Montreal, September 10, 2022 - St. James Methodist Church was the venue par excellence for a grandiose concert in honour of 'Abdu'l-Bahá who had stayed in our city 110 years ago!

An audience of several hundred from Montreal and all over Quebec, dignitaries such as the Mayor of Saint-Lambert Mrs. Pascale Mongrain, Tom et Catherine Mulcair, representatives of several inter-religious organizations, men, women, children and youth, gathered at this church, to pay homage to the unique example of service to humanity, the one who chose the name of "Servant of Glory", 'Abdu'l-Bahá!

The presentation of the choir, the small orchestra which accompanied it, are worthy of praise! the monologues of the actor’s reciting texts pronounced by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in this very church, transported us in the world of 1912 when in Montreal, there were only two lines of tramway, North-South and East-West! There were few cars, but more horse-drawn carriages! And an electric board in front of the church announcing that the "Prophet of the East" would deliver an address on the principles of the Bahá'í Faith and "the salvation of humanity. This title troubled 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and he expressed concern at the habit of people calling him a "prophet. In his speech, he corrected this error, pointing out that he was not a prophet, but simply 'Abdu'l-Bahá, which loosely translates as "Servant of Glory.

The pastor of Saint James, the Reverend Alain John Bonner, gave a very moving address saying that since 'Abdu'l-Bahá's time in this church, Methodists have been following his advice regarding service to humanity! As far back as 1912, this church was forward-thinking in admitting people of colour into its congregation! In fact, on the night that 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave his speech in this church, a large part of the audience was composed of people of colour!

On the same platform where 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave His speech on September 5, 1912, there were 40 choir members of multiple ethnic backgrounds, the actors who recited the monologues from His speech, and an orchestra of string quartet, flute, and piano that accompanied the choir.

The words of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, wonderfully composed by Lucie Dubé in ten songs, transported the audience to a world of peace and joy where no injurious thoughts can exist! A world where finally the human being will be able to have an experience of harmony in diversity like a garden filled with flowers of all beauty!

'Abdu'l-Bahá's last moving words to the people of Canada came in his closing address, in which he expressed his gratitude and admiration for the justice and friendship enjoyed by the North American peoples. He expressed the wish that the governments of America would play a leading role in the establishment of a world court that would bring all nations together and would prove to be a very important day for the establishment of universal and permanent peace throughout the world. His words were:

"Praise be to God! I see that these two great nations are highly competent and very advanced in all matters of progress and civilisation. These governments are just and equitable. The motives and goals of these people are noble and inspiring."

Photos: Saint James Church and the group of friends from across Quebec.


Bahá'í Center


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