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—EFFIE 

E. 


BAKER 

 

Her Late Majesty Queen Marie of Rumania.  



The inscription reads: “To Shoghi Effendi with a message of love and faith. Marie.” 

 

R  



 



 

 



 

tO 


 

 

 

pict69.jpg



 

WOMAN brought me the other day  



a Book. I spell it with a capital letter because it is a glorious Book of love and goodness, strength and beauty.  

She gave it to me because she had learned I was in grief and sadness and wanted to help. 

. . 

She put it into my hands saying:  



“You seem to live up to His teachings.” And when I opened the Book I saw it was the word of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, prophet of love and 

kindness, and of His Father the great teacher of international good-will and understanding—of a religion which links all creeds.  

Their writings are a great cry toward peace, reaching beyond all limits of frontiers, above all dissension about rites and dogmas. It is a 

religion based upon the inner spirit of God, upon that great, not-to-be- overcome verity that God is love, meaning just that. It teaches 

that all hatreds, intrigues, suspicions, evil words, all aggressive patriotism even, are outside the one essential law of God, and that 

special beliefs are but surface things whereas the heart that beats with divine love knows no tribe nor race.  

It is a wondrous Message that Bahá’u’llah and His Son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have given us! They have not set it up aggressively, know- 

 

ing that the germ of eternal truth which lies at its core cannot but take root and spread.  



There is only one great verity in it: Love, the mainspring of every energy, tolerance towards each other, desire of understanding each 

other, knowing each other, helping each other, forgiving each other.  

It is Christ’s Message taken up anew, in the same words almost, but adapted to the thousand years and more difference that lies 

between the year one and today. No man could fail to be better because of this Book.  

I commend it to you all. If ever the name of Baha u llah or Abdu l-Baha comes to your attention, do not put Their writings from you. 

Search out Their Books, and let Their glorious, peace-bringing, love-creating words and lessons sink into your hearts as they have into 

mine.  

One’s busy day may seem too full for religion. Or one may have a religion that satisfies. But the teachings of these gentle, wise and 



kindly men are compatible with all religion, and with no religion.  

Seek them, and be the happier.”  

(From the 

Toronto Daily Star

May 4, 


 

1926.) 


 

2. 


 

Of course, if you take the stand that creation has no aim, it is easy to dismiss life 

 


VI  

THE PASSING OF QUEEN MARIE  

OF RUMANIA  

1  


WORDS OF BAHA’U’LLAH  

t’We cherish the hope that one of the kings of the earth will, for the sake of God, arise for the triumph of 

this wronged, this oppressed people. Such a king will be eternally extolled and glorified. 

. . .“  


2  

TRIBUTES PAID BY QUEEN MARIE OF RUMANIA TO THE BAHAI 

FAITH 

 

269 



 

270 


 

THE BAHA’! WORLD 

 

and death with a shrug and a “that ends it all; nothing comes after.”  



But how difficult it is so to dismiss the universe, our world, the animal and vegetable world, and man. How clearly one sees a plan in 

everything. How unthinkable it is that the miraculous development that has brought man’s body, brain and spirit to what it is, should 

cease. Why should it cease? Why is it not logical that it goes on? Not the body, which is only an instrument, but the invisible spark or 

fire within the body which makes man one with the wider plan of creation.  

My words are lame, and why should I grope for meanings when I can quote from One who has said it so much more plainly, ‘Abdu’l-

Bahá, Who I know would sanction the use of His words:  

“The whole physical creation is perishable. Material bodies are composed of atoms. When these atoms begin to separate, 

decomposition sets in. Then comes what we call death.  

“This composition of atoms which constitutes the body or mortal element of any created being, is temporary. When the power of 

attraction which holds these atoms together is withdrawn, the body as such ceases to exist.  

“With the soul it is different. The soul is not a combination of elements, is not composed of many atoms, is of one indivisible 

substance and therefore eternal.  

“It is entirely out of the order of physical creation; it is immortal! The soul, being an invisible, indivisible substance, can suffer neither 

disintegration nor destruction. Therefore there is no reason for its coming to an end.  

“Consider the aim of creation: Is it possible that all is created to evolve and develop though countless ages with merely this small goal 

in view—a few years 0f man’s life on earth? Is it not unthinkable that this should be the final aim of existence? Does a man cease to 

exist when he leaves his body? If his life comes to an end, then all previous evolution is useless. All has been for nothing. All those 

eons of evolution for nothing! Can we imagine that creation had no greater aim than this?  

“The very existence of man’s intelligence 

 

proves his immortality. His intelligence is the intermediary between his body and his spirit. When man allows his spirit, 



through his soul, to enlighten his understanding, then does he contain all creation; because man being the culmination 

of all that went before, and thus superior to all previous evolutions, contains all the lower already- evolved world 

within himself. Illumined by the spirit through the instrumentality of the soul, man’s radiant intelligence makes him the 

crowning-point of creation!”  

Thus does ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explain to us the soul—the most convincing elucidation I know.  

(From the 



Toronto Daily Star, 

September 28, 1926.)  

3.  

At first we all conceive of God as something or somebody apart from ourselves. We think He is something or 



somebody definite, outside of us, whose quality, meaning and so-to-say “personality” we can grasp with our human, 

finite minds, and express in mere words.  

This is not so. We cannot, with our earthly faculties, entirely grasp His meaning  

—any more than we can really understand the meaning of Eternity.  

God is certainly not the old Fatherly gentleman with the long beard that in our childhood we saw pictured sitting 

amongst clouds on the throne of judgment, holding the lightning of vengeance in His hand.  

God is something simpler, happier, and yet infinitely more tremendous. God is All, Everything. He is the Power behind 

all beings. He is the inexhaustible source of supply, of love, of good, of progress, of achievement. God is therefore 

Happiness.  

His is the voice within us that shows us good and evil.  

But mostly we ignore or misunderstand this voice. Therefore did He choose his Elect to come down amongst us upon 


earth to make clear His word, His real meaning. Therefore the Prophets; therefore Christ, Muhammad, Bahá’u’llãh, for 

man needs from time to time a voice upon earth to bring God to him, to sharpen the realization of the existence of the 

true God. Those voices sent to us had to become flesh, so that 

 

THE PASSING OF QUEEN MARIE 



 

271 


 

with our earthly ears we should be able to hear and understand.  

Those who read their Bible with “peeled” eyes will find in almost every line some revelation. But it takes long life, 

suffering or some sudden event to tear all at once the veil from our eyes, so that we can truly see.  

Sorrow and suffering are the surest and also the most common instructors, the straightest channel to God—that is to 

say, to that inner something within each of us which is God.  

Happiness beyond all understanding comes with this revelation that God is within us, if we will but hsten to His voice. 

We need not seek Him in the clouds. He is the All- Father whence we came and to Whom we shall return when, having 

done with this earthly body, we pass onward.  

If I have repeated myself forgive me. There are so many ways of saying things, but what is important is the Truth 

which lies in all the many ways of expressing it.  

(From the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin, Monday, September 27, 1926.)  

4.  

“Lately a great hope has come to me from one, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. I have found in His and His Father, Bahá’u’lláh’s 



Message of Faith all my yearning for real religion satisfied. If you ever hear of Bahá’is or of the Bahá’i Movement 

which is known in America, you will know what that is. What I mean: these Books have strengthened me beyond belief 

and I am now ready to die any day full of hope. But I pray God not to take me away 

 

yet for I still have a lot of work to do.”  



5.  

“The Bahá’i teaching brings peace and understanding.  

“It is hke a wide embrace gathering together all those who have long searched for words of hope.  

“It accepts all great prophets gone before, it destroys no other creeds and leaves all doors open.  

“Saddened by the continual strife amongst believers of many confessions and wearied of their intolerence towards each 

other, I discovered in the ]3ahã’i teaching the real spirit of Christ so often denied and misunderstood.  

“Unity instead of strife, hope instead of condemnation, love instead of hate, and a great reassurance for all men.”  

6.  


“The Bahá’i teaching brings peace to the soul and hope to the heart.  

“To those in search of assurance the words of the Father are as a fountain in the desert after long wandering.” 1934.  

7.  

“More than ever today when the world is facing such a crisis of bewilderment and unrest, must we stand firm in Faith 



seeking that which binds together instead of tearing asunder.  

“To those searching for light, the Bahá’i Teachings offer a star which will lead them to deeper understanding, to 

assurance, peace and good will with all men.” 1936.  

about giving it expression. She was at the time in bitter need, in profound, overwhelming sorrow. The sweetness, the 

tenderness, the depth of sympathy and helpfulness which she found at once in boundless measure in the Divine 

Message made an instantaneous appeal and opened her heart to seek and welcome the knowledge of its mani 3 

 

QUEEN MARIE OF RUMANIA AND THE BAHJVf FAITH 



 

1\.MONG the Bahá’i treasures in the International Bahá’i Archives at Haifa there lies an exquisite and precious brooch, 

preserved as a memorial of the first of the queens of the world who recognized and acknowledged the Revelation of 

Bahá’u’lláh.  

Queen Marie of Rumania did not hesitate about this recognition nor was she diffident 

 

272 



 

THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 

fold beauty and truth. She felt the precious, warm loving-kindness of the Heavenly Teachers, the perfection of their understanding. 



Her soul was satisfied. Here at last was that for which she had hungered. Here was peace, the reality of peace: a breath upon a fevered 

world from that guarded inner shrine where peace has its inviolate home.  



She was in bitter need. Those who were near and dear to her surrounded her with love and sympathy and consolations; for they too 

knew grief and pain and felt with one who suffered so acutely as she. But anguish of spirit had awakened in her a desire for something 

other than the sincerest human condolence. She faced the mystery of death and love. No word, no touch, however gentle, that came 

only from a knowledge of this fleeting human life could suffice her now. Loneliness had broken the hold of earth on her. She longed, 

as she had never longed before, for God.  

And God came.  

Jesus Christ divided those to whom the Divine Message is communicated into four classes: those who are too self-absorbed to receive 

any impression, those who are able to receive only a shallow impression, and those who are deeply impressed by the truth but are also 

impressed by things not true, and finally those who are single-minded in the love and service of truth. It was the unique distinction of 

Queen Marie that, living in a special sphere where the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches are at their maximum, she 

accepted and held fast to the New Revelation. She was the first to walk in that narrow path in which, when it is made broader, all the 

kings and queens and rulers of the earth will follow her.  

The time of an Advent is and ever has been an epoch of the severest test for humanity. “Who may abide the day of His coming?” cried 

the ancient prophet; “and who shall stand when He appeareth?” For none is the test so hard as for the great and rich. “Know ye in 

truth,” said Bahá’u’llãh, “that wealth is a mighty barrier between the seeker and his desire, the lover and his beloved. The rich, but for 

a few, shall in no wise attain the court of His presence nor enter the city of content and resignation.” For none among the great and 

rich is the 

 

test so hard as for royalty. Alone among those of royal blood, alone among her sister- queens, Marie of Rumania 



recognized the dawning of the Day of Days and acclaimed in Bahá’u’llah the glory of the Father. Theref ore this signal 

privilege has been accorded her; and the ornament which she presented as a sign of gratitude to the Bahá’i teacher who 

brought her the Divine message is honored with a place among the holy relics of the early heroes of the Cause who first 

upheld among man the Banner of the Manifest King of Kings.  

Marie, the eldest daughter of the Duke of Edinburgh, was born in the purple; but she had this special distinction that in 

her veins ran the blood of the only two royalties to whom Bahá’u’llah, when He announced His Advent to the world’s 

rulers, addressed words of commendation. She was on her mother’s side the granddaughter of Czar Alexander II, who 

abolished serfdom, and on her father’s side of Queen Victoria; both of whom Bahá’u’llah addressed in words different 

from the stern or minatory terms used by Him towards the King of Prussia, the Emperors of Austria and France, and the 

Sultan of Turkey and the Shah of Persia.  

She was herself an outstanding and radiant personality, vigorous and daring, devoted to idealistic and humanitarian 

projects. A traveler who in 1909, before her accession to the throne, visited her summer home in Sinaia, Rumania, at a 

time when it was unoccupied by her, wrote afterwards in 

The Baha”I Magazine:  

“We were deeply impressed with the spiritual atmosphere of her living apartment furnished largely with her own 

handiwork, the carving of the furniture, the paintings, the beautiful altar, all made by herself and all indicative of a 

deeply spiritual nature. Her books, her thoughts, as one gleaned in a hasty passage through her home, were such as to 

indicate the kind and spiritual ruler she has become.”  

After her death, an old friend who had known her since they played as girls together in Malta in 1888 wrote of her as 

follows:  

“No one who ever had the privilege of personal or intimate acquaintance with Queen Marie could fail to be impressed 

by the greatness of her mind and spirit. Her 

 

THE PASSING OF QUEEN MARIE 



 

273 


 

own life story reveals so well her ardent and joyous nature, the depth of feeling that accompanied every thought and action.  

The world is the poorer for the passing of such a noble lady, and a blank, impossible to fill, is left in the lives of those who knew her 

personally. She had passed through and suffered so much, even her wonderful health was too sorely tried and we must be thankful in 

spite of the great loss to us all that she is at rest and spared any further suffering. Her spirit is surely near us still and we must try to 

follow her noble example of great endurance and courage to face whatever may await us in these troublous times.”  

LSL5AN MCNEJLL, 

World Order 

IV. 10.  

The first tidings of the Bahã’i Teaching were brought to her in the early days of 1926 when her Majesty was in Bucharest and owing 

to personal sorrow was living in retirement. Martha Root, the best known of the pioneers of the Faith of Bahã’u’lláh, sent her a short 

note with a copy of Dr. Esslemont’s 

Baha”u’lla’h and the New Era. 

The Queen accepted the book and was at once so keenly 

interested by its message that she sat up over it into the small hours, and the next morning she sent an invitation to Martha to visit her 

in the Palace on the following day at twelve o’clock.  

So quick and strong was the impression made through that interview that the Queen gave it utterance that same year in many ways 

public as well as private. She found a ready response to her enthusiasm in her young daughter Ileana, afterwards Archduchess Anton, 

to whom she taught these truths. She wrote to an American friend of hers in Paris, “I have found all my yearnings for real religion 

satisfied. 

. . . 

I am now ready to die any day full of hope; but I pray God not to take me away yet for I still have a lot of work to do.”  



(BAHA’I WORLD VI. 580)  

In May and in September 1926 



The Toronto Daily 

Star published from her pen two glowing tributes to the Bahá’i Faith. “It is a 

wondrous Message,” she wrote, “that Bahã’u’lláh and His son ‘Abdu’l-Bahã have given us. They have not set it up aggressively, 

knowing that the germ of eternal 

 


truth which lies at its core cannot but take root and spread. 

. . . 


I commend it to you all. If ever the name of Bahá’u’llâh or ‘Abdu’l-Bahã 

comes to your attention, do not put Their writings from you. Search out Their books and let Their glorious peace- bringing, love-

creating words and lessons sink into your hearts as they have into mine.”  

To the 


Philadelphia Evening Bulletin 

in September the same year she contributed an article on the Faith in the course of which 

she testified expressly to her acceptance of the truth of a succession of Revelations, a succession of Prophets—”Christ, Muhammad, 

Bahá’u’lláh,” she wrote; continuing, “those voices [of God) sent to us had to become flesh so that with our earthly ears we should be 

able to hear and understand.  

These three articles being syndicated were printed in nearly two hundred American newspapers, and afterwards appeared in several 

newspapers in the East.  

The Guardian of the Bahá’i Cause gratefully acknowledged these spontaneous appreciations. “Moved by an irresistible impulse,” he 

wrote in the Bahá”i World for 1926-8, “I addressed her Majesty in the name of the Bahá’is of both East and West a written expression 

of our joyous admiration and gratitude for the queenly tribute which her Majesty has paid to the beauty and nobility of the Bahá’i 

Teachings. 

. . .“  


The following is the letter which he received in reply:  

Bran, August 27th, 1926.  

Dear Sir,  

I was deeply moved on reception of your letter.  

Indeed a great light came to me with the message of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. It came as all great messages come at an hour of 

dire grief and inner conflict and distress, so the seed sank deeply.  

My youngest daughter finds also great strength and comfort in the teachings of the beloved masters.  

We pass on the message from mouth to mouth and all those we give it to see a light 

 

274 


 

THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 

suddenly lighting before them and much that was obscure and perplexing becomes simple, luminous and full of hope as never before.  



That my open letter was balm to those suffering for the Cause is indeed a great happiness to me, and I take it as a sign that God 

accepted my humble tribute.  

The occasion given me to be able to express myself publicly was also His work. For indeed it was a chain of circumstances of which 

each link led me unwittingly one step further, till suddenly all was clear before my eyes and I understood why it had been.  

Thus does He lead us finally to our ultimate destiny.  

Some of those of my cast wonder at and disapprove my courage to step forward pronouncing words not habitual for crowned Heads to 

pronounce, but I advance by an inner urge I cannot resist.  

With bowed head I recognize that I too am but an instrument in greater Hands, and rejoice in the knowledge.  

Little by little the veil is lifting, grief tore it in two. And grief was also a step leading me ever nearer truth, therefore do I not cry out 

against grief!  

May you and those beneath your guidance be blessed and upheld by the sacred strength of those gone before you. MARIE.  

ELetter addressed to the Guardian by H.M. Dowager Queen Marie of Rumania.]  

Martha Root also wrote to her Majesty, and in the reply which she received were these words: 

“. . . 


The beautiful truth of Bahá’u’lláh is 

with me always, a help and an inspiration. What I wrote was because my heart overflowed with gratitude for the revelation you 

brought me. I am happy if you think I helped. I thought it might bring truth nearer because my words are read by so many. 

. . .“  


In the following year (1927) her Majesty gave another audience to Martha Root; a third audience in 1928 when with her daughter the 

Princess Ileana she was the guest of the Queen of Yugoslavia in Belgrade; and a fourth in 1929 in the Summer Palace at Balci6. She 

contributed an encomium of the Cause, charged with warm 

 

feeling and beautifully expressed, to the fourth volume of the Bahá’i World; and another more brief but not less significant to the fifth 



volume. “The Bahi’i Teaching,” she wrote, “brings peace to the soul and hope to the heart. To those in search of assurance the words 

of the Father are as a fountain in the desert after long wandering.  

It had been for some time her Majesty’s wish and aspiration to visit in person the sacred shrines upon Mount Carmel and to meet in 

person Shoghi Effendi. In the year 1931 the opportunity, as it seemed, arrived. Accompanied by her youngest daughter her Majesty 

travelled to the Holy Land and arrived at Haifa with the intention of fulfilling her cherished desire. But fate had ruled otherwise. 

Unfriendly influences intervened. She did not reach her goal. In a sad letter to Martha Root dated June 2 8th, 1931, she told of her 

frustration and of the unwelcome pressure to which she had been subjected.  

“Both Ileana and I,” she wrote, “were cruelly disappointed at having been prevented going to the holy Shrines and meeting Shoghi 

Effendi; but at that time we were going through a cruel crisis and every movement I made was being turned against me and being 

politically exploited in an unkind way. It caused me a good deal of suffering and curtailed my liberty most unkindly. 

.  

But the beauty of truth remains and I cling to it through all the vicissitudes of a life become rather sad.”  



Early in 1934 her Majesty again received Martha Root in audience in the Controceni Palace in Bucharest and expressed her delight 

that the Rumanian translation of 



Baha”n’lldh and the New Era 

had just been published in Bucharest and that her people were 

to have the blessing of reading this precious Teaching. In the course of the interview the Queen told of an incident which had 

happened in Hamburg some months earlier when she was en route to Iceland. As she was driving down the street a girl tossed into the 

car a little note, and when her Majesty opened it she read the message, “I am so glad to see you in Hamburg because you are a 

Bahá’i.”  

Martha Root’s sixth and final interview 

 

THE PASSING OF QUEEN MARIE 



 

275 

 

took place in February 1936 in the same Palace, and was in some respects the most touching and significant of all. Her Majesty spoke 



of various Bahã’i books, for she used to purchase them as they came off the press. She spoke of the depth of the fqãn, and of the 

wonderful radiant force of 



Gleanings frcnn the Writings of Bahd’u’lldh. 

“Even doubters,” she said, “would find a powerful 

strength in it if they could read it alone and would give their souls time to expand.” She told how in London she had met a Bahá’i, 

Lady Blomfield, who had shown her the message that Bahá’u’lláh had sent to her Grandmother, Queen Victoria. She told, too, of a 

dear friend of her girlhood who lived in ‘Akká, Palestine, and knew Shoghi Effendi and had sent from there pictures of ‘Akká and 

Haifa. This friend (Mrs. McNeill) published afterwards a letter which the Queen wrote to her at this time:  

“Dear ‘little’ Lilian,” it began, “it was indeed nice to hear from you and to think that you are of all things living near Haifa and are, as 

I am, a follower of the Bahá’i Teachings. It interests me that you are living in that special house; the Teachers so loved flowers, and 

being English, I can imagine what a lovely garden you have made in that Eastern climate. I was so intensely interested and studied 

each photo intently. It must be a lovely place and those southeastern landscapes and gardens attract me with a sort of homesickness 

ever since our Malta days. And the house you live in, so incredibly attractive and made precious by its associations with the Man we 

all venerate. 

. .  

Four days after this, the Queen sent for THE BAHA’i WORLD, her last public tribute to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It was in due 



course reproduced in facsimile as a frontispiece to Volume VI, 1936-38, and runs as follows:  

“More than ever today when the world is facing such a crisis of bewilderment and unrest, must we stand firm in Faith seeking that 

which binds together instead of tearing asunder. To those searching for light, the Bahá’i Teachings offer a star which will lead them to 

deeper understanding, to assurance, peace and goodwill with all men.  




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