the messages of True Life in God as does His wish for unity in our families and in our lives within our communities. Reconciliation and repentance was declared several times during her address. For this to happen, Vassula reminded us to follow the path of love and humility, reminding us of dying to self and will. A conversion of heart is needed. Unity will come either by peace terms or by fire and the justice of God.
The atmosphere was electrical and very much inspired and the conference ended with the prayer of Repentance and Deliverance read by Bishop McDonald together with all the audience. Vassula then was asked to bless the people who were ailing and in wheelchairs, but everybody seemed to line up whether ailing or not in order to be blessed. After the 2 hours speech Vassula, tirelessly, blessed with her Cross each person individually, and they expressed in various ways and a lot with emotion their love for God thanking Him and praising Him for His Infinite Mercy.
A Miracle Happens
According to some eye witnesses, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared next to her during the talk. The entire room, for a time, was completely lit up even though all the lights were dimmed for the presentation. When I told Vassula after the meeting what had happened, she said: "The night before my meeting I dared ask for a sign that the Lord would be present during my speech on the 18th January. Unless, I hear witnesses who saw this light with their bare eyes, I won't consider it as supernatural." The following day 2 witnesses came up and declared that they saw Vassula bathed in light and our Lady standing in front of her. Truly the Holy Spirit was present with His divine light illuminating the icons as well. There were 2 testimonies (below).
"I saw a very thick and beautiful golden aura around her when she was speaking to us and a very bright golden light behind her. On one occasion, I saw the Virgin Mary to her right and three times I saw the Virgin with a golden veil and a light golden facial complexion to Vassula's left side in front of her."
Mr. Richard E. Najera Santa Monica School Los Angeles
18 January, 2009
"...I came in and the whole auditorium was lit up and this big bright white light was right on top of Vassula. I was actually annoyed and I said to myself 'what is going on here ... no one can see Vassula speak because of this bright light streaming directly over her head'. I stepped out and when I came back in the auditorium it was dark again and you could see Vassula again speaking at the podium."
Sara Annunziata Long Island, New York
Sara said, that she'd noticed that the auditorium was lit as well with a glowing golden light. However the auditorium was never lit during Vassula's talk.
I can independently confirm the following: On the day and time of the event, I was at the door, manning a registration station outside of the hall, when Sara came out and complained to me that the "light was so bright over Vassula"
James D. Peters
It was a blessed day, Christ had answered in this way Vassula's request and, later in the evening, we had the pleasure to meet again with friends of TLIG and also meet new people who work at this vineyard of Our Lord. We celebrated together Vassula's birthday and the success of the meeting, which was the result of 18 months of hard work and excellent organization by the prayer groups in Los Angeles, working together with one heart.
Celebrating Vassula's Birthday and a Victory for Christ
The next day, Monday January 19th, Vassula gave still another interview for Bob and Sharon Jimenez, to be broadcast by local channels for the diffusion of the Messages in the United States. Their joy at seeing Our Lord through Vassula is permanently engraved in their hearts, as is their desire to spread the Messages.
On Friday, January 23rd, Vassula was interviewed on the telephone by the reporter Ken Jeffries for KFWB radio station. I noticed that Vassula always offers her time to give her testimony for the inspired messages of God. She is available anytime during her mission.
One Symbolic Gift from Christ
On Sunday, January 24th, last day of the week of Christian Unity, we went to the Catholic church of St. Victor, where a TLIG prayer group meets once a month. A short time before Mass, Vassula, Tony Mansour and I were kindly asked to offer the gifts for the Mass. That was a pleasant surprise - one more symbolic gift of Jesus - for us, Orthodox, to be asked to offer the gifts at a Catholic liturgy. What a way of Jesus telling us, rather reminding us of his desire to unite His Church and what joy He emanates of seeing us as one! After Mass, we were asked to meet Monsignor George Parnassus who is originally from the village of Methoni in Pylos in Greece. He was so excited that two Orthodox Christians had been asked to offer the gifts at his Catholic Mass. He had heard about Vassula and her mission and he asked Vassula to send him the speech on Unity which she had given at the Conference on 18th January.
Vassula and Gethsemane, two Orthodox Christians, offering the Gifts at Catholic Mass
We parted from Dr. Antoine and Clair Mansour's family, with expressions of affection and thanks for all the love and care they had shown us as well as all the support of our beloved friends in True Life in God in Los Angeles. On Friday, January 28th, we departed for the city of Monterrey in Mexico and the continuation of Vassula's mission in several countries of South America, never realizing what an odyssey laid in front of us.