The photograph below shows the believers assembled at the nineteenth Annual Convention of the Bahá’í’s of the United States and Canada at Montreal, Canada, during April 29 to May 3, 1927.

My twin sister, Ayned, and I, at the age of nine, are the only children in this photograph and appear holding the framed picture of The Greatest Name. Our parents, Edith and Phillip Marangella, are seated immediately to our right. It would be almost four decades later that I was destined to become the third Guardian of the Faith following my appointment by the second Guardian of the Faith, Mason Remey, in strict conformance with the divinely-conceived, sacred and immutable provisions of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – the Architect of the Bahá’í Administrative Order.

The photograph below shows the believers attending the twenty-eighth National Convention of the Bahá’ís of the United States, during April 30 to May 2, 1936, assembled on the steps of the Bahá’í Temple inWimette, Illinois. Then nearing eighteen and about to graduate in June of that year from High School in Chicago, I appear at the forefront of the asssembled friends in a crouched position below the painting of The Greatest Name, a painting which I did not know then had been painted by Mason Remey.


Nor could I have forseen, in my wildest imagination at the time, that this painting of The Greatest Name, drawn by one who would be appointed by Shoghi Effendi in 1951 as his successor and, fifteen years later in 1957, with the passing of Shoghi Effendi, accede to the Guardianship of the Faith, at the advanced age of 83, would, through a completely unforseen chain of events, come into his hands almost a half century later when he had by that time become the third Guardian of the Faith appointed by Mason Remey. For, this painting of The Greatest Name had, subsequent to this photograph, been given by Mason Remey to a Mrs. Klebs who, as her life drew to a close and until she died, had resided in the home of Esther Sego of Augusta, Georgia, upon the wall of whose house it was displayed until the end, in turn, of her life. Her son, acting under her instructions to give this painting of The Greatest Name to the Guardian upon her own passing, shipped it in 1986 to the undersigned in far off Australia where, since then, it has been prominently displayed on the wall of my home. It was as though, in this somewhat miraculous way, this painting of The Greatest Name, fashioned by Mason Remey so many years before had been indirectly bequeathed by him to the one that he had appointed as his successor in his own hand-writing, as long ago as 1951, well before his own passing in 1974.

Joel Bray Marangella

Third Guardian of the Bahá’í Faith

Australia, 2002