Vassula in Crete - Greece
September 7 - 9, 2001
It was in Athens, in January 2001, when Vassula mentioned Crete for the first time. "Are we going to Crete this summer?" she asked us. We looked at each other, it was clear that she was not talking about a vacation on the island but for a witnessing. The signal was given, the difficulties were about to start or at least that's what we thought.
Two months earlier, in November 2000, we were surprised by an unexpected phone call from Crete, the largest island of Greece, but at the same time it filled us with joy. The caller was a woman from Heraklion (Crete's capital city) interested in Vassula and the Messages. Her reply to our question of how she found out about Vassula was a surprise! "I saw her on TV. When my son was tuning the TV we got a channel airing Vassula's interview on a television station in Syros" she said.
God had worked His miracle! The TV station from Athens, playing video tapes of Vassula's mission from all over the world, can be hardly received even by us in Athens, because of it's weak broadcasting signal and yet, the woman in Crete was receiving it.
With God's help, on December 9th 2000, we decided to visit Crete, being confident that He was leading our steps. On the eve of the trip, a phone call from a friend of True Life in God, living in Tinos (an island in Cyclades) informed us that in Rethymno, another big city on Crete, there was a woman who reads the Messages and believes that they come from God. Three of us filled our luggage with books and every printed informational material we had and set out for a truly blessed voyage.
Coming back to Athens and while thinking that we needed to go back to Crete in mid July, to better prepare Vassulas meeting, we received a surprise e-mail. The sender was a woman from Heraklion, Crete, who while surfing on the web for religious subjects had accidentally come into .... the site of True Life in God.
When we met her in Crete, during our second trip on July 21, 2001, she explained that while searching the Internet for Christian content she found a page with dozens of different addresses. She was puzzled and didn't know where to begin. She decided to leave her computer on and turn to the photocopier for some copies she had to make. When she turned back to her monitor Jesus' picture was there, under the title: "Vassula, conversations with Jesus". Imagine her surprise, since her own name was Vassula.
On our second trip to Crete we also went to Chania, another big city yet almost 200 kilometers away from Heraklion. In a small village, three people who had received and read all the books, where waiting for us. They wanted to find out all they could about True Life in God and Vassula. Cretans are well known for their hospitality. So, they firmly insisted on us having dinner with them at a small restaurant by the seashore. We parted and promised to inform them when the date for the speech in Crete will be set.
Mercifuly, God kept helping help us, making easy what at first seemed difficult; clearing the way, sending people from nowhere to work for His Message. So, we were informed through a phone call that Chariklia, a Greek lady from Johannesburg who believes in the Message and works for its diffusion around the Greek Community, was going to Crete for vacation. As you see, Jesus arranged to make the best of Chariclea, and her vacation in the best way, talking about the Message and distributing invitations for Vassula's witnessing on the island.
Another God-sent assistance came through the willingness of another Cretan lady, who lives in Athens and had recently heard a speech by Vassula, and helped by distributing fliers to friends and acquaintances, even complete strangers, in the streets and to the shops of Heraklion, during her vacation in the island.
We booked a hall at the central hotel of the city and set the date for the speech, September 8th, on a Saturday. During our preparations we realized that the date was not accidental. It was our Holy Mother's birthday. We prepared the invitations and before we departed for Crete we filled two cars with books, videotapes, cassettes and fliers. Some of us where going to continue their "vacation" in Crete and others would come to Crete from Athens and Rhodes.
On Wednesday 5-9-2001, at 4:30 in the morning, just a few days before the scheduled speech, the ship left the port of Rhodes for Crete. It was a beautiful sea voyage lasting 12 hours. I made it to the hotel to meet Theodora who had arrived the same day from Athens. Our first exit to the streets started about 8 pm the same evening. We distributed fliers hand-to-hand along with Vassula's biographical resume.
The morning of the following day, Thursday 6-9-2001, we went through the market place and distributed fliers and the book of the Virgin Mary to passers by and the stores, we also placed invitations on parked cars. In the afternoon, after a short adventure we managed to meet with Chariclea, from South Africa, at her hotel. She had already distributed the fliers we had mailed to her and we discovered that Theodora has common acquaintances with Chariclea. The same afternoon, as we were going through the streets passing out fliers we found ourselves in the front door of "106,9 FM" radio station. We looked at each other, certainly this was no accident. We trod the steps to the station. We agreed to have the speech announced every hour, starting from 9:00 am until 20:00 pm for the next two days.
In the morning of Friday, 7-9-2001, two more persons, Georgia and Eni, arrived by plane from Athens. Georgia set out searching the city for bookshops willing to accept messages from True Life in God and Eni passed out invitations in the streets. The evening of the same time we went to the airport for the arrival of Vassula. She arrived at 21:00 from Rhodes, escorted by Georgia Braun and Chara. We were happy, our company was growing. After taking their luggage to the hotel we all went out for dinner. The woman who had found out about the message through her computer joined our company. It was about time for her to meet Vassula.
Saturday 8-9-2001, the day of the speech. New arrivals. At dawn, Antonis and Tereza arrived by boat. After we all had breakfast we went down town. It was Vassula's introduction to the island. We walked through the streets passing out fliers and invitations with Vassula in our midst. What a blessing! In a small town square we found a group of animal lovers who were passing out newborn animals. We stopped and were looking at the small puppies. Among them was a cute, brown puppy. We gave them invitations and talked to them about the speech and the Message, when Vassula was heard saying "I will take this" she was already holding the brown puppy in her arms, a gift from Crete to Per.
In the afternoon we had a meeting with Chariclea, from South Africa. Her hotel was at Hersonisos, 20 kilometers away from our hotel. They were waiting for us. We had lunch all together and she had a chance to talk with Vassula about her next witnessing in Johannesburg. We returned back to the city and preparations for the speech began. It was 7 o'clock when the first people began to arrive.
Suddenly we saw a crew from the local television station, Creta Channel. The reporter told us that the station received a fax from the Cretan Archdiocese discouraging people from attending the speech calling the speaker and her team an anti-orthodox offshoot. The speech hadn't begun yet so they took an interview from Vassula. She told them that she has been receiving the Message from God for 15 years and that she has been traveling around the world to relay the Message. The reporter asked for a small sample of the message and Vassula recited the words of Jesus "live every day like it is your last day on earth" and "lower your voice to hear Me, lower yourselves so I can be seen, go down completely so I can raise you".
After this, Antonis replied on the issues used by some orthodox priests to counter the Message. About 40 people were present at the speech. The announcement by Television, radio and newspapers once again discouraged people from attending. Yet, forty new souls listened to Vassula's witnessing with interest until the end, and this was one of Vassula's nicest speeches in Greece. Personally she overwhelmed me so much that I lost track of the video equipment and the recording tape run out without me noticing. Luckily two other people taped the speech and gave us a copy of theirs.
Vassula began her witnessing saying that she was very happy and honored to be in Crete. She talked about how her guardian angel manifested himself to her, when she was living with her family in Bangladesh, one of the poorest countries in the world and how he had prepared her. She talked about the Father God and what happened when He asked her to say the Our Father. She talked about the appearance of Jesus Christ and how she sees Him internally and listens to Him, explaining what a vision is. She talked about penance, emptying, and the importance of our participation in the Mysteries of the Church. She talked about Confession and Holy Communion. About the Holy Spirit and how, if we allow Him to enter our soul, He can turn a barren land into a garden for God to rest. She talked about the abolition and removal of the Cross and Icons, symbols of Christianity, from classrooms and public offices all over Europe. About prophecy and her mission, for prophecies given to her by God about Russia and finally she answered questions for about half an hour, about the Saints and the souls waiting in purgatory for our prayers. She also mentioned that she received a message from Saint Basil, written in Greek and that she had a vision of Saint George and Padre Pio. The Saints, she said, are awaiting us to ask them to pray for us. Finally she thanked the people and blessed those who asked. The speech lasted about two hours. God rewarded richly the souls who ignored the prohibitions and came to listen to Vassula's unique testimony.
The next day at the airport we said our goodbyes to Vassula who was going back to Rhodes with Georgia and Chara. The rest of us went on to Athens. Along with the speech in Crete our summer vacation came to a close. We thank God, because in His infinite Mercy and Compassion He opens new "roads" for the Hymn of His Love in our country.