The Shrine (Montreal)

The Shrine in Montreal.  Photo: Lorraine Goh

The Shrine in Montreal.
Photo: Lorraine Goh

“…He, the Centre of the Covenant, the Greatest Mystery of God, stayed here.”

In a June 1953 letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, Shoghi Effendi stated: “…the Maxwell home in Montreal…should be viewed in the nature of a national Shrine because of its association with the beloved Master, during His visit to Montreal.” It is a great honour and privilege that was conferred upon Canada and the city of Montreal.

Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhiyyíh Khánum explained the importance of the Shrine in these words, “Things arise in historic perspective as time goes by. This is the only private home in Canada where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stayed. After His visit, it was always considered blessed by having been used by Him. For future generations, it will eventually grow in importance and sacredness, because He, the Centre of the Covenant, the Greatest Mystery of God, stayed here” [From a letter from Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Canada, 14 May 1953]. These words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá provide further insight into the significance of the Shrine: “Holy places are undoubtedly centres of the outpouring of divine grace, because on entering the illumined sites … and by observing reverence, both physical and spiritual, one’s heart is moved with great tenderness.”

The Montreal Bahá’í Shrine is, therefore, a place of pilgrimage. Not only the upper floor and the room of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá constitute the Shrine, but the whole building is an historic monument. It is the place from where ‘Abdu’l-Bahá hopes that in the future the friends will become so enamoured that the melody of the Kingdom will go forth to all parts of the world and that the breaths of the Holy Spirit will spread from this centre to the East and the West of America.

About the Maxwell home, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s said “this house is My home.” Visitors to the Shrine are invited to truly feel as His guest and to pray and meditate in the room He occupied, or in any of the rooms, each of which he Himself visited.

Note: Extracts have been taken from these publications: ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, H.M. Balyuzi; ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Canada, Bahá’í Canada Publications; Bahá’í World Volumes VIII & XII; The diary of Mírza Mahmúd-i-Zargáni.

Links:

Address, phone number and visiting hours of Shrine in Montreal