Stories about 'Abdu'l-Bahá

May 6 — Joseph Ioas … the prayers of children

Ioas Family Manuscript
May 6, 1912
Chicago, IL

Six year-old Joseph Ioas was very happy. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was finally coming to his city, Chicago, and his mother was going to take him to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the next day. However, Joseph fell and suffered a serious cut on his forehead. He was very sad that he would not be able to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, but his mother said, “Let’s wait and see. Maybe tomorrow you will be much better.” This proved to be the case, so the next day they both went to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Joseph’s head carefully wrapped in a large bandage. When Joseph walked into the meeting-place and saw ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wearing His cap with a linen cloth wrapped around it, he exclaimed, “Look! ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has a bandage on his head, too!” On this occasion, Joseph’s picture was taken with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Rouhieh Jones, one of Joseph’s young Bahá’í friends, by Rouhieh’s mother.

When her youngest boy had been born, Maria Ioas had written to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to ask that He name him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablet, long-delayed in the mail, contained this response: “Name thy dear baby Joseph.”

Maria Ioas and her son Joseph were privileged to be in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when He was leaving Chicago. Maria said:

I had taught Joseph, my youngest child, from the time he could talk, to say a short evening prayer, adding to it ‘Dear ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, help me to be a good boy and make me a good man.’ When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá left Chicago, we went to the depot to bid Him good-bye. We had little Joseph (whom ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had named when he was one year old) with us, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá patted his cheek and said: ‘He is a good boy, a very good boy; he will be a good man, a very good man.’

Who can say ‘Abdu’l-Bahá did not hear Joseph’s prayer?”
(“Part of the Bahá’í History of the Family of Charles and Maria Ioas,” manuscript, 1978)

Abdu’l-Bahá revealed many wonderful prayers for children, and today around the world Bahá’ís offer neighborhood children’s classes, at no charge, providing moral and spiritual education to children of all backgrounds.