Posted by: samandal | January 15, 2010

Daughter of Monarchs, Mother of Kings

Day of the Regency

Although not a formal Holy Day, this day commemorates the assumption of the Bahá’í Regency by Reginald King, the Second Regent of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh.

Bahá’u’lláh was an unequivocal advocate for the fundamental freedoms of expression, conscience, and the press (bestowed by law, subject to authority, and guaranteed by government), but not of unrestricted license and liberty from all law and government. The Bahá’í Faith holds the equality of women and men as one of its primary principles, and Bahá’u’lláh employed the masculine Arabic word rijál (notables) in such a manner as to include women.

Marie, Queen of Romania (1875–1938), was the grand-daughter of Victoria, Queen of Britain, and Alexander, Tsar of Russia. She married Ferdinand of Romania in 1893, and became Queen Consort in 1914 and Queen Dowager in 1927. She learned of the Bahá’í Faith in 1926 from the missionary Martha Root (1872–1939), and paid public tribute to the “wondrous message” of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. An initiate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, she was the first monarch to embrace the Bahá’í Faith; Shoghí Effendí lauded her support. Her daughter Ileana, later an Orthodox nun, denied that her mother ever became a Bahá’í; it was not, however, until 1925 that membership rolls of recognized believers were prepared in North America—at Shoghí Effendí’s instructions—and subsequently became general throughout the Bahá’í world.

“How great the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My Kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with the companions of the Crimson Ark—the Ark which God hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king [or queen] is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation, the fountain-head of blessings unto the whole world. Offer up, O people of Bahá, your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance.”                                                                                     (Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings, page 212)

The monarch who professes to be a Bahá’í has a position of considerable importance; the enlightened ruler is described as “the very eye of mankind,” a spiritual beacon, luminous in the proclamation of the Faith.

“Love lives in my heart, invincibly.”                                                                (Queen Marie: The Story of My Life)