Who was `Abdu'l-Bahá, and why did He come to the West?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Days passing, in Paris Overwhelmed by His sanctity

'Abdu'l-Bahá is still in Paris, in 1913. Earl Redman writes: 

As the days passed, more and more Persian and Egyptian Bahá’ís arrived and filled the apartment. Day after day, more seekers came to see the Master. The constant meetings took their toll on ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s health. He noted that earlier in the journey, He had been able to get up at night and take care of His correspondence, but now He could not, so it remained unanswered.
            He did get out to some public meetings. A banquet at the Hôtel Moderne was held by the Esperantists on 12 February. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed the meeting that night and the following evening spoke to the Theosophists. On 17 February he spoke at three meetings during the day and then visited Pasteur Monnier’s Theological Seminary that evening. He also visited Versailles and a children’s home, where he deplored the contrast between ‘the many magnificent buildings kept solely for entertainment, while the poor were abandoned to such misery and wretchedness’.
            The Paris Bahá’í community, unlike those in London and Stuttgart, where the Master was to go next, had relatively few native believers. The Master spoke of the ‘dismal materialism overshadowing Paris’. Years later, after the First World War, he said of his visit, ‘in Paris no one would mention the name of God. I used to speak about God to many people and they would ask me to take another topic’.
            There was, of course, the unparalleled Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney with his American wife Laura, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed several meetings at their home, as well as in the homes of other Americans such as Edwin Scott, the painter, and Edith Sanderson. But there were also a number of other devoted French believers, and many were interested. Charles Mason Remey wrote later about one of these:

During Abdul-Baha’s visits in Paris, souls became attracted to the Cause, and the principles of his teachings became known and produced an effect upon many. Then out from these people there arose a few who recognized the Covenant of God and realized that in Abdul-Baha was the living spiritual Center of this new life in the world. Madame Chéron was of these few. The spiritual atmosphere of her home was to the hungry and seeking soul as an oasis in the desert to the tired traveller seeking refreshment and rest.
During the weeks prior to the outbreak of the war, which George Latimer and I spent in Paris, we went often to the apartment of Madame Chéron, overlooking the Seine. At times when surrounded by discouragements we went there to talk about The Center of the Covenant and thus revive our spiritual forces; and at other times we went there to meet groups of friends and seekers whom our kind hostess had gathered to hear the wonderful story of the The Cause of God.

I wish I had photos and more information about each one of the people mentioned! 

No comments:

Post a Comment