Rydén, Vasula (b. 1942)(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Vasula Rydén, a Greek Orthodox laywoman, reputedly began receiving messages from God in 1985. In the intervening years, as the messages were publicized, a movement known as the True Life in God Movement has developed around her. At the time she began receiving messages, she resided in Bangladesh. She initially resisted the messages because she was confused about what she was experiencing, but she slowly became comfortable with these communications.
In 1988 she began to accept invitations to speak publicly about the messages. As the messages were transcribed, they were translated into a variety of languages for publication. In her travels she has been especially attuned to invitations that offer the opportunity to speak to religious leaders about the unity of Christian churches and peacebetween peoples. A number of invitations have come from non-Christian groups, as well. The messages are described as an outpouring of the ineffable love of Christ, coupled with a call to personal repentance, reconciliation, peace, and cooperation. Rydén has called for an intimacy with God that never loses sight of God’s holiness.
Rydén has also conveyed a set of related messages to Christians. For example, she emphasizes the need to reconcile the date on which Easter is celebrated (the western and eastern churches calculate the date for setting Easter using different calendars). She has prophesied that the Russian church will be reborn and become the spiritual head of many nations.
Rydén’s messages have been received by a process generally called AUTOMATIC WRITING (though that is a term she does not like), the handwriting of the messages being quite distinct from that of her normal handwriting. She has noted that when the messages first started coming she received them in silence. Later, she began to hear the words that were being written. She now writes while kneeling before a set of ICONS.
In 1998, as the result of one of her visions, Rydén began a project to feed the poor in the Holy Land. The vision was of the Virgin Mary holding the baby Jesus. A short time later, she was given an icon painted by a Romanian woman that was a replica of the vision. The icon was one of several confirmations of the vision and led her to open several centers known as Beth Myriams. These centers are now located not only in the Holy Land but also in additional countries such as Kenya, Bangladesh, India, and the Philippines.
A global movement, drawing Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant believers, has grown up around Rydén’s messages, and groups around the world have organized to facilitate her travels and listen to her messages. The messages have been translated into more than 25 languages.