On the occasion of the conclusion of the Holy Year I am overjoyed to share the following triple announcement with the attendants at the fourth and final Intercontinental Teaching Conference, marking the termination of festivities associated with the centenary of the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Prophetic Mission.
The five-year-old, three-quarter million dollar enterprise, constituting the final stage in the initial epoch of the evolutionary process initiated over sixty years ago by the Founder of the Faith, in the heart of the Mountain of God, is consummated. The finishing touches of the installation of stained glass windows in the drum and octagon, the removal of scaffolding from the exterior and interior of the edifice, the interior calcimining of the dome, drum and octagon, tuck-pointing, cleaning and floodlighting the entire structure have been completed, synchronizing with the closing weeks of the glorious, twelve-month annals of the Holy Faith.
A steadily swelling throng of visitors from far and near, on many days exceeding a thousand, is flocking to the gates leading to the Inner Sanctuary of this majestic mausoleum; paying homage to the Queen of Carmel enthroned on God's Mountain, crowned in glowing gold, robed in shimmering white, girdled in emerald green, enchanting every eye from air, sea, plain and hill.
I am moved to request the attendants at the Conference to hold a befitting memorial gathering to pay tribute to the Hand of the Cause, Sutherland Maxwell, immortal architect of the arcade and superstructure of the Shrine. I feel, moreover, acknowledgement should be made at the same gathering to the unflagging labors and vigilance of the Hand of the Cause, Ugo Giachery, in negotiating contracts, inspecting and dispatching all materials required for the construction of the edifice, as well as of the assiduous, constant care of the Hand of the Cause, Leroy Ioas, in supervising the construction of both drum and dome. To two doors of the Shrine recently named after the first two aforementioned Hands, the octagon door, now added, will henceforth be associated with the third Hand who contributed to the raising of this stately, sacred structure.
The second announcement is that the world-wide process of the settlement of virgin areas of the globe has been accelerated by the arrival of the following pioneers at their respective posts: Cora Oliver, British Honduras; Carole and Dwight Allen, Greece; Mr. and Mrs. Xavier Rodrigues, Portuguese Guinea; Brigitte Hasselblatt, Shetlands; Elizabeth Hopper, Ada Schott, Sara Kenny and Mrs. Duffield, Madeira; H. J. Snider, Key West; Hugh McKinley and mother, Cyprus; Max Kenyerezi, French Equatorial Africa; Elsa Grossmann, Frisian Islands; Helen Robinson, Baranof; Mr. and Mrs. Ted Anderson, Yukon; Tabendeh Payman, San Marino; Una Townshend, Malta; Rolf Haug, Crete, swelling the Roll of Honor, raising the number of territories within the pale of the Faith to one hundred sixty-five. Two additional pioneers are proceeding to leper colonies in Puerto Rico and French Guiana. Two valiant pioneers from India and America are preparing entry into Tibet. Two more members of the United States National Assembly have volunteered to pioneer, raising the number to five. United States pioneers are departing to twenty-four virgin territories ere the conclusion of the Holy Year. The Feast of Names was celebrated last August by two stalwart crusaders at the weather station at Buchanan Bay on desolate Ellesmere Island, latitude seventy-nine, less than seven hundred miles from the North Pole. The irresistibly unfolding Crusade has been sanctified by the death of heroic, eighty-eight year old Ella Bailey, elevating her to the rank of the martyrs of the Faith, shedding further luster on the American Bahá'í Community and consecrating the soil of the fast-awakening African continent.
The third announcement is that preliminary steps have been taken, aiming at the acquisition of an extensive area at the head of the holy mountain, scene of the revelation of the Tablet of Carmel, preparatory to the purchase of the site for the future Mother Mashriqu'l-Adhkár of the Holy Land, made possible by the munificent hundred thousand dollar donation of the Hand of the Cause, Amelia Collins, signalizing the opening of the second stage in the unfoldment of the mighty process set in motion by the Author of the Faith.
A TRIPLE RESPONSIBILITY
This triple bounty vouchsafed the Community of the Most Great Name, scattered over the face of the planet, calls for tremendous, immediate, concerted exertion by the assembled believers in order adequately to discharge this triple responsibility. First, redoubled consecration to the pioneering task, particularly in the Pacific area emphasized in the Tablets of the Divine Plan, raising thereby, ere adjournment of the Conference, the number of territories opened to the Faith or assigned pioneers for immediate settlement to above two hundred. Second, the demonstration of increasing self-sacrifice through the inauguration of Funds for the purchase of land for future Temples on the Asiatic continent and in the Antipodes, in Baghdád, New Delhi and Sydney. I am contributing three thousand pounds for the furtherance of these meritorious enterprises. Third, earnest consultation by representatives of the Persian and &Iraqi National Assemblies, directly concerned with the holy task, with the assembled Hands of the Cause on ways and means to conduct a thorough investigation to ensure purchase of the holy places, particularly the site of the Siyáh-Chál, the cradle of the Revelation to the Author of the Faith, as well as the identification and transfer to Bahá'í cemeteries of the bodies of the relatives of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh, constituting vital objectives of the Ten-Year Plan.
I am ardently hoping, fervently supplicating that this epochal Conference, setting the seal on the celebration of the second Bahá'í Jubilee, may contribute in an unprecedented degree through the character of its deliberations, the solidity of its achievements, the scope of its accomplishments, to the ultimate attainment of the shining goals of the World Crusade, destined to culminate in the not far distant Most Great Jubilee associated with the hundredth anniversary of the assumption by Bahá'u'lláh of His prophetic office.
[7 October 1953]