Vassula witnesses the meetings of Pope John Paul and Patriarch Theoctist in Romania, May 1999
by Isabelle Gay
"My earnest wish is that the West and the East meet. I need those two pillars of My Church to come together and consolidate My Church."
Christus a Inviat! Christos Anesti!
This trip to Romania, organized in such an unexpected and providential manner, was a sign that the Lord wanted Vassula to be present for this historic visit by Pope John Paul II to his brother from the East, His Beatitude Patriarch Theoctist, patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
I was accompanying Vassula and we were both among the official guests of Patriarch Theoctist so our private access to certain events was greatly facilitated.
We left Geneva for Bucharest on Wednesday May 5, 1999. For many days the temperature there had been 27C. Therefore, we were quite surprised when, as we were landing, the pilot announced 7C at ground level! We were greeted with driving rain and blustering icy wind. It was as if nature had been unleashed prior to a happy event.
However, on Friday May 7th, the day of the Holy Father's arrival, the sky was clear and remained so until his departure.
That same day, around 1:30 p.m., the Holy Father and Patriarch Theoctist were expected at the patriarchate in the centre of Bucharest. It stands on a hill looking onto a lovely and cosy little square surrounded also by the cathedral and the patriarchal palace.
Since we had passes we could go in after going through a thorough police check.
The Holy Father and the Patriarch, both dressed in white, arrived in the "popemobile". They were greeted enthusiastically to the ringing of bells and wonderful Byzantine hymns.
They began by praying in the cathedral, then crossed the square and went up the few steps to the porch of the patriarchate from where they delivered their respective speeches.
We were standing at the foot of those steps, three metres from the Pope and the Patriarch, facing the bishops, cardinals and metropolitans who accompanied them.
We were standing so close to the Holy Father that at one time, after looking in the direction of the crowd, his eyes fell on us and with a nod he smiled at Vassula as if to greet her. Vassula had an inner feeling that he had recognized her. After their speeches, the Pope and the Patriarch went into the patriarchate and came out a few minutes later. They were followed by Metropolitan Daniel, the Patriarch's right hand man; he greeted Vassula cordially from the top of the stairs. He was accompanied by Father Bria, former director of the "Unity and Renewal" department at the World Council of Churches, in Geneva, who had arranged our trip.
Vassula had met Metropolitan Daniel and Patriarch Theoctist in Iasi, Romania, in May 1994 at a consultation organized by the WCC on the theme "Christian Spirituality for Our Times". Vassula had been invited to take part and was accompanied by Fr O'Carroll.
Vassula had been invited to present the Message and the Lord's request for unity and the unification of the dates of Easter. The request was taken into consideration and one of the five final recommendations of the consultation was that "a new initiative be taken towards the common celebration of Easter". This was followed by a consultation in Aleppo, Syria in March 1997 inviting the churches to agree on a common date for the celebration of Easter.
The idea was taken up again in Washington in October 1998 by the North American Orthodox - Catholic Theological Consultation. Their recommendation was that the principle set by the Council of Nicea should be followed.
It is interesting to note that the Lutheran Church is also working along the same lines. Ishmael Noko, general secretary of the Lutheran World Federation, asked the LWF's 124 member churches to study the proposal of the Aleppo Consultation in 1997 for a common Easter date.
In an interview in Geneva Reverend Noko emphasized the importance of this agreement:
"What is at stake is more than the question of a common date for Easter, it is the question of the unity of the Church concerning an event which defines the Church as the Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is divided because of mathematical calculations but the Resurrection from the dead gives us more power to rise above human limitations. A common date for the celebration of Easter would be a visible sign of unity."
Vassula, I am tempted to call her the John the Baptist of our times, shows the world, through the charism she has been given, the way to unity.
We had prepared two dossiers, one for the Pope and the other for the Patriarch. They contained a few selected important messages from True Life in God about the common date for Easter and the reconciliation between the Eastern Church and the Western Church. Emphasis had been placed on certain passages so that they would realize the insistence and urgency of our Lord' call to unify the date of Easter.
(see below for a relevant Message from Our Lord)
Also included was a list of Vassula's meetings throughout the world from 1988 to 1999 (about 580 meetings) and a bibliography of True Life in God in all languages available.
We were wondering if Vassula would succeed in giving them the dossiers and in having a few words with them about their contents. It didn't seem possible at the time.
As we had been invited to attend the official reception at the patriarch's palace on the next day, Saturday May 9, 1999, we thought we still had a chance. We arrived around 6 p.m. We went through the security check and were invited to take our seats in the palace amphitheater. It looked like an exquisite pocket theatre, beautifully yet simply decorated.
A few minutes later a few bishops and cardinals who were accompanying the Holy Father on this trip, such as Cardinals Sodano, Cassidy, Silvestrini, etc, took their seats on the side, two metres away from us. We were tempted to let Vassula introduce herself, but it seemed more appropriate to let Father Bria or Metropolitan Daniel do it. But neither was there at the time.
Before entering the amphitheatre, the Holy Father and the Patriarch were greeted by a children's choir. As they came into the room there was thunderous applause followed by a beautiful Resurrection hymn. That hymn was sung many times during those three days.
After the Holy Father's speech, which he concluded by hammering on the desk with the words: "..this visit is an unforgettable visit", there was the reception and we found ourselves standing one metre from the Holy Father.
In the large room with many small buffet tables two armchairs and a small table laid for two had been set for the Holy Father and the Patriarch. The warm and cosy aspect of this meeting was certainly unexpected for the Holy Father and his entourage.
We had planned to give the dossier to the Pope as he came into the room, but after the singing of the Our Father in Romanian and the blessing a few people rushed around the Holy Father forming a barrier before Vassula. This behaviour forced the Holy Father and the Patriarch to leave the room. We sensed obstacles every time we thought we were reaching the goal...
Vassula, an Orthodox among Orthodox, supported by her Church, was witness to this meeting and saw with her own eyes the accomplishment of certain prophecies of the Lord through the messages of True Life in God:
Glory will shine from the Eastern bank - that is why I say to the House of the West: turn your eyes towards the East. Do not weep bitterly over the Apostasy and the destruction of your House; do not panic, for tomorrow you will eat and drink together with My shoot from the Eastern bank; My Spirit will bring you together.
.......In My Mercy and for the sake of My Love I will raise from the East at least one who will say to his brother: 'come and tread on my ground; come and eat from my table, come and drink with me; my vats are overflowing with new wine. Let us pasture our lambs together and make an Eden of our pastures.
My crown of glory will be offered to Me from the East.
......I will raise My offspring from the Eastern House to bring forward unity and in the end all the nations will assemble under One Name...
From the East I will hasten a generous heart who in its loyalty will seal a covenant of peace with the West.
....Today, any delicacy from the part of My creatures to restore My tottering House touches Me profoundly; any step towards unity, all heaven rejoices; any prayer offered for the restoration of My Body, My Father's wrath diminishes; any gathering in My Name for unity, My blessings are poured out on those sharing these meetings. My Eyes watch over those who love Me and who, in spite of their imperfections, carry out My fervent desires.
After the Pope' and the Patriarch' departure, we met the Romanian Ambassador to the Holy See, whom Vassula had met in Rome, and Father Galeriu, a very spiritual Orthodox priest who supports True Life in God in Romania.
Sunday morning May 9, 1999, we went to a very large square surrounded with greenery where we attended the Orthodox Divine Liturgy presided over by Patriarch Teoctist in the presence of the Holy Father in which a huge crowd was participating.
We had arrived one hour before in order to have good seats. On this occasion we met one of the Patriarch's advisers Father Basil. He was accompanied by Father Bria and his wife and all three came and sat beside us. Father Basil had lived in Lausanne and seemed pleased to talk with us. When I told him about Vassula's charism, he appeared to be open and interested. I gave him a brochure on the gifts of the Holy Spirit which I had with me and we offered to give him other books after the celebration. Since we were staying a few yards away it was easy. We were able to talk with him at length. Since we did not understand Romanian, he was very attentive during the liturgy and commented on it to help us understand.
At communion we saw a small number of people go forward to receive it, mostly children. Only the Patriarch distributed it.
Then in the afternoon, in a vast square in front of the former palace of Ceaucescu, the Holy Father celebrated Mass before a very warm and enthusiastic crowd estimated at one million who had come from all over Romania. The Patriarch also participated with Orthodox and Greek Catholic priests. The songs and prayers rose up to heaven with an impressive internal strength. In a perfectly well organized way about a hundred priests dispersed among the crowd to bring communion to those who wanted to receive it, all this in an atmosphere of fervent prayer and contemplation.
When the Mass was over, the crowd began to chant vigorously:
In a joyous way the Holy Father concluded: "Then let's hurry!"
The three-day visit by the Pope took place in an atmosphere which was particularly friendly, relaxed and convivial without too much protocol. The Patriarch had shown great attention to the smallest details. A great joy and mutual tenderness could be felt.
As for the two dossiers, we were able, finally, to deliver them into good hands.
From the Message of December 24, 1989 - Christmas Eve. (Fall of the communist dictatorship in Romania):
My flower, I am the Light of the world. Sing and be happy, sing for joy for it is I, Jesus, who performs these marvels. My Cross shall be erected again on every church, do you see?
A universal peace is soon to come. Peace is about to be born, pray for this birth of Peace and Love. Today the earth feels the beginning of its birth-pangs; these, My beloved ones, are My early Signs of Love.
I am the Master of heaven and earth and I shall with My Power demonstrate to every nation that I am all-powerful. I have said that I shall overthrow with My Breath all those who reduced you to slavery - let your nations realize that everything is subject to My Power and what I did with one breath is for My Glory. No man is able to efface My Law. Let the nations realize that it is I, the Lord, who came to free these captives from prison and lift them to Me; it is I who reduced your enemies into everlasting shame and this is not all, I shall, with your sister Russia, sign a covenant of Peace and Love and her crimes shall be forgotten by me and I shall make her My Bride again and out of her heart shall come out this song:
"I will keep my love for Him always, and my covenant with my God shall stand."
My Soul is thirsting for this glorious moment. I mean to show My splendour and My glory to every nation living under these skies, through your sister Russia.
I shall dress her with My beauty and with My integrity and I shall parade her to your brothers so that they may see My beauty and My integrity through her and in her. Daughter, the wedding of your sister's conversion is soon to come. I have said that I am He who descends in your era's misery to console the oppressed and free her captives from prison and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.
It is I, your Saviour, who comes to rescue you from the red dragon's jaws.
It is I, your Jesus, My doves who comes to break your cages and free you.
It is I, your Holy One, who never abandoned you and I tell you truly your gates shall not be closed to Me.
Vassula, I shall overthrow with disgrace and humiliation all these evil powers, these powers who knocked down My House and made out of It gaping graves.
My Light shall resurrect your sister Russia and all her neighbouring countries. I shall break all your cages and set you free. Learn that salvation and liberation comes from Me alone. Pray for your sister, pray for her neighbours.
My Lord, You have said that a trouble will be coming to the man who amasses goods that are not his and loads himself with pledges, will not his creditors suddenly rise, will not his duns awake? Then he will be their victim. (Ha 2:7) This is exactly what happened in Romania but innocent people paid it with their blood.
Be assured that I have with Me all the martyr-saints of your season, victims of Satan's fury. I have with Me all those who perished as victims. I tell you that his fury was such that knowing he was loosing his grip he intended to annihilate every single flower of Mine.
(Jesus then looked from above on Romania.)
Do not weep little one for I the Lord shall rebuild your ruins and I shall increase you to bear witness on My Name. I shall make you see great things under My Name.
Free at last! Free to come to Me your Saviour and live in My Sacred Heart.
I shall pursue your enemies, who are My enemies too, with My Light. Do not weep for your children that are no more because today I tell you that I have placed each one of them in the depths of My Heart.
-Blessed be our Lord, the God of Mercy, for He has visited His people. He has come to their rescue, He has come to give Light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death. Glory be to Him who comes to guide our feet into the way of Peace and Love. Amen
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...so far I have put no pressure on you, I have been pleading with you to unify the dates of Easter but you are not hearing My Spirit;
you have exploited the patience of My Father; this time again I am asking you to unite the Easter dates so that My Spirit shines on you with grace and brings My House into one;
today I am speaking to you but you do not value My words in these Messages; when you will one day, it will be too late...
Ah! if only one of these men working for unity, if only one of them does not give in to his passions, to his fears, and goes forward unifying the dates of Easter, I, God, will exalt him.
... so I implore you, House of the West, to go forward and unmask the Evil one by unifying the dates of Easter as in the primitive Church.
...pray for the house of the East and the West to join together, like two hands when joined in prayer, a pair of hands, similar, and in beauty when joined together pointing toward heaven when in prayer. Let those two Hands, belonging to the same body work together and share their capacity and resources with each other... Let those two Hands lift Me together, ah... when will those Hands of My Body lift Me over the Altar, holding Me together?
...go now and meet your Brother and unite the dates of Easter, then I shall give you the gift of love and restore your sight. I do not want you to perish in your own folly; double indeed is My grief; double is My groaning. Go now and alleviate My pain, brother, go and glorify Me by unifying the dates of Easter.
Have you not heard that I shall settle for one date?
How glorious you were in your earlier days! Come and rebuild My House into One by unifying the dates of Easter...