The S.S. Cedric Sets Sail for America
On March 25, 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá boarded the ship that would take him to America. The S.S. Cedric, a steam ship from the White Star Line, departed Egypt amidst much fanfare. Over the next few days it would traverse the Mediterranean Sea, heading towards its first stop in Naples, Italy. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá commented that although the sea was rough, the sheer size of the Italian liner made its throes virtually unnoticeable.
By morning, the humidity that hung thick in the air in the port city of Alexandria gave way to the lighter air of the open sea. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá commented that it made all the difference in the world to his aching bones.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá was joined by six travel companions on the open deck. He was approached an America woman who had heard something of the Bahá’í teachings. She told the group she was a Unitarian and asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if he had a message for her congregation back in New York. He replied: “The most important of all intentions is to spread the love of God, to establish harmony and oneness among people. This is what distinguishes man from animal.”
Over the next few days, this pattern continued: fellow passengers engaging ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in weighty conversations, almost always of a spiritual nature, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá speaking of the nobility of the human race, yet often reminding them that we had not yet reached “maturity.”
The evening of March 27, magnificent volcanoes appeared on the horizon as the ship moved through the Strait of Messina. By morning, it had docked in Naples.
Stay tuned for our next update, March 30…
The S.S. Cedric docks in Naples. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and his companions remain onboard—all are concerned for their safety!