By Juhi Varma
A Baha’í open house event took place at the Wilson House on High Street Sunday afternoon to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Abdul-Bahá’s visit to America in 1912. Abdul-Bahá was the eldest son of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of this religion. The open house drew an impressive number of Baha’is, Baha’i leaders and interested guests.
Malden’s Wilson House is very special to the Baha’is of America. The Wilson family left it to the Baha’i faith in 1930. It is presently occupied and cared for by Carol and David Weigert, both of whom are devoted practitioners of the religion. “The house is special, but as a place of visitation, not of worship,” explained the Weigerts.
“The City of Malden is the second most diverse city in Massachusetts,” said Mayor Gary Christenson to the crowd. “All the time that a mayor or governor is trying to work out budgets and policies, all we hear today is what’s wrong with our city, our state, our country and the world, but here today is what’s right.”
One of the symbols of this religion is a nine-pointed star that represents the nine great world religions: Baha’i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Shinto, and Sikhism. It emphasizes the spiritual unity of all human kind.
Mayor Christenson presented the Weigerts with an official city proclamation: “On this day the city of Malden wishes to acknowledge the 100th anniversary of Abdul Bahá’s visit to the Wilson house. This house left by the Wilson family to the Baha’i faith stands as a reminder of Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of a land free of prejudice, and there is no better place than the diverse community of Malden for such a symbol of equality for all.”
The Baha’i faith originated in the late 19th century in present-day Iran. Today, there are nearly 100,000 Baha’is in the United States, with approximately 1,000 Baha’is residing in the Greater Boston area.
“This is a really beautiful house. I’m thinking about adding Carol and David to the Problem Properties Unit and see what else they can do,” the mayor joked.