Queen who embraced teachings is remembered in Romanian-language TV program
A television program celebrating the birth of modern-day Romania a century ago gives prominent place to Queen Marie, the first member of a royal family to embrace the teachings of Baha’u’llah.
Produced by the Association of the Romanian Communities Abroad, the Arca TV program features stunning photographs and archival film of the queen and her family. The narration, in Romanian, was written and voiced by Mioara Gram, a Baha’i in Houston.
Born in England, Marie was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria on one side and of Tsar Alexander II of Russia on the other. She married Crown Prince Ferdinand of Romania in 1893 and they ruled as king and queen from 1914 until his death in 1927. During World War I, Marie endeared herself to Romanians as a nurse to wounded soldiers. After her husband’s death, Marie served as queen dowager until her passing in 1938.
The program’s narration tells how Marie’s “heart was touched by the Message of Baha’u’llah” and how she enjoyed “12 years of close relationship,” starting in 1923, with Baha’i traveling teacher Martha Root. She also corresponded with Shoghi Effendi, head of the Baha’i Faith at the time.
In God Passes By, his 1944 history of the first century of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi describes Marie: “… [P]ossessed of a charming and radiant personality; highly talented, clear-visioned, daring and ardent by nature; keenly devoted to all enterprises of a humanitarian character, she, alone among her sister-queens, alone among all those of royal birth or station, was moved to spontaneously acclaim the greatness of the Message of Baha’u’llah.”
And in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, a 1938 collection of letters and messages, he quotes Marie as saying: “The Baha’i teaching brings peace and understanding. It is like a wide embrace gathering together all those who have long searched for words of hope. It accepts all great Prophets gone before, it destroys no other creeds and leaves all doors open. Saddened by the continual strife amongst believers of many confessions and wearied of their intolerance towards each other, I discovered in the Baha’i teaching the real spirit of Christ so often denied and misunderstood: Unity instead of strife, Hope instead of condemnation, Love instead of hate, and a great reassurance for all men.”
Gram previously contributed material about Queen Marie to Radio ProDiaspora, a Romanian-language station based in Germany, and has hosted a show, “Art, Science and Religion: In Search for the Common Road,” on Radio ProDiaspora since February 2018.
She met Lucian Blaga, director of the Houston-based Arca TV, a year ago and “had some of the brightest discussions with him about Baha’u’llah’s Message and Its transforming power for mankind” in the months leading to the program on Romania’s centenary.
“Lucian Blaga’s action and vision of life is already a Baha’i one — that is to say, one of transformation and unification of the world,” says Gram. “I consider him as being an extremely valuable human resource, as well as a very well-motivated soul in life.”