baha’i monarch passes away

apia house of worshipHis Highness Susuga Malietoa Tanumafili II, reigning monarch of the island nation of Samoa for 68 years, passed away on the evening of May 11th, in a hospital in Apia. He was one of the longest reigning monarchs in the world.

“As an 11 year old school pupil, I marched with my school in Samoa’s annual independence day parade,” recalls John Bryden of Vox Cosmicos, a Baha’i from New Zealand. “Malietoa stood at attention on a reviewing stand in front of the Parliament Building, in the tropical sun, acknowledging troop after troop of marchers who passed by. I think of this when I read the media obituaries praising his record as a pivot of unity for his country, through wisdom and humility.”

In a message to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Samoa, the Universal House of Justice lauded his service to the people of Samoa, a service “distinguished by the high principles, genuine compassion and personal humility that characterized the constancy of his concern for the welfare of all.”

“As the first reigning sovereign to accept the Message of Baha’u’llah,” the House of Justice continued, “he set a record that will forever illumine the annals of our Faith, one that future generations will increasingly extol. His great interest for well-nigh four decades in the Faith’s progress was reflected in the enthusiastic affirmation of his belief whenever the opportunity presented itself and in the abiding joy with which he regarded the construction in 1984 of the Mother Temple of the Pacific Islands in Samoa…”

In your prayers tonight, remember His Highness.

Read the Baha’i World News Service story.

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