TLIG Retreat Mexico 12-16 December 2014
My name is Maria Stavrou, and before reading the messages of True Life in God at the age of 26, I was away from God and the sacraments of the church. I was always searching for God, but I was going through the wrong paths. I received the messages after having a similar discussion about this quest with a friend. From the first words that I read from our Lord, everything changed! I felt something unique and all the more I was reading, I was feeling contrition and repentance, but also a strong love. I had found what I was looking for all my life! The grace of God filled the void within me, gave meaning to my life and I felt that I am not alone - God was always there, with me, to love me and guide me. For the past 3 years I have been living in Rhodes and it’s a blessing to be in the prayer group there. My joy was unbelievable when I was given the grace and the honor from God to accompany Vassula on the retreat to Mexico! This was a miracle! Since the beginning of my conversion, when I had heard about the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and about a miraculous healing of a friend, I had a big secret desire to visit Our Lady in Mexico. But it remained an impossible dream. Nobody knew about my longing to visit Her and I had hidden it deep in my heart. But the Lord who knows every secret desire of the heart, made my dream come true through Vassula and her proposal to me to accompany her there! Glory to His Holy Name!
From the 12th to the 16th of December, 2014, a successful TLIG retreat took place in Mexico City - famous for the appearance of the Our Lady of Guadalupe to Juan Diego in 1531. At every TLIG retreat the participation is high, so also it was at this retreat, 300 people. The 30 countries represented were: Argentina, Latvia, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, United States, Mexico, Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, United Kingdom, Bolivia, South Africa, Armenia, Philippines, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil. So many different people from so many countries, gathered at the other side of the earth to hear the Word of God and share their love for Him in a place blessed by the presence of Our Lady! I was so impressed that I knew I would need many days to take in, with all its extent, the blessing God gave there. Praise and Glory to our wonderful God!
The TLIG group of Mexico worked untiringly for the successful outcome of the retreat with love and sacrifice; never losing their patience, never grumbling over the task given to them, for this is the spirit of TLIG; this is what Jesus teaches us in His Messages. With this spirit of love they made a successful retreat. It reminded me of the saying in Scriptures: “Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous; love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offence and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. (1 Co 13: 4-7).
Vassula was one of the speakers at the retreat. After a very tiring journey with many unexpected mishaps, we arrived in Mexico City right after the opening and the welcome from the group. The program of the retreat included speeches from Vassula and priests both Catholic and Orthodox, prayers and hymns to Our Lady and to Christ. Also, every night there was a Eucharistic adoration. By the grace of God, a live broadcast of all speeches in 50 countries via TLIG radio (www.tligradio.org) brought the listeners, who could not attend the retreat, right into the hall. I am sure that many were blessed in hearing those speeches.
The program began with hymns to Mary through the Rosary, where each decade was recited in different languages. At the end of every decade, we sang a hymn. The atmosphere was glorious and one could almost feel our Lady’s presence tangible!
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Vassula began her opening speech by calling the retreat a family gathering, explaining that when one joins such a retreat, he/she becomes committed to the Call of Conversion. She reminded us that God knows us for what we really are. He knows our wretchedness, our weaknesses, our guilt and how we fall and sin. He tells us, «come to Me as you are, do not wait to become saints to come to Me, come to me as you are…» (12.9.1990) and in His Grace, He can transform our soul.
She continued by saying that we are all called to expand God's Kingdom in this dark world. We are all called to make God's Love known, to tell the world that Christ has truly risen, to be witnesses of God's intimate love in this End of Times where wars, terrorism, loss of faith, apostasy, are demolishing God’s creation. This generation, the Lord says, is provoking God’s Justice.
She said that during every retreat our Lord sends us sanctifying graces. Vassula completed her speech by mentioning the words of the Lord: «Hence even the utmost wretched will have a Divine Visitation, for My Return is imminent. I will visit those who are not even familiar with My Divine Works. In their nothingness they have acquired nothing and have no knowledge of Me, nor have they ever known that I AM WHO I AM is their Master and God...» (24.4.2000)
Vassula’s speech won the interest not only of adult attendees but of the children as well! They were sitting in the front row, wearing headphones for the translation of the speech, listening to every word with undivided attention! I think this says it all about this testimony of love which Vassula gave!
Then Fr. Honorio Santana spoke on the subject of, “Our Lady and Her presence in the redemptive plan.” He began by saying that when talking about Mary, it is never enough. Nonetheless, it is most important for us to know about her virtues because when following the virtues of Mary, we become like Jesus. In Her, the Holy Spirit performed His greatest work: the God-Man. In Her obedience to the Will of God, she didn’t reserve any of Her will, and that is the strength of Mary. She gave the Lord the opportunity to come down to earth. We know that redemption was carried out because the Lord, our God, in Person came down to this earth and He wanted to come through Mary.
He spoke about the current state of the world, the great apostasy and general lack of faith. For the eternal truths, which at other times in the past were not put into question, today have their credibility affected and rejected as something useless. We wanted to create a world without God. He continued saying that this explains the numerous appearances of the Virgin Mary and images that are crying. Why is Mary crying and sheds tears of blood? Because when a mother sees her children in danger, she’s anxious and struggles to protect them. This is exactly what is happening now.
He also spoke of the presence of Jesus in the Holy Communion and that if we do not believe that Jesus is present in it, we offend Him when we receive Him, and there is therefore, no fruit of holiness when we receive Him. We have to believe in Him, just like Mary did.
He said to ask God for unity because division wounds the Heart of Jesus. “Father, may all be one, as You and I are One.” This is the most fervent desire of God. And we will all be united if we are around Mary for the new coming of the Holy Spirit.
How loudly echoed in my heart were these words about Our Lady! Her obedience to the Will of God is enviable. This virtue from God is necessary in our times, in order to follow Him and to one day be with Him, as around us there is a world that by all means is trying to pull us away from Him!
The next speaker was Fr. John Abberton. The theme was “The Most Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, a sign of reconciliation”. He started by saying that the most important words about our Lady are the words of Jesus in the messages. That’s why he asked that we read the messages and especially the one of March 20th, 1996: “My beloved, come and learn: who has exalted Me most? I will tell you who exalted Me most: the New Eve has; yes! the Woman adorned with the sun, standing on the moon, with the twelve stars on Her Head for a crown; for I who made heaven and all that is in it, and earth and all it bears and the sea and all it holds have placed Her above all these things; the Queen of heaven is always in the presence of the Most High's throne; no less than the height of heaven over earth is the greatness of Her Name; Her Name, wrapped in a robe of light; let the whole world bend their knee to Her who bears the Sacred Name: Mother of God;”
He continued saying that Our Lady came to a place that had been stained by the blood of human sacrifice, violence and war. He described the turbulent historical events in Mexico in the period before and during the appearance of the Virgin Mary on Tepeyac in 1531, conflicts between Spaniards and Indians which led many of the native population in slavery. When the vision became known and the image of the Virgin imprinted on the tilma of Juan Diego was seen, it became clear to many that Our Lady had indentified with the ‘Mestizos’, children of Indian and Spanish parents. Mary’s complexion is symbolic of the birth of a new race and She is called ‘La Morenita’ (the brunette), the Mother of Mexico.
Fr. Abberton shared something that made everyone applaud full of joy. He said: “I heard someone at Medjugorje asking about where Mary is. I don’t know how true this is, but this is what I was told, “Our Lady said, ‘In Medjugorje I come, I visit, in Mexico I live.’”
He concluded saying that Mary sees everything and She calls us all once again to be reconciled with God and with each other. She calls us to put down the weapons of destruction and to seek goodness and peace.
It was the first time I had heard with such detail the history and symbolism of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And I was not the only one; later on during dinner, a lady who had studied at the school of Our Lady of Guadalupe, surprisingly said that even she did not know so many details about the miraculous presence of the Tilma with the Our Lady. Praise God; we’ve learned so much, so as to understand even more the importance of this apparition!
Next was the con-celebration of the Holy Mass by seven priests. With great respect and reverence, all participants in the retreat prepared for Holy Communion with Christ.
Mass was followed by hymns and praises. Francisco played the guitar, sang and inspired the attendees who were filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit. The atmosphere was festive!
Many of the attendees wanted to take pictures with Vassula and have their books signed. Vassula, however, prefers that people focus their attention on Christ and His words, not on her. She told them that she would sign their books and icons the next day, when they’d have more free time.
“The apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima and the 3rd secret;” This was the theme of the next speaker, Fr. Rolf Schönenberger, who would enable us to understand the critical state of this world. He started by saying how he consecrated himself to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, writing this proclamation with his blood when he was 11 years old, and how 20 years later Our Lady sent him to Russia, to a place he never wanted to go to, as he didn’t like the cold, the snow and communism and didn’t have any love for the people there. However, within a short amount of time, Our Lady gave him a big love for those people. Even his friends were against him going there as a priest. He continued by talking about Our Lady of Fatima and how She had asked for the whole world to pray for the conversion of Russia. If they didn’t convert, Russia would have spread communism around the entire globe.
Yet until now, the consecration and prayer for conversion has not been done as Our Lady asked. That’s why the situation is so difficult and heavy now between Russia-Ukraine.
Of course, in the messages of TLIG, Jesus speaks of what can happen if there is a lack of prayer or in turn, if we are prayerful.
God can change everything; it depends on every one of us; how we pray, how we offer sacrifices, how we lead our lives so these things will not happen. Do we help our priests, our bishops, to do all they can do? Our Lady, in Quito, Ecuador, in 1634, said, ‘In the end of the nineteenth century, the beginning and the second part of the twentieth century there will be a very big apostasy in the Church. The sacrament of marriage will be attacked and profaned; the freemasons then will have all the power in the Church and they will make laws, incredible laws with the aim to destroy the Sacrament of marriage; so people will live in sin. They will have children while not married. The Christian spirit will fall rapidly and the light of the faith will weaken. It will be a complete loss of all moral values. The priests will leave priesthood and there will be not enough religious vocations. There will be no more innocence in children, nor in women and the clergy will lose faith. But then, Our Lord will send a prelate through whom the faith in the priests will be restored.’
He continued talking about Pope Francis; he knows exactly what happened in Fatima and he has the courage to do things that others don’t have. He referred to the meeting of the Pope with Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul as the wish of the Catholic Church to be united completely with the Orthodox Church; he seeks unity and has it in his mind - something he stressed by tapping his forehead when asked by a friend of True Life in God to unify the dates of Easter.
He continued saying that there are many things to talk about in reference to the 3rd secret, but no one is sure what will happen: it depends on every one of us.
Last year, Jesus said to a Muslim woman who became a Christian and asked Him, ‘what will happen to my brothers and sisters’, “Don’t worry, don’t think about it, I will do a big wonder, a big sign that all will understand. You have only to pray.”
So, we only have to pray, sacrifice and all will change, all that has been said in the last 10 centuries will come to pass. This is a message of joy and not a message of death. It is a message of life because God wants to start renewing the whole world. This is what Our Lady in Amsterdam said: ‘This is the end of the old epoch and a new epoch will begin.’
The speech of Fr. Rolf reminded us that through the apparitions of Our Lady who speaks prophetically for our times gave us to understand the seriousness of our situation and that what is happening in the world today is a result of our lack of faith, our cowardice and our failure to follow what God asks of us. That is why God sends Our Lady so many times to guide us in His way.
Before starting his speech, Fr. Teofilo invoked the Holy Spirit praying: ‘Come Holy Spirit, come through the powerful intersession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your beloved Spouse (x3). May the Lord cover us with His Precious Blood’. He started his talk by referring to St Paul: he affirms in the letter to the Ephesians, ch.6, that our fight or struggle is against the Sovereignties and the Powers of darkness, with the spiritual forces of evil. He is not saying this only in figurative language; he’s trying to affirm that this is a real battle, both on a personal and a Church level. In this battle, as terrible as it is, and as long as it turns out to be, we have the promise of Our Lord Jesus Christ who has said: “In the world you will have to suffer, but have courage; I have conquered the world.” (Jn 16: 33) In this battle at the foot of the Cross, Mary receives from Her Son the mission to receive into Her Immaculate Heart the sons and Disciples of Christ the Redeemer. That’s why the Church refers to Her with the last title given to Her: Co-redemptrix and Advocate. She is the Woman in the visions of St. John in the Apocalypse, ch.12: ‘A sign appeared in heaven, a woman, adorned with the sun, standing on the moon and with the twelve stars on her head for a crown.’
Not only has He assigned her as Queen of heaven and earth, She is the Throne of the King of kings for He, the Lord of All, has placed her as first in His Sacred Heart.Fr. Theofilo continued saying that the Woman that physically appeared to Juan Diego named «Coatlaxopeuh», «the one that crushes the serpent" (Guadalupe), that Mother, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, is still not recognized, nor loved in Her dignity as Mother of the Incarnate Word. In the end, Her Immaculate Heart will triumph, as Our Lady said in Fatima. United with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, these Two Hearts are One, as Jesus says in the TLIG message on 20/03/1996. Not only has He assigned her as Queen of heaven and earth, She is the Throne of the King of kings for He, the Lord of All, has placed her as first in His Sacred Heart.
He continued by referring to Pope Paul VI and his statement about the poor state of the church - The smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God. He finished his speech by quoting Pope Benedict XVI: ‘the Church has a profound need to again learn penance, to accept purification, to learn forgiveness, but also the need for justice. Forgiveness does not substitute justice.'
This was a really powerful speech. The personality of Fr. Theofilo highlighted even more the important words spoken about the invisible war that is going on around us, but also about the protection Our Lady provides for us.
After a short break, we returned to the hall where Fr. Theofilo began the prayerful healing session, which concerns us all, because we all face problems. The priests blessed all attendees individually. We all felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
For this day the Mexican True Life in God Group had arranged a public meeting. Anyone from outside who had not registered for this retreat was welcomed in to attend Vassula’s testimony.
Vassula started by asking how many people in the retreat are new to TLIG. Many people raised their hand. Vassula said, ‘I hope this is not your first and last time! I hope to see you at other retreats and at our pilgrimage in Jordan’. This comment was received with enthusiasm, cheers and applauds. She continued by saying that the theme of TLIG is of reconciliation and unity and we like to see clergy from all Churches with us, sharing together and learning from each other.
Vassula opened her speech by saying that what she’s going to talk about is from all the teachings Jesus has been giving us in the TLIG messages. Yes, indeed, it may have sounded strange to some of the newcomers that Jesus has been coming to Vassula for so many years, so as to turn her into His pupil, teach her what the Scriptures say and what He desires most in our times from all of us and from His Church. His proximity is astounding; His vivid Presence is a miracle. This intimacy and manifestation somehow confirms the Scriptures and reminds us of Apocalypse 21 in which Vassula many times explained: ‘God was promising us that a time will come when He will live among us and that we shall be His people and that He will be our God, for His Name is: God-with-them. He shall make all things new… yes, we are in this era’, Vassula had said, ‘this era in which God is renewing His creation. This is the reason and the Sign for all those manifestations of God and of our Blessed Mother in our epoch, where they come all the way from Heaven, descending from Heaven to reach us and to speak to us insistently and continuously face to face! We are living the Scriptures in the Apocalypse, where God’s Presence is now with us and is indeed so powerful and clear that it is almost palpable!’
She mentioned to the crowd that: ‘God is known to bring the dead to life and what does not exist to call into being. Many of us, and I know from their testimonies, were slaves of sin, and many of us, just like me, felt no obligation to follow our faith, or go to Church, or pray; we felt no obligation to righteousness. And without realizing it, we were heading straight into the pit of death. Τhe Lord came to touch our indecent heart and from non-being, we now exist once more; from being slaves to sin, He has turned us around to willingly become slaves to God. But there is a reward in being the slaves of God; our reward will be: sanctification and an ending that leads into Eternal Life. The Calling of God, TLIG, liberates us from sin and gives us a chance to repent and reconcile with God.’
Vassula continued by saying that each of us on this earth has been given a mission. Our primary mission is to love God, to serve Him and love one another, doing good for the rest of our lives.
Despite so many signs of His goodness, there are those who do not put their hope in God, nor do they trust Him enough, but cling on what they possess and do not let go. Few are those that love God as in the first Commandment and as He wants us to love Him. And fewer still are those who understand God and know Him in an intimate way. Many do not pay heed when our Blessed Mother is asking for sacrificial love, for penance, for acts of reparation. The Lord asks from each one of us good works. The biggest service we can render God is to bring one soul back to Him, so we won’t stand in front of His Throne empty-handed. (4.4.1997)
God’s messages call us for a radical transformation of self: mind and soul. If we allow God to transform us, nothing more will count in our eyes as it had before; the things we thought and esteemed important, suddenly will become like ashes to us. And as the Lord says: “I will teach you to live in Us, move in Us and breathe in Us…” (25.10.1994)
When listening to Vassula tell about how easy it is to ask God for this transformation, everyone in the room seemed ready at that moment to open his/her heart to the Lord and ask Him to come in and change us. All faces gleamed with this intimate joy which the Presence of the Holy Spirit gives when He is welcome!
Vassula with the youngest attendees
Vassula continued with the signing of the books people brought.
‘Unity’ was the next subject presented from Fr. John Abberton. He referred to Vassula’s words, while indicating that unity is not just about unity of the Church, but unity of friends, unity of the family and unity in all its different forms across the world. He focused on unity of the family because that is important today. The Church must be a healing Church, according to Pope Francis, and we must have a healing message for those families which are broken and in trouble. The family is under attack. Fr. John said that in his ministry, he meets many people with broken lives, from broken families, from relationships that have damaged them. The demons seem to find an entrance into people’s lives through family trauma and people look for help in the wrong place – to mediums, fortune tellers, New Age people, wrong books, while looking for a ‘quick fix’, wanting their problems to be gone in a flash. It all begins in the family: when the family is broken apart, when the parents are against the children, when the children feel rejected by the parents.
He continued by saying that today God gives us a chance for healing by coming to know God the Father and by being intimate with Him. He mentioned the incident that took place with Vassula and God the Father, how the Father liked it when she called Him ‘Dad’. He said that there can be no family unity without the Father. In the heart of every family, there must be life; the family must be life-giving and should outflow to others, so that the Christian family becomes a missionary in the world.
With regards to unity of the Church he said that some of the problems related to unity occurred during Church history (the great schism, the Reformation, etc.) and are embedded in people’s memories, so the healing of memories is necessary. One thing that can help in this process is honesty, in other words, humility. It concerns the search of the truth, being open to the truth, instead of listening to propaganda and things that are only half-true. Jesus says in the message of(4.4.1987): “My Body is weary and injured, My Body needs to rest and be soothed; … My Body is the Church; … I wish to unite all My priests, like an army, an army of salvation; My sheep are scattered, all priests should unite; … My children are all created by My Hand, why are all My children dispersed? …”
Fr. Abberton continued by talking about the misunderstanding and distortion of the truth when talking about Papal infallibility. That infallibility is not only about the Pope, it is first of all about the Church; the Church is what we call indefectible in its faith. He shared how the recent Popes have worked hard to clarify that notion related to infallibility through their actions, by approaching the other Churches. They are showing humility, like Pope Francis, when bowing his head in front of the Patriarch and saying, ‘please bless me and the Catholic Church’.
When I heard Fr. Abberton talking about unity of the family, I realized how important this healing is, considering how many families are broken today. His clarifications regarding the wrong perceptions among the Churches that continue to keep us apart, made us all feel more strongly the urgent need for unity as God wants it. As we were gathered all there, from different denominations, a sign of unity is yet again seen; a unity which God brings through True Life in God.
‘Theotokos’ was the next subject, which was given Fr. Nicholas. He started by sharing some good news: the Cardinal of Mexico City has given to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in Mexico City a beautiful 17th century church near the Basilica of Guadalupe, the church of St Anne, so that the Orthodox may have a presence in the area of the apparition of Our Lady. Every year, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, the procession begins from St. Anne and marches through the streets to the Basilica of Guadalupe. This year, in June, the Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church of Mexico City will be at St. Anne’s with the Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Church ‘por liturgia juntos’ (to have Liturgy together) and to start the procession together hand in hand. (Something which was received with cheers and applauds)
After this good news, he continued saying that Our Lady has many titles, but the title that wraps up the great mystery of Her honour and presence, is Theotokos – the One who brings God into humanity. We don’t call Her Christotokos because She is more than that: She brings GOD into humanity. And She is our Mother.
He gave the last 10 minutes for questions from the participants on the subject of the Virgin Mary.
Fr. Nicholas continued with the service of artoklasia. As a Greek Orthodox Archimandrite, he wanted to explain to the assembly that artoklasia means breaking the bread previously blessed by the priest and then distributed to the congregation. The blessed loaves are five, the same number as those that Christ blessed in the desert and then distributed to the crowd. Along with the bread, small quantities of wine and oil are also blessed. The bread is distributed to the people; the wine is used for Holy Communion and the oil is used for the lamps. The celebration of this sacred event, with the symbolism of the multiplication of loaves by Jesus in the desert, is designed not only for the blessing of our homes and the multiplication of material, but also for the spiritual good of our loved ones and friends.
Service of Artoklasia
At the end, Fr. Nicholas distributed to each one of us a piece of that blessed bread. Joyfully everyone received it!
After invoking the Holy Spirit, Fr. Theofilo began talking about the Holy Spirit: nothing would be possible in the Church without the assistance and the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Architect of holiness and unity in the Church. In order to achieve unity, we need the fire of the Holy Spirit to bend our pride, our arrogance, so that we may be lowered and Christ may be seen. That’s why we need a Baptism of the Holy Spirit which is not necessarily the same as the Sacrament of Baptism. The words of St John the Baptist make that clear: “I baptize you with water, but He (Christ) will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”(Lk 3:16) The Holy Spirit has as a task to transform us so that we experience a living Christ. Fr. Theofilo continued by talking about the joy of the Holy Spirit, the simplicity of heart that the Spirit invokes the fire of the Holy Spirit and how much Jesus wants all humanity ablaze with His Holy Spirit!
A speech full of the fire of the Holy Spirit! Everyone in the hall was deeply moved. Whenever Fr. Theofilo spoke of the Holy Spirit, my whole being was overwhelmed! I was looking forward to the healing prayer. Since the Presence of the Holy Spirit was so powerful during the speech, I was sure that during the prayer service every disease and illness would be healed! God was indeed present! The tears were flowing uncontrollably, the joy was overflowing, the gratitude boundless, a blessing that cannot be described. I thank our God and praise Him for the love and mercy He shows us!
Our Lady of Guadeloupe gave us a perfect sunny day for our trip to visit Her in the great new Basilica that was built between 1974 and 1976, which has a circular floor plan so that the image of the Virgin (the Tilma) can be seen from any point. The buses started to leave one after the other in the morning. I was so excited to finally closely see Our Lady who I wanted to visit for so many years! Since we were early, we were blessed by not having to wait a long time to line up and see one of the greatest relics of our times: the Tilma. And here She was! I was in front of Her! I stood speechless in front of this miracle of God's mercy, and admired the simplicity and grandeur of the Virgin Mary. I could not find the proper words to thank Her enough for the blessing, honor and joy She gave me by bringing me there and filling my whole being! Finally, my dream came true after 7 long years!
Inside the Basilica, in front of the festive icon of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Later on,all of us moved onto the older Church. The construction of this church started in 1531 and finished in 1709 and it housed the Tilma of Juan Diego from 1709 to 1974. In this Church our priests were given special permission, glory be to God, to celebrate Holy Mass. Later, after our departure from this church, we visited an even older smaller Church in which the relics of that time were preserved and where San Diego lived for a while. On our way there we passed by the place where Our Lady appeared to San Diego. It was amazing! It was so lush and green, full of beautiful roses surrounded by thousands of white butterflies flying around.
Vassula and Fr.Rolf walking toward the church that houses the Tilma
Part of the garden where the apparitions took place
After that amazing visit, which will remain in me forever, we all returned back to the retreat location. Many of the people in the retreat had never been in Mexico, and especially never for a visit to our Lady of Guadeloupe. They were exhilarated! Afterwards, Vassula gave an interview for TLIG Radio.
Next was the Sacrament of Euchelaion or Anointing of the Sick by Fr. Nicholas. The purpose of Euchelaion (in Greek) is for the healing of any disease, as a disorder of the harmonious functioning of the body due to spiritual causes and especially due to the disruption of the relations of man with God. St. James says in his letter: “If one of you is ill, he should send for the elders of the church, and they must anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord and pray over him …” (Jm 5:13-15). And St Mark says: “and anointed many sick people with oil and cured them.”(Mk 6:13) Euchelaion shows the infinite love of the Church to our ailing fellowman; the goodwill, the concern, the substantial aid and participation in human suffering. The Church shares the pain, prays along, wishes and hopes for the healing of the patient, pleading to the Lord Jesus Christ. All in the hall, in reverence, waited patiently for their turn to be anointed with the blessed oil by Fr. Nicholas.
After the sacrament of Euchelaion, Fr.Nicholas blesses the people
Vassula gave her third speech saying that at the End of Times our Lord, together with our Blessed Mother promised to raise new Apostles. Energized by the Holy Spirit, they would become the pillars of the Faith, columns of Fire and defenders of the Truth.
We have been receiving constant warnings, Vassula went on, years back from both Jesus and Mary, asking us to reconcile with God and one another, to return to God and make peace with God, to start praying. Heaven has leaned all the way to us, in these last years, like never before in history. I do believe that Heaven is leaning towards us not just because of the situation of the Church, but because of the situation of the world of today. I believe that Heaven is leaning towards, helping us mainly because of the apostasy and the loss of moral values. Today’s world, especially in the West, has made God a dead God, a mummy in a museum, for their own convenience, so that they can go on sinning. To some who call themselves Christians, God is represented as an abstract image, intellectualizing Him. There are others who treat God as a printed word only on a page in the Scriptures, no more than that. They tell you that what God had to say He said it all through Christ. But then what does one make of the Holy Spirit? What does one make of what Christ promised us? Did He not tell us that He will send the Advocate to lead us to the complete Truth?
God wants us to approach Him with a pure heart, the heart of a child, without being loaded with earthly solicitudes. He teaches us to seek poverty of spirit so that we have room for Him to enter and possess us.
Vassula ended by saying: ‘Let us also flee from the complacency the world is offering us and the comfort, and let us break this safe cocoon we’ve weaved ourselves into, and brake our shackles and free ourselves; and our soul will turn into a fountain of tears with repentance when we realize Who was the One outside the door of our heart knocking all of these years.’
After her speech, Vassula continued with a prayer addressed to the Lord, blessing Him for freeing us and saving us, asking Him to heal and renew us by the power of the Holy Spirit. The prayer of repentance and deliverance followed; a prayer that Christ gave to Vassula on 13.11.2006 which everyone prayed with Vassula in English, Spanish and Portuguese. This is a particularly powerful prayer that leaves no room to blindness – facing yourself, acknowledging your mistakes made against God, renouncing evil in whatever form it is, repenting and asking from the Redeemer His forgiveness, His protection and His help.
These prayers marked the end of the retreat in Mexico. This was a retreat that filled us with hope and optimism, despite the situations we live-in in the world, with a strong love for all who were there and for every person that God loves. God gives generously to those that love Him. All this was the work of the Holy Spirit who filled us with His joy and His blessings.
Vassula with TLIG friends from Brazil
All those involved in organizing this retreat, and especially the translators, Olga Gajardo and Hilda Farah as well as Francisco playing guitar and singing, deserve special thanks for their hard work!
I would like to remind the readers that I have given summaries and portions of the speeches in my account.
Anyone who wants to read the entire speeches of all speakers can find them at:
May our God of Love and Hope bless us all!!