Our family recently had the privilege of visiting the Bahá’í World Centre for a 9 day Pilgrimage! Spending time in the holy places where Bahá’u’lláh resided after His exile from the Ottoman empire in 1868 was a priceless experience. Praying and meditating in the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh was extremely nurturing and for the first time I felt at complete peace – a moment I will never forget. Most of all, the joy I felt throughout the 9 days was all-encompassing and experiencing the Pilgrimage with my family was such a blessing.
Meeting friends from around the world was so joyous and it was wonderful to see such diversity. Among the countries represented were: Canada, United States, South Africa, Hong Kong, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Tanzania, France and Australia. We were especially happy to see so many families with youth and children – a lovely gift for our children to be able to bond with others their age. A wonderful surprise on our Pilgrimage was finding out that my first cousin (who I grew up with) and her family happened to be in the same Pilgrim group as we were. You can imagine how joyous and moved we both were knowing we hadn’t planned it and yet we were able to experience the special Pilgrimage together.
Something that struck me throughout those 9 precious days was how much beauty and order permeated everywhere and in all forms – from the gorgeous tapestry in the gardens to the beautiful decor so lovingly placed in each room for the Pilgrims to see.
As promised, I had the pleasure of reciting prayers in the Shrines for friends and loved ones all over the world. It brought me great joy to say them as I know not everyone is able to go on Pilgrimage. One of my favorite prayers to read in the Shrines is the Long Healing prayer. As I read it, I dedicated each paragraph to a person on my prayer list, especially those who have asked for healing prayers. Here’s another blog post I wrote in 2009 titled, ‘A Spiritual Reunion’, about my 3 day visit to this very special place.
Below are a few photographs from our special visit. Enjoy!
The Shrine of the Báb at night. So beautiful!
My family standing on the balcony of the Mansion of Bahji. The garden is like an exquisite tapestry.
At the Ridvan garden. One of my favorite photographs of our Pilgrimage. My family looks so radiant.
Another favorite photo… father and son walking arm in arm with the sunlight at their back. An inspiring moment.
The bench where Bahá’u’lláh sat in the Ridvan garden
Bahji – the exquisite garden that surrounds the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh in Akka.
Walking in the gardens. Love watching my husband and son having deep conversations
‘Abdu’llah Pasha – The original stairs of the house in ‘Akká that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rented in 1896 and that served as His residence until He moved to Haifa in 1910
Just before our special visit to the Archives building which holds many of the most sacred items within the Bahá’í Faith. One of my favorite days of Pilgrimage
My sweet first cousin who just happened to be in the same Pilgrim group as we were!
Our Pilgrim group B with friends from diverse parts of the world – such a beautiful group
Such a pleasure to be able to say prayers for friends and loved ones inside the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh
My talented friend and photographer, Glenn Franco Simmons, allowed me to use his rose photograph to create this gift for friends I prayed for…