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Rising to the Call – The story of Ella Bailey

Ella Bailey
Ella Bailey

When the House of Worship was being constructed in Wilmette, United States, there were not many Bahá’ís in America and funds were scarce. When the work at the Temple was coming to a standstill because of lack of money, the American National Spiritual Assembly appealed to the Bahá’ís of their community for assistance. The response of the friends was such

that the crisis was abated and the building of the Temple continued.

Among those who gave all they had was an elderly lady, a pure soul with a generous heart, but destitute of worldly belongings. She had been saving for some time and had managed to set aside a sum of money for her own burial.

When the appeal came for donations to the Temple Fund, and she realized the urgency of the situation, she decided to give half the money she had saved to the House of Worship. After some time, when funds were still lacking for the completion of the Temple, she gave the other half, saying she could be buried in the free cemetery reserved for the destitute and did not need a stone to mark her grave.

This is not the end of the story.

When the Guardian of the Cause raised the call for pioneers and asked the believers to take the healing Message of Bahá’u’lláh to people who had not heard of the Bahá’í Faith, this beloved lady, who was then almost ninety and crippled in a wheelchair, went pioneering to Libya. She passed away in Libya shortly after her arrival, having won the admiration of the entire Bahá’í world for her heroic deed. The Guardian of the Cause named her a martyr and had a beautiful monument erected over her resting place. Her name was Miss Ella Bailey.

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