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Montreal, October 15, 2016 - A number of Bahá’ís from the Montreal community attended the inauguration of the 9th temple dedicated to humanity in Santiago, Chili. The Bahá’í House of Worship was built by a firm of Toronto architects and hundreds of other collaborators around the world for about 14 years.

Siamak Hariri of Hariri-Pontarini Architects company, explained that his team was fully aware of the power that a building may have to influence the soul but evoke such a feeling was a profound challenge.

More than 5,000 Bahá’ís from 110 countries attended the Dedication Ceremonies, along with 500 guests representatives of government, civil society and religious communities in South America, Central America, North America, Caribbean and other remote regions, met this weekend under the slender dome of the house of worship.

Canadian architectural writer, Lisa Rochon, has described the Temple as “a luminous structure that echoes the rolling topography of the Andes while appearing to float some 30 metres above the earth… visitors will experience a mesmerizing transfer of light from the exterior of cast glass to an interior of translucent Portuguese marble.  At sunset, the light captured within the dome shifts from gold to ochre to deep red.”  The Temple lies in the foothills of the Andes as they rise to the south-east of  Santiago in the municipality of Peñalolen.

Four of the eight Baha’i Temples around the world have been designed by Canadian architects.  The first, located just north of Chicago, was designed in the early 20th century by Quebec architect Louis Bourgeois, and was opened as the North American Baha’i Temple in the early 1950s, since becoming a landmark.  In subsequent years, Canadian Fariborz Sahba designed the Asian Baha’i Temple in New Delhi, often referred to as the “Lotus Temple”, and among the most visited buildings in the world.  Vancouver architect Hossein Amanat designed the Baha’i Temple of Oceania in Apia, Samoa.  The four other continental Temples are in Europe (Frankfurt, Germany), Africa (Kampala, Uganda), Panama, and Australia (Sydney).

The guests, many of whom were dressed in traditional dress, climbed the mountainside stairs to the first devotional program held in the house of worship. Representing the Universal House of Justice, Mrs. Antonella Demonte read a special message addressed to the gathering at “a moment of high achievement for the Bahá’í world after much earnest striving”. “The process of raising up Bahá’í Houses of Worship, an endeavour whose origins can be traced back to the days of the Blessed Beauty Himself, has reached the point where today a Mother Temple stands upon the soil of every continent,” read the message. “A powerful spiritual beacon is now in full blaze at the foot of the Andes,” the message said, describing the House of Worship as a vital institution which embodies “two essential and inseparable aspects of Baha’i life: worship and service.”

Among the first Baha’is to set foot on the continent to share their beliefs were three brave North-American women—Martha Root, Leonora Armstrong and May Maxwell. Their heroic efforts in the early decades of the twentieth century were vividly brought to life by three actors in a dramatic presentation, titled Las Rosas Blancas de America.

The unifying power of humanity in all its diverse cultures and diverse colors - and the unique position of this temple, between the city and the mountains - was clear for all to see.

Video Link : https://vimeo.com/187437900

Montreal, September 21, 2016 - Founded in 2001 at the initiative of the United Nations, the International Day of Peace is dedicated to strengthening the ideals of peace both within nations and among peoples.

This event was organized in collaboration with the Borough of Saint-Laurent and the Immigrant Committee, COSSL (Social Organizations Committee of St. Laurent Borough).

As stated by the Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa, "we are lucky, in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada, to live in a peaceful world. But together, children and adults, we also have the responsibility for maintaining this peace around us: in our families, at school, at work and in the community. "

At this occasion, also were present, the Borough Councillor for Norman-McLaren District, accompanied with the Senior Assistant to the Borough Office of the Honourable Stéphane Dion, MP for Saint-Laurent-Cartierville and Canada Minister of Foreign Affairs, political advisor to the MP for Saint-Laurent, Jean-Marc Fournier, Minister responsible for Canadian Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie and Government House leader, the director of the Office of Community Affairs of the the Bahá'í Community of Greater Montreal, representatives of social organizations and educational institutions of St. Laurent, as well as students from Parkdale School who performed a song of peace at the end of the ceremony.

Montreal, Quebec, Novembre 12, 2015 — The Bahá'í Communities on the island of Montreal and the world are celebrating the twin birthdays celebrations of the Herald as well as the Founder of the Faith.

"All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days." -- Bahá'u'lláh

The Universal House of Justice in their letter of July 10, 2014 explains the significance of these two celebrations: ‘’The Festivals of the Twin Birthdays, the Birth of the Báb and the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh, have, in the East, been traditionally observed according to their correspondence to the first and second days of Muḥarram in the Islamic calendar. “These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God”, Bahá’u’lláh affirms. Yet, a letter written on behalf of the Guardian states, “In the future, no doubt all of the Holy Days will follow the Solar calendar, and provisions be made as to how the Twin Festivals will be celebrated universally.” How to satisfy the intrinsic lunar character of these blessed Days within the context of a solar calendar has hitherto been unanswered. We have decided that they will now be observed on the first and the second day following the occurrence of the eighth new moon after Naw-Rúz, as determined in advance by astronomical tables using Ṭihrán as the point of reference. This will result in the observance of the Twin Birthdays moving, year to year, within the months of Mashíyyat, ‘Ilm, and Qudrat of the Badí‘ calendar, or from mid-October to mid-November according to the Gregorian calendar. Next year, the Birth of the Báb will occur on 10 Qudrat and the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh on 11 Qudrat. With joy and eager anticipation, we look to the upcoming bicentennial anniversaries of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh and the Birth of the Báb, in 174 and 176 B.E., respectively, which the entire Bahá’í world will celebrate according to a common calendar.’’

The Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were born 196 and 198 years ago respectively, and their lives are remarkable in the field of religious history. In a tribute held by the Brazilian Parliament to the life of Baha'u'llah, a member of Brazil's parliament at the time, described Bahá'u'lláh's writings as "the most colossal religious work written by the pen of a single Man." During the six year period from the declaration of His religious mission until His execution by the Persian government in 1850, the Báb is estimated to have written religious texts totalling some half million verses, while during His religious ministry Baha'u'llah wrote texts totalling some 100 volumes. Even in their original Arabic and Persian, only a small portion of these texts have yet been published, with an even smaller fraction translated into English. These Writings embody the principles that the world needs at present time.

Montreal, August 14, 2016 – Some 1500 participants celebrated the 40th annual conference of the Association for Bahá’í Studies this year at the Sheraton Centre. The annual conference has developed as one way in which the Association brings together a growing number of contributors to explore the implications of the Bahá’í teachings for a variety of disciplines, professions and fields of inquiry. The common purpose is to develop our capacity to examine the ideas, concepts, and theories operating within the scholarly and professional disciplines, and to contribute to the development of a growing body of knowledge associated with Bahá’í thought.

With this purpose in mind, the conference was served as a venue in which fresh approaches could be taken to generate and apply knowledge related to various disciplines and fields of study. Participants were invited to consider how they can play a role in working with others “to earnestly strive to reflect on the implications that the truths found in the Revelation may hold for their work.”

Plenary sessions helped to raise our vision and frame our thinking, and breakout sessions created spaces where specialized presentations and discussion proceeded. Across these different settings participants discovered new ideas and begun to explore collaborative enterprises that will extend new lines of inquiry. The hope is that the format and spirit of the conference were conducive to participation so that all could see themselves as actively engaged in a vibrant, inclusive and uplifting process of learning.

in 1975, the Association for Bahá’í Studies has served to foster the intellectual life of its members and of the Bahá’í community. The “power of intellectual investigation” is praised by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “an eternal gift producing fruits of unending delight.” He says, “It is the very foundation of all individual and national development.” The Bahá’í teachings convey a vision of the future that calls for “profound change not only at the level of the individual but also in the structure of society.” This concerted effort to transform society is intimately related to advances in thought: “Only as effort is made to draw on insights from His Revelation, to tap into the accumulating knowledge of the human race, to apply His teachings intelligently to the life of humanity, and to consult on the questions that arise will the necessary learning occur and capacity be developed.”

References:

The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912 (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982).

The Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2010.  

The Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message 2010.

The Universal House of Justice, Letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, 24 July 2013.

Believe thou in God, and keep thine eyes fixed upon the exalted Kingdom; be thou enamoured of the Abha Beauty; stand thou firm in the Covenant; yearn thou to ascend into the Heaven of the Universal Light. Be thou severed from this world, and reborn through the sweet scents of holiness that blow from the realm of the All-Highest.

Montréal, July 7, 2016 - This Saturday, July 9, is a holiday and a holy day for the whole of the Bahá’í Community of Montreal and their co-religionists around the world. 

To the extent possible, every believer is invited to cease work on this day, in honour of the commemoration of the martyrdom of the Báb, Herald and Forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith, which took place in Persia on July 9, 1850, at noon. 

A commemoration will take place at the Ferme Bord-du-Lac - 1530, chemin du Bord-du-Lac - île-Bizard, Quebec, prayers, meditation, music and songs, followed by a historical presentation and prayers marking the martyrdom of the Báb will start at 11 a.m. 

This commemoration is open to all whether Bahá'í or not. 

Each Bahá'í community celebrates this commemoration around noon, when it is possible, organizing gatherings either in private homes or in Bahá'í Centres. Programwill include Prayers, Holy Writings, music and very often story telling of the life of the Báb and his last earthly moments.

Here is a brief story of the life of the Báb:

Siyyíd ‘Ali-Muhammad was born in October 20, 1819, in Shiráz in Iran, possessed from childhood surprising wisdom and sensitivity. During His adult years, he joined his uncle in the family business. Its integrity and piety earned him the esteem of other merchants with whom it came in contact. The poor knew Him for his generosity.

On May 23, 1844, Siyyíd ‘Ali-Muhammad, announced His mission in his hometown in presence of one of the believers who was searching after the Promised one of Islam. He then took the title of « the Báb », Word which means in Arabic, "Gate".

The Bábi Faith spread very rapidly in the country, which led instantly Government and the clergy of Persia to join together to commit cruel misdeeds towards the early believers of the Báb. Historians estimate, the number of victims of these persecutions to about 20,000.

Under pressure from the clergy, the Government finally gave order to imprison the Báb in the military barracks of Tabriz in Persia, convinced that this action will stop the expansion of the young Faith.

On July 9, 1850, at noon, about 10,000 people were massed on the roofs of buildings and houses around the courtyard of the barracks. Two ropes suspended the Báb and one of His young followers against a wall. A regiment of 750 Christian Armeniansoldiers, ready in three rows of 250 men each, opened fire on three successive times. The smoke from gunpowder and shooting was so dense, reported by the Westerneyewitnesses present, that the sky became black and the courtyard was plunged into the darkness.

As evidenced by the archives of the Department of the British Foreign Affairs,when smoke was dissipated, the Báb had disappeared. His companion standing there unharmed and spared by the bullets. The ropes to which they had both been attached were more than shreds.

The Báb was found in His cell, giving instructions to one of His secretaries. At the break of day, when the guards came to pick Him up for execution, He told them that "Not until I have said to him all those things that I wish to say, can any earthly power silence Me. Though all the world be armed against Me, yet shall they be powerless to deter Me from fulfilling, to the last word, My intention."

When the guards came to pick Him up for the second time, He calmly announced to them: "Now you may proceed to fulfill your intention."

For the second time, the Báb and his young companion were therefore brought before the firing squad. Armenian soldiers refusing to carry their action for a second time, the task was entrusted to a Muslim regiment. This time their bodies were shattered and were blended together.

"The most joyful tidings is this," 'Abdu'l-Bahá wrote later in a Tablet announcing to His followers the news of this glorious victory, "that the holy, the luminous body of the Báb ... after having for sixty years been transferred from place to place, by reason of the ascendancy of the enemy, and from fear of the malevolent, and having known neither rest nor tranquility has, through the mercy of the Abhá Beauty, been ceremoniously deposited, on the day of Naw-Ruz, within the sacred casket, in the exalted Shrine on Mt. Carmel...” By a strange coincidence, on that same day of Naw-Ruz (1909), a cablegram was received from Chicago, announcing that the believers in each of the American centers had elected a delegate and sent to that city … and definitely decided on the site and construction of the Temple there.

At 5:00 pm on Sunday June 21, 2015, a group of representatives of different religious organizations gathered and invited their members to say prayers. Reverend Darryl Gray and Father John Walsh organized the Prayer Vigil “to honor Charleston victims and acknowledge the terrorist attack on a black church; and to bring together a 'community of conscience' to unite in prayer, peace and justice.”

Montreal, Quebec, 22 May 2016  — On May 22nd, Bahá’í communities in Canada and around the world celebrate a holy day commemorating the very beginning of the Bahá’í Faith, a day known to Bahá’ís as the Declaration of the Báb.
 
The Bahá’í Faith began with the mission of two divine messengers, the Báb (the Gate - October 20, 1819 – July 9, 1850) and Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God - November 12, 1817 - May 29, 1892). The Báb was the Herald who prepared the way for the coming of Bahá’u’lláh.
 
The Bahá’í era dates from May 22, 1844 when, in the Iranian City of Shiraz, the Báb declared Hismission. On that occasion He spoke these words to Mullá Husayn, the first person to recognize that mission: "Verily I say, I am the Báb, the Gate of God.... This night, this very hour will, in the days to come, be celebrated as one of the greatest and most significant of all festivals."
 
We can better understand the meaning of this Bahá’í holy day, characterized as this ‘greatest and most significant of all festivals’ if we reflect on how, since that period, the world has utterly changed. Bahá’ís believe that the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh released a creative energy that is transforming everything about human life.
 
The Báb wrote, “I am a letter out of that most mighty book and a dewdrop from that limitless ocean, and, when He shall appear, My true nature, My mysteries, riddles, and intimations will become evident, and the embryo of this religion shall develop through the grades of its being and ascent, attain to the station of 'the most comely of forms,' and become adorned with the robe of 'blessed be God, the Best of Creators.'”
 
Bahá’u’lláh wrote. “A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive. This new life is apparent in such things as the explosion of human knowledge, in steps that reflect a growing consciousness of the oneness of the human family, the establishment of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, world-wide undertakings to improve agriculture and hygiene, and medical care, efforts to elevate international standards and laws, and a recognition of the need to advance the status of women and girls.’’
 
Beginnings are always special – a wedding, the birth of a baby, the appearance of some wonderful new invention or process. How much more special, then, is the anniversary of the Declaration of the Báb, which was the moment of birth for a new Faith community. Now a community of approximately 5 million established throughout the world, Bahá’ís work hand in hand with other communities, well-wishers, partners and collaborators to fulfill the promises of the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh that will see humanity living together in peace and prosperity.

Shrine of the Báb

Montreal, Quebec, July 10, 2015 – The Bahá'í communities on the island of Montreal and the world commemorated the day of the martyrdom of the Báb which took place on 10 July 1850, a holy day of the Baha'i Faith. 

Montréal, Quebec, 23 November 2015 (CBNS) — For six days, more than 109 thousands visitors from Montreal and other parts of Quebec came to this annual event to celebrate the richness and diversity of books, which are written or published in the French literature world.
 
This year, the theme of the Éditions bahá’íes [Baha'i Publishing] was “Unity in Diversity” to encourage young people to celebrate the diversity of the Human Race. During the Fair, which took place from 18 to 23 November, dozens of youths left messages stating how they could render a service to their friends and families. The large poster showing variation of  the theme such as “Love”, “Service” and “Unity” decorating the back of the booth was beautifully designed by Eleheh Bos .
 
Many of the messages left by the youth, most of whom came with a school group, showed that they were very environmentally conscious. Several dozens also emphasized the need to respect others and demonstrate good behaviour in general.
 
The Salon du Livre de Montréal is an important cultural event in Quebec. It attracts many public figures such as Montreal Mayer Mr Denis Coderre as well as the city counsellors and features many well-known authors. Of the 109, 000 enthusiastic visitors who took advantage of this unparalleled atmosphere tomeet authors, follow discussions and to discover a different world of books, over 2,500 stopped at the Éditions bahá’íes booth and participated in the interactive activities, bought books, or asked questions about the Bahá’í community.
 
Needless to say, it was a rewarding and unforgettable experience for all volunteers who have had the privilege to interact with the young generation and have an in depth conversation with general public!

Video Link:

38e Salon du livre de Montréal, une véritable fête du livre!

 

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