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from the chronology

date event locations tags see also
1865 French diplomat Joseph Comte de Gobineau publishes Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale, over half of which is devoted to a study of the Bábí movement. [BBR17]

Mírzá Kazem-Beg of St Petersburg University publishes Bab Babidy, the first Western book written entirely on the subject of the Bábí religion. [BBR26]

France; Russia French; Joseph Comte de Gobineau; Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale; Babi; Mirza Kazem-Beg; Petersburg University; Bab Babidy
1870 1 - 2 Sep Battle of Sedan. Napoleon III suffers defeat at the hands of Kaiser Wilhelm I. It resulted in the capture of Emperor Napoleon III and large numbers of his troops and for all intents and purposes decided the war in favour of Prussia and its allies, though fighting continued under a new French government. Napoleon goes into exile in England, where he dies in 1873.
  • Bahá'u'lláh refers to this in KA86.
Sedan; France Napoleon III
1873. 12 Apr Birth of Hippolyte Dreyfus, the first French Bahá'í, in Paris. Named by Shoghi Effendi a Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá. Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; First Bahais by country or area; Births and deaths
1900 26 Nov Agnes Alexander accepts the Faith in Rome after hearing the message from Mrs Dixon. She stays in Rome for three months studying prophecies then travels to Paris for further study with May Bolles for another three and one half months. She leaves Paris in the Spring of 1901 for London, New England, Oakland, Ca and finally Honolulu. [BFA1p159] Rome; Italy; Paris; France; Oakland; California; London; United Kingdom; Honolulu; Hawaii Agnes Alexander; May Bolles
1901 summer Thomas Breakwell, an Englishman living in the United States, learns of the Bahá'í Faith in Paris from May Bolles. Within three days he becomes a believer and immediately writes to `Abdu'l-Bahá. [AB74–5; BW7:707]
  • For May Bolles' own account see SW7:707–11.
  • He is the first male British Bahá'í. [BFA2:154]
  • He is designated by Shoghi Effendi the `first English believer'. [GPB259]
  • He is the first Western Bahá'í to pay Huqúqu'lláh. [BW7:70]
  • See also AB74–80; BFA2:154; SEBW6572.
Paris; France Thomas Breakwell; May Bolles; Huququ'llah
1902 13 Jun Thomas Breakwell dies from tuberculosis in Paris. (b. 31 May, 1872 in Woking) [AB77; BBD46; SEBW70]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá appears to know this without being told. [AB78-9; SEBW70]
  • Shoghi Effendi designates him one of three `luminaries shedding brilliant lustre on annals of Irish, English and Scottish Bahá'í communities'. [MBW174]
  • See AB79, SEBW71–2 and SWAB187–9 for `Abdu'l-Bahá's eulogy.
  • See wikipedia for an account of his life.
  • See Cimetière de Pantin for the location of his resting place c/w photos.
Woking; England; Paris; France Thomas Breakwell; In Memoriam
1905 -1906 The publication of The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. [7V74V]

Two works written in Baghdad after Bahá’u’lláh returned from Kurdistan in 1856. The Seven Valleys was revealed in reply to a letter from Shaykh Muhiyi’d-Din, the religious judge of Khaniqin, who was a Sufi. The Four Valleys was addressed to Shaykh ‘Abdu’r-Rahman, leader of the Qadiriyyih Sufi order, with whom Bahá’u’lláh had been in contact in Sulaymaniyyih.

“To these two outstanding contributions to the world’s religious literature, (Shoghi Effendi had written of the Kitáb-i-Íqán and the Hidden Words) … was added, during that same period, a treatise that may well be regarded as His greatest mystical composition, designated as the “Seven Valleys,”.., in which He describes the seven stages which the soul of the seeker must needs traverse ere it can attain the object of its existence.” [GPB140]

In the West this was one of the earliest available books of Bahá'u'lláh, first translated directly to French in 1905, and English in 1906. [GPB140]

The Seven Valleys was translated into English by Marzieh Gail in consultation with her father, Alí-Kuli Khan Nabil-al Douleh. The publication date of the first English translation was 1945 with an introduction added in 1952. The second edition of The Seven Valleys published in 1968 and 1975 by the US Bahá'í Publishing Trust.

France; United States Haft Vadi (Seven Valleys); Chahar Vadi (Four Valleys); Kitab-i-Iqan (Book of Certitude); Kalimat-i-Maknunih (Hidden Words); Marzieh Gail; Ali-Kuli Khan
1911 11 Aug The beginning of `Abdu'l-Bahá's first Western tour. [AB139]
  • `Abdu'l-Bahá departs from Egypt with a party of four on the S. S. Corsica for Marseilles, Thonon-les-Bains and London. [AB139; GPB280; SBR22, SoW Vol2 no.10 (8 September, 1911) p7]
  • Subsequent research has shown that the ship was not the S.S. Corsica as stated in GPB280 but rather the L'Orenoque. See 'Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris page 6 note 47.
  • See BW1:130 for a list of cities He visits between 1911 and 1913.
Alexandria, Egypt; Marseilles; Thonon-les-Bains; France; London; United Kingdom S. S. Corsica; Abdul-Baha, Travels of
1911 22 Aug - 3 Sep `Abdu'l-Bahá took up residence at Thonon-les-Bains on Lake Leman (Lake Geneva). [AB140; GPB280; SBR219]
  • While there He encountered Zillu's-Sultán, the eldest son of the Sháh of the time, Násirid-Dín Sháh. It was he who had ratified the execution of the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs and at least 100 others. The whole family was in exile in Geneva at this time. 'Abdu'l-Bahá was very courteous to this man who had been such an inveterate enemy of the Cause. [DJT172] .
  • The Master sent for Juliet Thompson who had been waiting in London for His permission to join Him.
  • During His stay he had a visit from Annie Boylan, a member of the New York community that was experiencing disharmony. Unaware of Bahá'í election procedures, a group that was unhappy with the disunity and ineffectiveness of the Council had organized a vote to be rid of several of its Council members. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had written to the community a short time before recommending that the Council be expanded from 9 to 27 members so that all factions could be represented. He also recommended that women be included on the Council and that the name be changed to "the Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of New York". This apparently addressed the problem of disunity because the New York community went on to contribute significantly to the progress of the Faith on a national level. [DJT181, BFA2p338]
  • Horace Holley, who lived at Quattro Torri, Siena, Italy at the time, along with his wife Bertha Herbert and baby daughter Hertha, visited 'Abdu'l-Bahá on the 29th and 30th of August. Please see his Religion for Mankind p 232-237 for a pen portrait of 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
  • He met with Elizabeth Stewart and Lilian Kappes who were on their way to Tehran. [find reference]
  • It would appear that He returned to Marseilles and travelled to London by sea. [SCU22-23]
Thonon-les-Bains; Lake Leman; Marseilles; France; Switzerland; Italy; London; United Kingdom; New York; United States Abdul-Baha, Travels of; Board of Council; Spiritual Assemblies; Unity; Zillus-Sultan; Persecution; King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs; Juliet Thompson; Horace Holley; Elizabeth Stewart; Lilian Kappes
1911 15 Oct In the morning 'Abdu'l-Bahá gives a talk at His apartment at #4 Avenue de Camoens. During the talk Muhammad Qazvíní and Siyyid Hasan Taqízásih entered the room. The former had written an introduction for and was the force behind the publication of Kitáb-i-Nuqtatu'l-Káf, a book that supposedly was an early history of the Faith but in reality was heavily biased to the the views of Mírzá Yahya. 'Abdu'l-Bahá had had Mírzá Abdu'l-Fadl write a refutation. Both men had additional dinner engagements with 'Abdu'l-Bahá during His visit. ['Abdu'l- Bahá's Meetings with Two Prominent Iranians, World Order, Fall 1998 Vol 30, no 1 pp35-46]

In the afternoon all are invited to meet Him at #22 rue Seeden Rollin pre Saint Germais-sur-Seine outside the walls of Paris. For an account of this event see Glimpses of Abdul'Bahá in Paris by Alice Beede.

Paris; France First Western tour by `Abdu'l-Baha'; Mirza Abul-Fadl Gulpaygani; Muhammad Qazvini; Siyyid Hasan Taqizasih; Kitab-i-Nuqtatul-Kaf; Criticism and apologetics
1912 18 Dec 'Abdu'l-Bahá gives a talk at which E. G. Browne is present. He visits `Abdu'l-Bahá several more times while in London. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346, ABTM277-278]

Hájí Abu'l-Hasan-i-Ardakání (Hájí Amín) arrives in London from Paris with three young Persian. He spoke neither English nor French and had had some difficulty in getting from Paris to London. He crossed the English Channel and then found himself back in Paris. His second attempt was successful. [SoW Vol III no19 2Mar1913 p4, AB346–7, ABTM278]

London; United Kingdom; Paris; France E. G. Browne; Haji Amin (Abul-Hasan-i-Ardikani); Abdul-Baha, Travels of
1928 20 Dec Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney, Disciple of Abdu’l-Bahá, passes away in Paris. [UD84–5]
  • For Shoghi Effendi’s eulogy of him see BW3:210–14 and UD84–5.
Paris; France Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney; Disciples of Abdul-Baha; In Memoriam
1940 2 Jun Shoghi Effendi and Rúhíyyih Khánum leave St Malo, France, for England one day before the city is occupied by the Nazis. Shoghi Effendi seems acutely aware of the danger to himself and to the Faith should he fall into the hands of the Nazis because the Cause had already been banned in Germany and his inveterate enemy, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, was allied with them. [PP 179–80] St Malo; France Shoghi Effendi, Life of; Amatul-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum
1953 20 Oct Frances Heller arrives in Macau and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh for the island. [BW13:453; PH73]
  • She is the first Knight of Bahá’u’lláh to settle in Chinese territory.
Macau Frances Heller; Knight of Bahá’u’lláh
1954 25 Mar Leland Jensen arrives on Réunion Island from the United States and is named a Knight of Bahá’u’lláh. [BW13:455]
  • He is later declared a Covenant-breaker.
Reunion Island; France Leland Jensen; Knights of Bahaullah; Covenant-breakers
1958 26 Apr The National Spiritual Assembly of France is formed.
  • For the message of the Custodians to the French National Convention see MC86–9.
France NSA
1960 30 Apr – 10 May Twenty–four national spiritual assemblies and five national conventions send messages of support to the Custodians, repudiating the claim made by Charles Mason Remey to be the second Guardian. [MC199–202]
  • The National Spiritual Assembly of France votes to recognize the claim. [MC203]
National Spritiual Assemblies; Custodians; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers; Guardianship; France
1960 5 May Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qásim Faizí is sent by the Custodians to France to meet with the National Spiritual Assembly and Bahá’ís of France. [MC197]
  • After consultation, five members of the assembly continue to support Charles Mason Remey in his claim to be the second Guardian and resign from the assembly. The national assembly is dissolved. [MC203]
France Hands of the Cause; Abul-Qasim Faizi; National Spritual Assemblies; Charles Mason Remey; Covenant-breakers; Guardianship; France
1963 In Angola, Antonio Francesco Ebo and seven other Bahá’ís are arrested and imprisoned in a penal colony off the coast of southern Angola.
  • They remain in confinement for eight years.
Angola Antonio Francesco Ebo; religious persecution
1966 29 Sep Frances A. Foss, the first pioneer on St Maarten, arrives in Philipsburg. Philipsburg; St Maarten Frances A. Foss; pioneer
1971 The first Gypsies, six adults and six youth, to become Bahá’ís in France enrol at a campsite near Le Bourget airport. France
1974 18 Aug Laura Clifford Dreyfus-Barney, compiler of Some Answered Questions, passes away in Paris. [BW16:296]
  • For her obituary see BW16:535–8.
Paris; France Laura Clifford Barney; In Memoriam; Births and deaths
1976 3 – 6 Aug An International Teaching Conference is held in Paris, attended by some 5,700 Bahá’ís. [BW17:81; DM416; VV33]
  • For the message of the Universal House of Justice see BW17:131–2.
  • For the message of Kurt Waldheim, Secretary-General of the United Nations, see BW17:140.
  • For pictures see BW17:109, 117–19.
Paris; France; Europe Kurt Waldheim; United Nations; United Nations, Secretary-Generals; Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Teaching; Conferences, International; Teaching
1984 Ridván The National Spiritual Assembly of Martinique is formed with its seat in Fort-de-France. [BW19:62, 155]
  • See BW19:523 for picture.
Fort-de-France NSA
1989 Feb The inaugural publication of One Country, the newsletter of the Bahá'í International Community. It is a publication of the Office of Public Information of the Bahá'í International Community in New York. The periodical reports mainly on activities of the worldwide Bahá'í community in relation to issues of sustainable development, peace and world order, human rights, and the advancement of women. [BW'86-‘92 p.539] New York; U.S.; Paris; France One Country; newsletter; Baha'i International Community Find date
1990 The formation of the European Bahá'í Business Forum in France with members from 26 countries in Europe and elsewhere. [VV115]
  • Formed by a group of Bahá'ís active in business and management meeting in Chamonix, France, due to concern about the decline of ethics and values in business.
  • Forum created to promote the moral and spiritual wisdom and principles of the great religious traditions of the world (sources included Judaism, Hinduism, and Christianity as well as the 19th century revelation of Baha'u'llah) such as adherence to the principles of justice, respect, trustworthiness, integrity and unity.
  • Beginning as an informal network, its membership grew requiring the election of a Governing Board.
  • Members have attached importance to sharing their broad experience and to contributing to the improvement of management in emerging free-market economies of Central and Eastern Europe. [ebbf]
Chamonix; France; Europe European Bahai Business Forum (EBBF); Business
1990 1 - 2 Sep The European Bahá'í Business Forum is formed at a meeting in Chamonix, France, attended by people from eight countries. [BINS244:8; VV115]
  • For picture see VV115.
Chamonix; France European Bahai Business Forum (EBBF); Business
1993 In the year EBBF was registered in Paris as an official non-profit association. Its statutes provide that membership is open to Bahá'ís and non-Bahá'ís alike. [ebbf] Paris; France European Bahai Business Forum (EBBF); Business
1994 May 22 The first Bahá'í Children and Youth Conference of Martinique is held in Fort-de-France, attended by 22 people. [BINS318:4–5] Fort-de-France; Martinique Conferences, Bahai; Conferences, Youth; Youth

from the main catalogue

  1. 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Encounter with Modernity during His Western Travels, by Wendi Momen, in Lights of Irfan, 13 (2012). Abdu'l-Baha's responses to the West's technology and innovations on the one hand, vs. its archaic racist and sexual philosophies on the other. [about]
  2. 'Abdu'l-Baha's Meeting with Two Prominent Iranians, by Muhammad Qazvini, in World Order, 30:1 (1998). Muhammad Qazvini's and Siyyid Hasan Taqizadeh's descriptions of their 1911 meetings with `Abdu'l-Baha in Paris. Preceded by a brief biography of Abdu'l-Baha. [about]
  3. Account of How I Became a Bahá'í and My Stays in Paris in 1901 and 1937, An: Written at the Request of Mrs. Laura Dreyfus-Barney, by Agnes Baldwin Alexander (1958). [about]
  4. Germany, France, Italy, and Switzerland, by Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi, in Bahá'í Studies Review, 4:1 (1994). Compilation of new perspectives on the future of European civilization. Includes introduction by Julio Savi. [about]
  5. Glimpse of Abdu'l-Bahá in Paris, by Alice R. Beede, in Star of the West, 2:18 (1912). Short account of a brief meeting in Paris, and brief speech by Abdu'l-Baha. [about]
  6. Mayflowers in the Ville Lumière: The Dawning of Bahá'í History in the European Continent, by Julio Savi, in Lights of Irfan, 12 (2011). In intellectual and artistic Paris of the fin de siècle, a young American becomes the catalyst for the spiritual awakening of a group of early believers. The paper examines the mysterious ways through which they came to recognize the dawn of the new era. [about]
  7. Questions and Answers 1950-51, by Mirra Alfassa (1951). The Mother's recollections of Abdu'l-Baha speaking to her about sacrifice and suffering. [about]
  8. Tablet of Maqsud, by Universal House of Justice (2001). Date of the revelation of the Tablet of Maqsúd and its mention of "Two great powers." [about]
  9. Words of Long Ago, by Mirra Alfassa (1912). Transcript of a talk The Mother delivered to some Baha'is in Paris in 1912 by request of Abdu'l-Baha; reflections inspired by the departure of Abdu'l-Baha from Paris in June 1913. [about]
 
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