April 25, 2019

Pope Pius IX: “the 254th pope since the inception of St. Peter’s primacy” – received a powerful Tablet from Baha’u’llah

...Pope Pius IX. It was to him who regarded himself as the Vicar of Christ that Bahá’u’lláh wrote that “the Word which the Son [Jesus] concealed is made manifest,” that “it hath been sent down in the form of the human temple,” that the Word was Himself, and He Himself the Father. It was to him who styling himself “the servant of the servants of God” that the Promised One of all ages, unveiling His station in its plenitude, announced that “He Who is the Lord of Lords is come overshadowed with clouds.” It was he, who, claiming to be the successor of St. Peter, was reminded by Bahá’u’lláh that “this is the day whereon the Rock [Peter] crieth out and shouteth ... saying: ‘Lo, the Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled.’” It was he, the wearer of the triple crown, who later became the first prisoner of the Vatican, who was commanded by the Divine Prisoner of Akká to “leave his palaces unto such as desire them,” to “sell all the embellished ornaments” he possessed, and to “expend them in the path of God,” and to “abandon his kingdom unto the kings,” and emerge from his habitation with his face “set towards the Kingdom.”

Count Mastai-Ferretti, Bishop of Imola, the 254th pope since the inception of St. Peter’s primacy, who had been elevated to the apostolic throne two years after the Declaration of the Báb, and the duration of whose pontificate exceeded that of any of his predecessors, will be permanently remembered as the author of the Bull which declared the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin (1854), referred to in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, to be a doctrine of the Church, and as the promulgator of the new dogma of Papal Infallibility (1870). Authoritarian by nature, a poor statesman, disinclined to conciliation, determined to preserve all his authority, he, while he succeeded through his assumption of an ultramontane attitude in defining further his position and in reinforcing his spiritual authority, failed, in the end, to maintain that temporal rule which, for so many centuries, had been exercised by the heads of the Catholic Church.

April 18, 2019

1949: Canada – “an act wholly unprecedented in the annals of the Faith in any country, in either East or West”

Through the swift and marvellous increase in its membership; through its faithful and uncompromising adherence to both the spiritual and administrative principles of the Faith it so nobly serves; through the multiplication of its administrative centres from the Atlantic to the Pacific seaboard; through the steady consolidation of its local and national Funds designed to sustain its ever-unfolding activities; through the spirit consistently manifested by the small yet eager and valiant band of its pioneers and administrators; and more recently through the official recognition providentially accorded the body of its national elected representatives by both chambers of the Legislature in that Dominion—an act wholly unprecedented in the annals of the Faith in any country, in either East or West—this vigorous, divinely sustained, resistlessly advancing community, has not only fulfilled the expectations and hopes that greeted its birth, but set a brilliant example to its sister communities in both the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a message dated 19 June, 1949 to the NSA of Canada; ‘Messages to Canada’)

April 12, 2019

April 30, 1949: Incorporation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada

The Bill to incorporate the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada was passed by both Houses of the Canadian Parliament, and was given Royal assent on April 30, 1949. 
(Footnotes, ‘Messages to Canada’)

"Your Assembly has much to be congratulated upon for your victories during the past Bahá’í Year have been memorable. The passing, in both Houses, of the Bill  relating to the official status of your Assembly was a cause for great rejoicing, as this is the first time in Bahá’í history that any government has taken such action in relation to our Faith’s status. He would like, if possible, to receive duplicates of the official Gazette and all publicity given this matter, as the copies you sent were placed in the Mansion at Bahji, but he wishes to have these documents at hand in his personal files as well." 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a message dated 19 June, 1949, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the NSA of Canada; ‘Messages to Canada’)

April 5, 2019

2018, Haifa, Israel: More than fifteen hundred delegates, from 166 countries, participated in the election of the Universal House of Justice

The magnificent gathering in the Holy Land of delegates from 166 countries, for the purpose of participating in the Twelfth International Bahá’í Convention and electing the members of the Universal House of Justice, was concluded with the celebration of the Twelfth Day of the Festival of Ridván in the precincts of Bahá’u’lláh’s exalted Shrine. More than fifteen hundred delegates participated in the election. Among the distinct features of this Convention, which not only added to its beauty and charm but also generated an ineffable degree of joy and enthusiasm among all participants, were the presence of a record number of National Spiritual Assemblies and delegates and the participation of some National Assemblies for the first time, including one of the oldest Assemblies in the Bahá’í world.  
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 13 May 2018 addressed to the “the long-suffering followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the sacred land of Iran” – authorized translation)