Shoghi Effendi: Mount Carmel, It Has Not Yet Achieved the Grandeur of Versailles

Shrine of the Báb during construction.

Oh, could you imagine…walking with the Guardian in the golden light of the Shrine of the Bab…oh what joy would fill the heart….to be the woman on the arm of Shoghi Effendi.


Story told by Marzieh Gail, from “Khanum, The Greatest Holy Leaf”.


“In those days Carmel, the ancient Mountain of God, was mostly ragged – all weeds and rocks, but following ‘Abdu’l-Baha, the Guardian had continued with its embellishment. The fruit trees were already there, and there was a rich patch of green grass which Shoghi Effendi specially pointed out to Mother, taking her arm one night to guide her over the uneven ground. Walking back of them I wished I were old, so that he would take my arm too. There above us were Curtis Kelsey’s electric lights on the (domeless) Shrine of the Bab itself, thrusting brightly down the mountain – the very lights Curtis had been installing at the time of the Master’s passing. The great beam cut down through the night, making a golden path through the dark, and it was teeming with thousands of bugs, every kind, flown in from the night, and in after-years these seemed to me a symbol of the believers, dark before they entered the Faith, not willy-nilly, worthy or not worthy, turned to gold. The light shimmered on the low, polished leaves of the palms the Guardian had recently planted to line the straight, steep path from the German Colony at the mountain’s foot, up to the Shrine. Here was an old, worn-away mountainside, mostly barren ground and rubble; yet the Guardian turned to Mother and said (I admit to my surprise): ‘It has not yet achieved the grandeur of Versailles.'”

Mike Moum
Author: Mike Moum

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