A working bulletin board in researching the life of my great aunt, Leonora Holsapple Armstrong.
Leonora G. Stirling in centre of photo with white hair.
Grandmother of Leonora Holsapple Armstrong.
12th Annual Convention, New York City, 24 April 1920.
Hudson, N.Y. January 25th, 1921
“Yes, Leonora sailed away on 15th Inst. and kept up bravely to the last – smiling and waving goodbyes to her father and sister after they had left the ship.”
No one believed she could do it. No one thought she should. Everyone said she was crazy. Her friends said it was too far away – to go half way round the world – and unsafe. Her father said he wouldn’t allow it! But she went and bought the one way ticket for the ships travel to Brazil anyway! This was not a girls’ whim, or a dare for high adventure. This was a yearning of the soul – a yearning to follow the desires for her of the Master to become a spiritual physician, to minister to people’s hearts. She had been ministering to young minds, drilling them in Latin. But what she really yearned for was to fulfill ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s admonition in His Tablet to her to become a spiritual physician healing mankind with the Word of God.
Rua Dr. Soter de Araujo 3
Feb. 19, 1921
Dearest Miss Root,
You see I am in Santos after all, and I am so happy – just as you said I would be. At least I am happy to be with Guido Gnocchi and his family, and I shall be more happy when I can feel that I am really helping him in the work for the Cause. There seems to be very little that I can do until I know Portuguese pretty well – Guido assures me that then I can do much – but meanwhile, therefore, I am putting all of my time on the Portuguese, and of course I am getting practice continually, as neither Snr. nor Snra, G. knows any English. They are helping me a great deal, and I am also teaching them English now in the class which I have begun and am to have 3 evenings a week. I have translated one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s talks, and Snr. G. has corrected it, and I hope to do much in this way, for I think the translation of the Teachings is one of the most important and urgent needs.