Montreal, November 9, 2018 – The Bahá’í Communities in various boroughs of Montreal celebrated the Birthdays of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, the Twin Manifestations of God for our age. The birthday of the Báb, this year, corresponded with November 9, 1819 and that of Bahá’u’lláh on November 10, 1817.

*The Baha’i community of Baie-d'Urfé celebrated this happy occasion by showing the recently-made documentary, “The Gate”. Before the film, the MC gave a brief background about the filmmaker, a “new Bahá’í”, and the difficulties he faced in making this film without ever being able to depict the “main Character”. After viewing the film, a period of question and answer was followed by refreshments and informal conversations. The unanimous consensus of the approximately 25 attendees – many of whom were friends of the Faith – was that the film was very moving, instructive, and well-made.

*In the NDG borough, a crowd of friends attended the celebration which was held at the Community Centre. There were a few presentations by individuals and groups of various ages, offered in English and French. Performances were included the story of the Báb as a child, songs by youths, a speech by two Junior Youths about their experiences in children's classes and their own activities in Junior Youths program. An arts and crafts table for the children were the center of attention as well as a display of food from various cultures. Music and dancing ended a memorable evening. 

*In the borough of Saint-Laurent, some 25 members of the Community as well as their friends gathered to view the new video-documentary about the life of the Báb entitled “The Gate”. Following the projection, a period of questions and answers about the life of the Herald of the Faith, the Báb, was followed. Prayers in French and English were chanted by the indefatigable Sabih-Vidal family who are always ready to help the Community with their art and music.

A display of food from various cultures was a delight to the eyes! The display did not remain on the table for long! Everybody enjoyed the dishes tremendously with happiness and laughter.

*At “The Heart of Montreal East” there was a very beautiful celebration although it was organized at the last minute! There were more than 20 people who came to the celebration. This is a huge number for a relatively small community! Some friends were supporters of the Faith, others were new believers and many were believers forever! People from all over were present and that was the most extraordinary gathering one can imagine. The spirit that animated this celebration was rich and authentic.

*The celebration of Bahá'u'lláh's birthday in Verdun took place with a dozen friends and several children and young people. A rich program of prayers, songs, visual preparation and dancing was prepared by the friends of this community. A video selection "The Light of the World" on the life of Bahá'u'lláh was screened and appreciated by the friends present.

A brief history of the life of the Báb -The Báb "Door" or "Gate", was born in Shiráz, southern Iran, in 1819. Raised by his uncle as a merchant, the Báb was known for His gentleness, His compassion and his scrupulous honesty. In Persia at that time, as it was simultaneously occurring throughout the world, religious scholars had become convinced that all of the promises of past revelations had been fulfilled and they were convinced that the year 1260 of the local calendar (1844), a date which also figures prominently in Biblical prophecy, would witness the arrival of the advent of the Promised Day.

On the evening of May 23, 1844, the same day that the message, "What hath God wrought?" was immortalized as the first telegraph message in history, the Báb declared His Mission as the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith. 

It was during the earliest days of His ministry that the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh (the Messenger of God for today), who were never destined to meet, became aware of each other's station. At that time Bahá'u'lláh became a prominent proponent of the Cause of the Báb. Eventually the Báb was incarcerated in an abandoned fortress, where he continued to reveal the letters and treatises that would constitute the scriptures of his Faith. Finally, through the intrigues of the clergy, the Báb was executed on July 9, 1850 in Tabriz. 

Over the subsequent decades, the sacred remains of the Báb were secretly transported in many stages to the Holy Land when, in 1909, shortly before His historic visit to the West, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the Son of Bahá'u'lláh, laid them to rest in a shrine He had constructed on Mount Carmel. This shrine, which was later enclosed beneath a golden dome and surrounded by a marble arcade, is the most prominent feature on the slopes of Carmel in the city of Haifa, Israel.

A brief history of the life of the Bahá'u'lláh -Born in Tehran, Irán on 12 November, 1817, Mirzá Husayn-‘Alí (entitled Bahá’u’lláh – the Glory of God), enjoyed all the advantages conferred by noble birth. From a very early age, He displayed extraordinary knowledge and wisdom.With His acceptance of the religion of the Báb, life permanently changed for the young nobleman and His family. Although They never met in person, from the moment Mirza Husayn-‘Alí heard of the Báb’s message, He declared His wholehearted belief in it and put all of His energy and influence into promoting it. After four months of intense suffering and imprisonment in the prison of Tehran, Bahá’u’lláh—now ill and utterly exhausted—was released and exiled forever from His native Iran. He and His family were sent to Baghdad. He composed three of His most renowned works at this time—the Hidden Words, the Seven Valleys and the Book of Certitude (Kitáb-i-Íqán). While Bahá’u’lláh’s writings alluded to His station, it was not yet the time for a public announcement.

As Bahá’u’lláh’s fame spread, the envy and malice of some of the clergy was rekindled. Representations were made to the Shah of Iran to ask the Ottoman Sultan to remove Bahá’u’lláh further from the Iranian border. Three months after departing Baghdad, Bahá’u’lláh and His fellow exiles reached Constantinople. They remained there for just four months before a further banishment took them to Edirne (Adrianople), a grueling journey undertaken during the coldest of winters. In Adrianople, their accommodation failed to protect them from the bitter temperatures.

Beginning in September 1867, Bahá’u’lláh wrote a series of letters to the leaders and rulers of various nations. In these prescient writings, He openly proclaimed His station, speaking of the dawn of a new age. 

Continued agitation from Bahá’u’lláh’s detractors caused the Ottoman government to banish Him one final time, to its most notorious penal colony. Arriving in the Mediterranean prison city of ‘Akká on 31 August 1868, Bahá’u’lláh was to spend the rest of His life in the fortified city and its environs. Bahá’u’lláh passed away on 29 May, 1892.

In His will, He designated ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as His successor and Head of the Bahá’í Faith — the first time in history that the Founder of a world religion had named his successor in a written irrefutable text. This choice of a successor is a central provision of what is known as the “Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh,” enabling the Bahá’í community to remain united for all time.




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