F rom the depths of my heart, I wish to welcome you all officially, here in the Throne Room, where our companion is St. Mark, the Apostle and Evangelist... I would like to welcome you, Vassula. As I said in church this morning, welcome to your homeland, welcome to the country of your birth, and greetings to all who accompany you. As they say here, Vassula, “anyone who drinks from the waters of the Nile never forgets this country”. I would also like to greet the Bishop from India - welcome dear brother to our Apostolic Patriarchate. I wish to welcome the monk, you, Sister, you, Father and you, Father from the Roman Catholic Church and tell you all that with much love we receive you, we love Official reception by Patriarch Theodore II of Vassula Ryden with a group of over 150 clergy and lay people, readers of “True Life in God”, in the Patriarchate Throne Room during Holy Week of 2008. The Patriarch had earlier presented Vassula with one of his favourite icons which he had dedicated to her. you and that we are under the same protection and love of our Great Lord, Jesus Christ. Vassula, I would like to thank you for this opportunity, to be together over the next few days. This evening, we will follow together the Passion of Our Lord. Tomorrow, we shall worship before His Epitaph and we shall live, in our devoutly beating hearts, His Passion and His Resurrection. And that joy - that is my wish - that the joy of the Resurrection and the Light may be with us always all the days of our lives. In the name of Jesus Christ I wish to bless you all and your families and please know that Alexandria’s and the Patriarchate’s doors will always be open to you. Thank you. An Address by the Bishop of Babylon, Theofylaktos T R U E L I F E I N G O D 6 An excerpt from the speech given by His Grace before nearly 300 pilgrims of True Life in God in October 2002 in Cairo when he was Bishop of Babylon. M y beloved brothers, bishops, elders of all the Christian denominations, I welcome you with special love in this holy monastery. I bring you the greetings and blessings of His All-Holiness, our Patriarch, Pope of Alexandria and all Africa, His Holiness Peter VII, who couldn’t be with you all because of other duties. He is wishing you a pleasant stay in the country of the Nile, Egypt. (...) Our gathering today should have a purpose, so that all of us make it our daily program in our life to pray everyday so that peace prevails in the world. We should take the message of peace and love and carry it to the peoples of all the earth. We can indeed be the new apostles that will speak of love and peace. (...) If we put aside our personal interests, I’m sure that some day we will all be happy. We will shake hands in reconciliation. I believe and hope and pray that this day will come where the peoples of the world will meet at one point, will shake hands, will lament for the blood that was shed and they will reconcile for ever in their life. From the land of Egypt, which is ‘Theovadistos’ (walked by God) exactly because Our Lord Jesus Christ walked on it, we are to send today to the ends of the world a brave message of love and peace: as we gathered today in the Church under the same dome and we didn’t differentiate Christians from non-Christians or of other religions. From today we will announce to the whole world that men can live in reconciliation as long as they learn to love first their God, whoever He is, whatever His Name is, and then I’m certain that love for their fellowman will spring also. (...) The Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, Theodore II Fr. Theophil Pélgrims, Belgian Orthodox priest of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. An excerpt from a talk of Fr. Theophil given in Russia in July 1999, when he accompanied Vassula on her mission. I n all events, Vassula, we have noticed how Christ, our God jealous of His souls, has seduced you. Yes, Vassula, you have been seduced by this considerate love of our Lord. Thank you for letting us discover Jesus as the divine tenderness of the Father for us. St. John the Evangelist invites us in his Gospel to imitate his gesture during the Last Supper. Let us also rest on the loving Heart of our Saviour our heads so often filled with torment and stress. Besides, what John teaches us is the gesture of Jesus himself toward His heavenly Father. For “no one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” ( Prologue of St John, verse 18 ). Lord Jesus, living “Euchologian” of the Father, thank You for Your Love, thank You for Your messenger and bride Vassula. Yes, our Lord is King. He has robed Himself in the splendor of His devoted souls!