The baha’i world


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Two Views of the Haziratu’l-Quds 

 


 

 

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CURRENT BAHA’f ACTIVITIES 

 

25 


 

lay firm anchorage (of the) Administrative Order (of this) undefeatable Faith.”—January 26, 1939.  

“Newly-launched Central American campaign marks official inauguration (of) long- deferred World Mission constituting 

‘Abdu’lBahá’s distinctive legacy (to the) Bahá’i Community (of) North America. Chosen Community broadening its basis, gaining 

(in) stature, deepening (in) consecration. Its vanguard now entering arena monopolized (by) entrenched forces (of) Christendom’s 

mightiest ecclesiastical institutions. Laboring amidst race foreign in language, custom, temperament embracing vast proportion (of) 

New World’s ethnic elements. American believers’ isolated oversea teaching enterprises hitherto tentative, intermittent, now at end. 

New epoch opening, demanding exertions incomparably more strenuous, unflinchingly sustained, centrally directed, systematically 

organized, efficiently conducted. Upon alacrity, tenacity, fearlessness (of) present prosecutors (of the) unfolding mission depend 

speedy (and) fullest revelation, in the First (and) Second Centuries, (of the) potentialities (of the) birthright conferred (upon) American 

believers.”  

—May 28, 1939.  

“The association of the First Mashriqu’lAdhkár of the West with the hallowed memories of the Purest Branch and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s 

mother, recently re-interred under the shadow of the Mb’s holy Shrine, inaugurates a new, and at long last the final phase of an 

enterprise which, thirty years ago, was providentially launched on the very day the remains of the Forerunner of onr Faith were laid to 

rest by our beloved Master in the sepulchre specifically erected for that purpose on Mt. Carmel. The birth of this holy enterprise, 



pregnant with such rich, such infinite possibilities, synchronized with, and was consecrated through, this historic event which, as 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá Himself has affirmed, constitutes the most signal act of the triple mission He had been prompted to perform. The site of 

the Temple itself was honored by the presence of Him Who, ever since this enterprise was initiated, had, through His messages and 

Tablets, bestowed upon it His special attention and care, and surrounded it with the marks of His unfail in 

 

solicitude. Its foundation-stone was laid by His own loving hands, on an occasion so moving that it has come to be regarded as one of 



the most stirring episodes of His historic visit to the North American continent. Its superstructure was raised as a direct consequence 

of the pent-up energies which surged from the breasts of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s lovers at a time when His sudden removal from their midst 

had plunged them into consternation, bewilderment and sorrow. Its external ornamentation was initiated and accelerated through the 

energizing influences which the rising and continually consolidating institutions of a divinely established Administrative Order had 

released in the midst of a community that had identified its vital interests with that Temple’s destiny. The measures devised to hasten 

its completion were incorporated in a Plan which derives its inspiration from those destiny-shaping Tablets wherein, in bold relief, 

stands outlined the world mission entrusted by their Author to the American Bahá’i community. And finally, the Fund, designed to 

receive and dispose of the resources amassed for its prosecution, was linked with the memory and bore the name of her whose ebbing 

life was brightened and cheered by those tidings that unmistakably revealed to her the depth of devotion and the tenacity of purpose 

which animate the American believers in the cause of their beloved Temple. And now, while the Bahá’i world vibrates with emotion 

at the news of the transfer of the precious remains of both the Purest Branch and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s mother to a spot which, watched 

over by the Twin Holy Shrines and in the close neighborhood of the rosting-place of the Greatest F-Ioly Leaf, is to become the focus 

of the administrative institutions of the Faith at its world center, the mere act of linking the destiny of so far-reaching an undertaking 

with so significant an event in the Formative Period of our Faith will assuredly set the seal of complete triumph upon, and enhance the 

spiritual potentialities of, a work so significantly started and so magnificently executed by the followers of Bahã’u’lláh in the North 

American continent.”—December 30, 1939.  

“(The) stupendous struggle now convulsing (the) major part (of the) European 

 

26 

 

THE BAHA’i WORLD 



 

continent (is) progressively revealing (the) ominous features, (and) increasingly assuming (the) proportions, (of the) titanic upheaval 

foreshadowed seventy years ago (by the) prophetic pen (of) Bahá’u’llah. (The) disruptive forces associated (with) humanity’s world-

shaking ordeal (are) closely interrelated (with the) constructive potentialities inherent (in the) American believers’ Divinely-ordained 

Plan. Both (are) directly hastening (the) emergence (of the) spiritual World Order stirring (in the) womb (of a) travailing age. (I) 

entreat (the) American Bahá’i Community, whatever (the) immediate or distant repercussions (of the) present turmoil on their own 

continent, however violent its impact (upon the) World Center (of) their Faith, (to) pledge themselves anew, before (the) Throne (of) 

Bahá’u’lláh, (to) discharge, with unswerving aim, unfailing courage, invincible vigor, exemplary fidelity (and) ever-deepening 

consecration, (the) dual responsibility solemnly undertaken under (the) Seven Year Plan. (I) implore them (to) accelerate (their) 

efforts, increase (their) vigilance, deepen (their) unity, multiply (their) heroic feats, maintain (their) distant outposts (in the) teaching 

field (of) Latin America, (and) expedite (the) termination (of the) last stage (in the) ornamentation (of the) Temple. (I am) praying 

continually (with) redoubled fervor.”—June  



13, 1940.  

“(The) long-predicted world-encircling conflagration, essential pre-requisite (to) world unification, (is) inexorably moving (to its) 

appointed climax. Its fires, first lit (in the) Far East, subsequently ravaging Europe (and) enveloping Africa, now threaten devastation 

both (in) Near East (and) Far West, respectively enshrining (the) World Center and (the) chief remaining Citadel (of the) Faith (of) 

Bahá’u’lláh. (The) Divinely-appointed Plan must (and) will likewise pursue undeflected (its) predestined course. Time (is) pressing. 

(The) settlement (of the) two remaining Latin Republics, (the) sounder consolidation through formation (of) firmly-knit groups in 

newly-opened territories, (the) provision (of) adequate means (for the) ornamentation (of) last six faces (of) first 

 

story (of) Temple, stand out (as) vital requirements (of) approaching supremely challenging hour.”—July 21, 1940.  



Finally, in 

The Advent of Divine Justice, 

Shoghi Effendi has given a more extensive exposition to the theme. The following 

excerpts are taken from that work:  

“Superb and irresistible as is the beauty of the First Mashriqu’l Adhkár of the West  



it should be regarded 

. . . 


as no more than an instrument for the more effective propagation of the Cause 

.  


“In this respect it should be viewed in the same light as the administrative institutions of the Faith which are designed as vehicles for 

the proper dissemination of its ideals, its tenets, and its verities.  

“It is 

. . . 


to the teaching requirements of the Seven Year Plan that the community  

must henceforth direct their careful and sustained attention.  

“To teach 

. . . 


should at no time be regarded as the exclusive concern or sole privilege of Bahá’i administrative institutions.  

“How often 

. . . 

have the lowliest adherents 



. . . 

been capable of winning victories for their Cause.  

“The field 

. . . 


so immense, the period so critical, the Cause so great, the workers so few, the time so short, the privilege so priceless, that 

no follower 

. . . 

can afford a moment’s hesitation.  



“So precious an opportunity 

. . . 


may never again recur. Now is the time, the appointed time, for the American believers  

to proclaim, through the agencies and channels of a specially designed Administrative Order, their capacity and readiness to rescue a 

fallen and sore-tried generation.  

“The teaching campaign 

. . . 

acquires 



.  

an importance 

. . . 

that can not be over estimated. “Launched 



. . . 

through the creative  

energies released by the Will of ‘Abdu’l-Bahâ it must 

. . . 


be carried out in conformity with certain principles.  

“Those who participate 

. . . 

must 


. .  

thoroughly familiarize themselves with the history and teachings 

. . . 


study 

. .  


the literature 

. . . 


delve into its teachings, assimilate its laws and principles, ponder its admonitions, tenets and purposes, commit 

 

CURRENT BAHA’t ACTIVITIES 



 

27 


 

to memory certain of its exhortations and prayers, master the essentials of its administration 

. . . 

keep abreast of its current affairs.  



“They must 

. . . 


obtain 

. . . 


a sound knowledge 

. . . 


of Islam.  

“They must, whenever they contemplate any specific mission in the countries of Latin America 

. . . 

acquire a certain proficiency in the languages 



. . . 

of 


those countries.  

“No participator of this inter-American campaign must feel that the initiative  

must rest solely with those agencies, whether Assemblies or committees, whose 

. . . 


concern is 

. . . 


this vital objective.  

“It is the bounden duty of every American believer 

. . . 

to initiate, promote and consolidate, within the limits fixed by the administrative principles 



. . . 

any 


activity he or she deems fit to undertake.  

“Neither should the threatening world situation, nor 

. . . 

lack of material resources, of mental equipment, of knowledge, or of experience 



. . . 

deter any 

prospective pioneer teacher.  

“Having on his own initiative 

. . . 

resolved to arise 



. . . 

let 


him carefully consider every avenue of approach 

. . . 


survey the possibilities 

. . . 


devise such methods as association with clubs 

. . . 


or participation in social, cultural, humanitarian, charitable, and educational organizations.  

“Let him 

... 

preserve its dignity, and station 



. . . 

safeguard the integrity of its laws and principles 

. . . 

decide 


. . . 

the suitability of either the direct or indirect 

method of teaching.  

“Let him 

. . . 

shower 


. . . 

kindness upon the seeker 

. . . 

refrain at the outset from insisting on such laws and observances as might impose too severe a strain 



. . . 

Let him, as soon as that stage (maturity of faith) has been attained, introduce 

him to the body of his fellow-believers, and seek  

to enable him to contribute his share to the enrichment of its (the Bahá’i community’s) life.  

“Let every participator 

. . . 


bear in mind the necessity of keeping in close and constant touch with those responsible agencies designed to direct, 

coordinate, and facilitate the teaching activities of the entire community. 

 

“They 


. . . 

should, through constant interchange of ideas, through letters, circulars, reports, bulletins 

. . . 

insure the smooth and speedy 



functioning of the teaching machinery of their Administrative Order.  

“Upon every participator 

. . . 

rests the spiritual obligation to make of the mandate of teaching 



. . . 

the all-pervading concern of his life.  

“If he be member of any Spiritual Assembly let him encourage his Assembly to consecrate a certain part of its time 

.  


to 

. . . 


consideration of such ways and means as may foster the campaign of teaching.  

“If he attends his summer school 

. . . 

let him consider such an occasion as a 



.  

precious opportunity 

. . . 

to enrich 



. . . 

his knowledge.  

“Let him 

. . . 


seek 

. . . 


through inter- community visits to stimulate the zeal for teaching.  

“Let any one who feels the urge 

.  

direct in particular the attention 



. . . 

of the Negro, the Indian, the Eskimo, and Jewish races to his Faith.  

“Let those 

. . . 


holding administrative positions 

. . . 


bear in mind the vital and urgent necessity of insuring 

. . . 


the formation 

. . . 


of groups 

. . . 


and enable these 

.  


nuclei to evolve 

. . . 


into properly functioning 

. . . 


Assemblies.  

“To implant 

. . . 

the banner of Bahã’u’lláh in the heart of these virgin territories, to erect the structural basis of His Administrative Order 



in their cities and villages 

.  


constitute 

. . . 


the first and most significant step.  

“These undertakings 

. . . 

require 


. . . 

on the part of the National Spiritual Assembly and of both the National Teaching and Inter-America 

Committees, painstaking investigations preparatory to the sending of settlers and itinerant teachers 

.  


“The number of Bahá’i teachers, be they settlers or travelers, must be substantially increased.  

“The material resources to be placed at their disposal must be multiplied, and efficiently administered.  

“The literature with which they should be equipped must be vastly augmented.  

“The publicity that should aid them in the distribution of such literature should be 

 

28 


 

THE BAHA’i WORLD 

 

extended, centrally organized, and vigorously conducted.  



“The possibilities latent in these countries should be diligently exploited, and systematically developed.  

“The various obstacles raised by the widely-varying political and social conditions  

should be closely surveyed and determinedly surmounted.  

“The careful translation of such important Bahá’i writings as are related to the history, the teachings, or the Administrative Order of 

the Faith, and their wide and systematic dissemination 

. . . 


would appear to be the chief and most urgent measures to be taken 

simultaneously with the arrival of the pioneer workers in those fields.  

“In countries where no objections can be raised by the civil authorities or any influential circles, this measure should be reinforced by 

the publication, in various organs of the Press, of carefully worded articles and letters, designed to impress upon the general public 

certain features of the stirring history of the Faith, and the range and character of its teachings.  

“Every laborer in those fields, whether as travehng teacher or settler, should 

. . 

make it his chief and constant concern to mix, in a 



friendly manner, with all sections of the population 

. . . 


study the approach best suited to them, to concentrate 

. . . 


on a few 

. . . 


and to 

endeavor 

. . . 

to implant such love, zeal and devotion in their hearts as to enable them to become in turn self- sufficient and independent 



promoters of the Faith in their respective localities.  

“An effort 

. . . 

can and should be made, not only by representative Bahá’i bodies, but also by prospective teachers, as well as by other 



individual believers 

... 


to seize every opportunity 

... 


to make the acquaintence, and awaken the genuine interest, of such people who are 

either citizens of these countries, or are in any way connected with them  

“Care 

... 


should 

. . . 


be exercised lest in their eagerness to further the international interests of the Faith they frustrate their purpose, and 

turn away, through any act that might be misconstrued as an attempt to proselytize and bring undue pressure upon 

 

them, those whom they wish to win over to their Cause.  



“I would particularly direct my appeal to those American believers 

. . . 


who may find it possible, whatever be their calling or 

employment 

. . . 

to establish permanently their residence in such countries as may offer them a reasonable prospect of earning the means 



of livelihood.  

“Should they find it impossible to take advantage of so rare and sacred a privilege, let them 

. . . 

determine 



. . . 

to appoint a deputy who, on 

that believer’s behalf, will arise and carry out so noble an enterprise.  

“As to those who have been able to leave their homes and country 

. . 

a special duty  



devolves upon them 

. . . 


to keep 

.  


in constant touch with the National Committee specifically entrusted with the promotion of their work, and to cooperate 

.  


with their fellow-believers in those countrses.”  

For the reports of the actions taken in carrying out the teaching plans adopted in the light of the mission conferred upon the American 

Bahá’is we turn to the admirable reports prepared by the Inter-America and Teaching Committees for the year 193 8- 1939 and the 

year 1939-1940.  

INTER-AMERICA TEACHING  

193 8-1939  

“A brief account of the several journeys that have been made during the Bahá’i year by various believers are herein outlined. Many 

details must be omitted which we would like to give if space allowed, but it is hoped that their example may be tripled in the near 

future, and that the record of pioneers, following Shoghi Effendi’s “Advent of Divine Justice,” will be by next year a volume.  

“Although Mr. and Mrs. Ward Calhoon’s visit to Cuba was made before the Convention of 1938, the account of it did not reach the 

Inter-America Chairman in time to include it last year, but because of its interest and value to us all it is included now.  

“It was the intention of our Bahã’i friends to visit the West Indies, but when they arrived in Florida and realized the length of time 

such a trip would take, they 

 

CURRENT BAHA’t ACTIVITIES 



 

29 


 

gave it up and decided on Cuba instead. They knew no one there and applied to a travel agency, but were not led to accept their offer; 

feeling that guidance was necessary, they waited until they felt drawn toward a particular agency. Here they met Dr. Margolis, 

President of the Cuban Chamber of Commerce, who all unasked answered their fervent prayer by giving them letters of introduction 

to people in position to assist the Cause. One of these letters was to the editor of the only English newspaper printed on the island. 

And the immediate response of the Editor was to run a splendid article, with photographs as well as an account of the Bahâ’i Faith, in 

“The Havana Post,” the Spanish “ci Mundo” copied it so that it reached both the English and Spanish people of Cuba. Another letter 

was to Sr. Enrico Berenguer, often called the good will Ambassador of Cuba. He invited the Calhoons to his famous estate Rio Crystal 

Gardens in company with Signor Gomez. After admiring the gardens and the grounds Mr. Calhoon drew him aside and told him of the 

new day and the new message.  

“Signor Berenguer at once became interested and listened with great attention. Finally he said, ‘You have been sent here by some 

Divine Agent. Although I was brought up in the Roman Catholic Church, I long ago decided to search for truth by myself, and I feel 

that this is the truth.’ Mr. Calboon took colored pictures of the gardens and fountains. I can do no better than to quote from the letter 

received from Mr. Calhoon to show the lovely spirit that actuated these friends. “The most significant feature of our experience was 

the manner in which we were led to influential people in Cuba. Especially in having the opportunity to meet Signor Berenguer. He is a 

born leader and has a winning personality and a deep consciousness of spiritual truth. We are, indeed, grateful to Bahá’u’lláh for the 

privilege of doing His Work and in gaining publicity and newspaper articles in both English and Spanish in this land where we knew 

no one. Through the medium of speaking in public aided by colored pictures and slides, we hope to make further trips of this same 

kind.” 

 

“Following Mr. Calhoon’s visit of last year, Mr. Phillip Marangella of New York City made a journey to Cuba this year, and though 



the visit was short, splendid contacts were established. Through the influence of Dr. Arango, president of the Lions Club, a full sized 

picture with an accotint of the Faith was printed in ‘El Mundo,’ followed by an article on the New World Order in the ‘Havana Post.’ 

Dr. Ramos, associate director of the National Library finally consented to place a copy of Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era in circulation. 

Joachim Sant’Anna, a cultivated Spaniard, promised an introduction to his circle upon Mr. Marangella’s next visit. Signor Wiener, 

president of Centro Isarelita (Jewish Youth Group) promised to arrange a lecture on the Cause for his three hundred members. Mr. 

Stone, a student at the Havana University was deeply interested in Bahá’i principles. Signor Castellani, of the Hospital Calixto Garcia, 

also received the Message with deep interest. Signor Estrada, a deputy for the detective force and delegate of the Liberal party, will 

upon a return visit, call a group of students for discussion. Signor Dominges, program director 0f the radio station, offered to include 

Mr. Marangella in his published booklet when he returned to Cuba, while the announcer promised him a full hour over the station 

C.M.W., called the voice of the Antilles, because it is heard through the West Indies and South America. At the Royal Palms Hotel, 

where Mr. Marengella stayed, he interested the proprietor, Pascual Mozau and made friends with and gave the Message to the desk 

clerk, night clerk, dining room employes, page boys and musicians. Among the latter he found two highly spiritual and open-minded 

men, Manual Gomex and Luis Blanco, who Mr. Marengella believes would be the leaders of study groups and could be depended 


upon for foundation work. We may well congratulate Mr. Marengella upon his splendid accomplishment in so short a time.  

“To our beloved teacher, Mrs. Frances Benedict Stewart, was entrusted the important and difficult task of opening the doors of South 

America. When one pictures that vast continent, with its many days’ journeys between cities, its varied races within these 

 

30 



 

THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 

cities, it becomes evident that only the power which is ‘far from the ken of men and angels’ could direct this gigantic labor.  



“Frances Stewart set sail from New York on a Norwegian freighter in September, and in twenty days landed in Buenos Aires, the 

center of the Argentine. Spanish is her native tongue. This is an important factor in explaining delicate points of the Revelation that 

might fail to be clear otherwise. Whether on sea or land she gave messages to all with whom she came in contact. Her first words 

written from Buenos Aires were, ‘Truly my cup runneth over with certainty and joy,’ for many, many doors are open to this Message. 

Whenever I speak of the coming of a new Prophet, the response is, ‘Surely it is wonderful that in the midst of this bewildering chaos, a 

new manifestation of God’s is sent to humanity’ “—And she continues, “One of the great families of the Argentine is named Roggio. 

Many hospitals and schools bear the name, and a member of this important family has become attached to me because of the Bahá’i 

Message, and has invited to her palatial house, the foremost scientists and professors, to hear of the Cause of Bahi’u’llah.” Before long 

Mrs. Stewart had gathered together a group of eighteen men and women desirous of Bahá’i study, though greatly hampered by the 

lack of adequate Spanish translations, a lack that we are working to overcome day and night. She found this group sincere and eager to 

form themselves into a definite part of the Bahá’i world.  

“Mrs. Stewart had been specially urged by the National Spiritual Assembly to pay a visit to Montevideo, Uruguay, if possible. So 

leaving the study group under the leadership of Dr. Luis M. Di Cristofoso, she crossed into this small and very beautiful state. 

Bringing letters from important people she was guided anew and able to choose those whom she felt were sincere seekers, and before 

long she stablished a group of nine souls and placed it under the leadership of Sr. Simon Rosenzweig, a Russian engineer. He had 

lived in many parts of the world and knew ‘Akkã and Haifa well. Mrs. Stewart describes him as having a brilliant mind combined with 

a radiant spirit.  

“Having received word from the Inter- 

 

America Committee that the N.S.A. favored a journey into Chile, her own land, she set forth on this arduous and long trek. Crossing 



the Andes is harder and slower than any trip of which I know. Martha Root, the first of the believers to visit South America, made part 

of her memorable journey on mule back. Today means of transportation are immeasurably easier. ‘Coming over the wonderful Andes 

was a great experience, one I shall never forget,’ writes Mrs. Stewart, from Valparaiso, Chile, January 16th. Bringing with her letters 

from her connections in Montevideo and Buenos Aires, opportunity was at hand. She gave four lectures before the Women’s 

Federation. Had dinner with, and afterwards addressed, the Masons; spoke on the Bahi’i Peace Plan before two hundred people, 

among whom she found a few who had studied by correspondence with persons in North America, and she adds, ‘I am inviting these 

students to my hotel for a special conference.’ To a chosen number she spoke on the Administration and from this number formed a 

group that will, like those of the Argentine and Uruguay, study with a view to forming the first Chilean Assembly. She placed this 

group under the leadership of Sitra Sara Luzg Bravo, who has studied Theosophy for many years, and has been looking for a religion 

with a practical application. In the Bahá’i teaching she found that application of Spiritual Law for which she had so long sought. She 

has a large following.  

“Outside Valparaiso is a lovely suburb named Vina del Mar. In winter (which is our summer) the sea breaks constantly in immense 

rollers along the beaches and sea walls, but in summer the water is calm and bathing good, so that people come here from all over 

South America. It is a strategic point in which to establish a Bahá’I center, because people have leisure to think and to study, so that it 

was extremely wise of our teacher to find a person here with whom she could place the fundamentals of the New World Order. Sitra 

Margaret Rodier is organizing a class, which, I feel, will spread the teachings far and wide through this vast land.  

“Mrs. Stewart then went to Santiago, Chile, which is only a short bus ride from 

 

CURRENT BAHA’t ACTIVITIES 



 

31 


 

Valparaiso. She had no sooner arrived in this city than the great earthquake took place in and around Concepción. It 

was she who spoke over the wires on that fateful night. To quote from the letter in which she described the disaster: 

‘The air was cleared, a short wave hookup that could reach both the U. S. A. and Europe was made. I described for the 

first time from Chile the tremendous catacylsm that had occurred, and I appealed for help. I think this has been the 

greatest experience in my life. I had arrived only the day before, Tuesday night, a severe and long tremor shook the 

earth—the Greatest Name was my spontaneous call, for the quake was of fearful force, and well I knew that not far off 

something terrible had happened. Surely the vision ‘Abdu’l-Bahã had of coming cataclysms of which He said, ‘It is not 

meet to tell,’ had come to pass in Chile. As I lived as a child in Concepción, I knew every road and building and the 

churches. Many ancient Roman Catholic cathedrals are now piles of dust—even as the ancient Temples of Thebes on 

the Nile! Surely God purposes some good to come out of such a great sacrifice.’ The sorrow and grief that is 

widespread in this land will bind together human hearts.”  

“Mrs. Stewart is at this writing still in Chile, and in all probability will return to her two study groups across the Andes. 

She has rendered immortal service to the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh and should be remembered in our prayers, sustained in 



her labors by our love, and greeted upon her return with expressions of heartfelt thanks.  

“During the Bahá’i year, Mr. William de Forge, a member of our National Publishing Committee, made an important 

voyage into the virgin territory of Porto Rico and the Dominion Republic. His success in these two countries was 

phenominal. He interviewed the Librarians of the cities of San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Trujillo, Dominican Republic, 

and in both instances they said they would be happy to receive and put in circulation both Spanish and English Bahá’i 

literature, as well as to have on their reading table the World Order Magazine. Sr. Luis O’Neil, who is director of the 

Carnegie Library, is a highly cultured man, 

 

and though a Catholic, told Mr. de Forge that these teachings were badly needed by his people and that he would do everything in his 



power to spread the teachings and advise his people to read our books. Mr. de Forge had the great pleasure of meeting the President of 

Puerto Rico, Sr. Jose Ramfrez Santefanez. He, in turn, was thrilled with the Message and asked to have the literature sent personally to 

him. In one of the articles that appeared in the papers Mr. de Forge was hailed as an agent of peace. Among the key people of Latin 

America is Sr. Enriqu Linares, editor of the largest and most important ,blication of Latin America, called 



Alma Latina, 

which 


circulates and influences South America as well as Central America. He offered, if after study of the Divine Writing he approved, to 

put an article in this periodical on the “New World Order.” Another remarkable contact was that of the Editor of “El Mundo” a 

newspaper printed in San Juan, who received the Bahá’i Principles with marked enthusiasm. Mr. de Forge’s list of contacts was so 

numerous that the Inter-America Committee was obliged to place them in its Bahá’i Bulletin, where it is hoped everyone of the 

believers will read and note their names and occupations.  

“This is one of the wonderful demonstrations of spiritual power that such a reception should have been accorded one of our teachers in 

an unknown land, strongly Catholic, and entirely Latin in feeling, and from the President down, eagerness for teachings, and facilities 

for spreading them, was accorded Mr. de Forge on every hand.  

“At the Convention of 1938 Mr. Antonio Roca of 226 West Michigan Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin formulated a plan to visit Mexico 

and to teach there. Accordingly having closed his business affairs, he set out upon his journey reaching Laredo, Texas on the 16th of 

September. As he crossed the Rio Grande River into Mexico he found that the entire populace were celebrating Independence Day, 

corresponding to our Fourth of July. He waited over a day at Monterrey in order to approach the editor of “El Porvenir,” the leading 

paper of the town. In this he was successful, a fine 

 

32 



 

THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 

article outlining the principles of Bahá’u’lláh appearing forthwith.  



“Arriving in Mexico City Mr. Roca joined his forces with those of our Mexican Spiritual Assembly and remained in close contact with 

them during his two and a half months visit. Finding great need of Spanish Bahá’i literature he printed and presented two pamphlets to 

the Assembly:  

What Is the Ba/s ci’i Faith 

and 


principles of Bahd’i Faith. 

He also contributed generously to the wont of translation being 

undertaken by Pedro Espinosa and Madame Olia both of the Spiritual Assembly, thus accelerating this important work.  

“He was able to gain publicity through two of the leading newspapers 



Le Prenan 

and 


El Excelsior. 

Before leaving Mexico he sent a 

copy of Esslemont to the President through one of his aides, and on his return journey achieved splendid newspaper publicity all along 

the line. He is an enthusiastic and generous believer and will in the future render valuable service to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.  

“The Chairman and Edward Mathews visited Yucatan this winter. In Meridá, once a handsome and prosperous city, now desperately 

poor and shabby was found, on one hand, politicians not in the least interested in spiritual things, and on the other, men whose 

fortunes were failing, eager for something to hold on to. The editor of the one Liberal paper, 

The Yucatan, 

received us with 

enthusiasm. He told us that twice his office had been attacked, once burned, because of his liberal views. The Bahá’i Principles, he 

thought, were too good to be true, but we assured him that under a definite administration, they were being practiced. He promised to 

read the literature and publish extracts if we sent him Spanish editions, as he speaks no English. We gained an interview with the 

chairman of the Chamber of Commerce, but his reiterated statement was that he was interestd in business affairs and not in religious 

ideas. However, he promised to read the literature that we promised to send him. We found broadminded and sympathetic hearers at 

the Mayaland Tours. Here English is spoken and they were eager to hear of the remedies for their sick and impoverished land. Two of 

them accompanied 

 

us into the jungle on 12th night to a Catholic celebration among the Mayan peasants. Outside heavy dew dripped like rain from the 



trees, the Mayan women were passing to and fro, the men singing in the tiny court yard close to us, as we sat before an altar dressed in 

tissue paper and small pictures of the Madonna. We had to whisper but when I spoke of a new Manifestation, they leaned forward and 

asked, where? and when? and between long pauses, they pressed my hand murmuring ‘Yes, we understand and the Divine News will 

never leave our hearts.’  

“From Yucatan we traveled to Mexico City, the long trip from Vera Cruz of 12 hours elongated by four hours delay, so we arrived in a 

state bordering on collapse, but on the platform waiting through the hours stood the whole group of Bahá’is about eighteen in number. 

In their hands they carried flowers and they greeted us with the spirit of true fraternity. From then on we were as one body and it was 

hard to believe that this was not only a Latin Assembly but a very new one. The subject nearest our hearts was the same, our work was 

on the same plane of action, we had everything in common since we had come to talk of translations and publications—something our 

Guardian is constantly occupied with. In every letter he has urged this Committee to take up this all important matter and work of 

translating Bahá’i books into Spanish until it is accomplished. We discussed the subject for many hours and as the National Spiritual 

Assembly has invited Pedro Espinosa, the chairman, to the Convention, we may feel that the way is clear to the accomplishment of the 

Guardian’s wishes.  

“In the Philippine Islands a class of eighty is being taught by correspondence. Efforts to bring the books to this island have so far been 



ineffectual, but in accordance with Shoghi Effendi’s instructions we shall continue to send them for the Guardian writes:  

‘The copy of Sr. Maddela’s communication was read with genuine satisfaction by our beloved Guardian. He is rejoiced to witness the 

evidences of the steady penetration of the Cause of the Northern Islands of the Philippines, and will pray that in spite of the 

 

CURRENT BAHA’t ACTIVITIES 



 

33 


 

Members of the newly formed Spiritual Assembly of  

St. Lambert, Province of Quebec. 

 

The Bahá’i exhibit held during the 1938 Canadian National Exhibition at  



Toronto, Canada. 

 

 



 

pict22.jpg

 

 

pict23.jpg



 

34 


 

THE BAHA’I WORLD 

 


vehement and insidious opposition of the Catholic Clergy, the Faith may continue to advance, and make such a 

headway as to pave the ground for the formation of an Assembly in the near future. You should, he feels, renew your 

efforts once more, and through every possible endeavor try to introduce the literature of the Cause into these Islands.’  

“To facilitate an understanding of the work in Latin America the committee has compiled a bulletin that every 

Assembly throughout the country, each teacher or prospective settler, should be able to find the areas that have already 

been covered, the accomplishment therein and what is still needed, which states or countries are still to be visited for 

the first time.”  

INTER-AMERICA TEACHING  

1939-1940  

“The National Spiritual Assembly had invited the Chairman of our first Latin- America Assembly, Señor Pedro 

Espinosa from Mexico City, to attend the Convention. He brought with him his mother, Señora Refugio Ochoa, who 

was the first to accept the Faith, and Señora Maria Louisa Jurado, the able Secretary, also Señorita Zenaida Jurado, a 

member of the Spiritual Assembly and the head of the Nursery Public School throughout Mexico. Their high 

enthusiasm, their sweetness and charm permeated the occasion. Afterwards, they visited the New York and Washington 

Communities.  

“Upon their return to Mexico City, they incorporated their Assembly and opened commodious headquarters at 65 Calle 

de Bucareli, Bajos 4. The Bahã’i World Community was delighted with their first Newsletter, in Spanish, the initial 

copy distributed in November of 1939.  

“At the suggestion of the N.S.A., the Assembly undertook to create interest in the Faith beyond the capital. Doctora 

Luz Guinchard was given an appointment to a pioneer post at Guadalajara, Jalisco, where she is now working for the 

Cause.  

“Passing through Mexico during the current year were the following friends: Mr. Antonio Roca, en route to Honduras, 

Mrs. Amelia Collins, member of the N.S.A., Clarence Iverson, en route to El Salvador, Mr. 

 

Gerrard Sluter, going to Guatemala City, Dr. and Mrs. Martin G. Carter, and in December, Mrs. Ernest Meyer of the 



Geyserville Community.  

“Four volumes have been translated and are expected momentarily. They are: Some Answered Questions, Foundations 



of World Unity, Wisdom of ‘Abdu’l-Bahd, Bahá’I Procedure. Pedro’s admired translation of the Prayers is circulated 

widely.” 

 

Panama: 

 



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