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Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém

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The Manual of the Warrior of Light Paulo Coelho

Translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa

Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém

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For S.I.L., Carlos Eduardo Rangel and Anne Carrière, masters of rigour and compassion.

Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém The disciple is not above his master; but every one that is perfect shall be as his master. Luke 6: 40

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Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém Prologue 'Just off the beach to the west of the village lies an island, and on it is a vast temple with many bells,' said the woman. The boy noticed that she was dressed strangely and had a veil covering her head. He had never seen her before.

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'Have you ever visited that temple?' she asked. 'Go there and tell me what you think of it?'

Seduced by the woman's beauty, the boy went to the place she had indicated. He sat down on the beach and stared out at the horizon, but he saw only what he always saw: blue sky and ocean. Disappointed, he walked to a nearby fishing village and asked if anyone there knew about an island and a temple. 'Oh, that was many years ago, when my great-grandparents were alive,' said an old fisherman. 'There was an earthquake, and the island was swallowed up by the sea. But although we can no longer see the island, we can still hear the temple bells when the ocean sets them swinging down below.' The boy went back to the beach and tried to hear the bells. He spent the whole afternoon there, but all he heard was the noise of the waves and the cries of the seagulls. When night fell, his parents came looking for him. The following morning, he went back to the beach; he could not believe that such a beautiful woman would have lied to him. If she ever returned, he could tell her that, although he had not seen the island, he had heard the temple bells set ringing by the motion of the waves.

Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém Many months passed; the woman did not return and the boy forgot all about her; now he was convinced that he needed to discover the riches and treasures in the

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submerged temple. If he could hear the bells, he would be able to locate it and salvage the treasure hidden below.

He lost interest in school and even in his friends. He became the butt of all the other children's jokes. They used to say: 'He's not like us. He prefers to sit looking at the sea because he's afraid of being beaten in our games.' And they all laughed to see the boy sitting on the shore. Although he still could not hear the old temple bells ringing, the boy nevertheless learned about other things. He began to realise that he had grown so used to the sound of the waves that he was no longer distracted by them. Soon after that, he became used to the cries of the seagulls, the buzzing of the bees and the wind blowing amongst the palm trees. Six months after his first conversation with the woman, the boy could sit there oblivious to all other noises, but he still could not hear the bells from the drowned temple. Fishermen came and talked to him, insisting that they had heard the bells. But the boy never did. Some time later, however, the fishermen changed their tune: 'You spend far too much time thinking about the bells beneath the sea. Forget about them and go back to playing with your friends. Perhaps it's only fishermen who can hear them.'

After almost a year, the boy thought: 'Perhaps they're right. I would do better to grow up and become a fisherman and come down to this beach every morning,

Oh Maria concebida sem pecado, rogai por nós que recorremos à Vós. Amém

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because I've come to love it here.' And he thought too: 'Perhaps it's just another legend and the bells were all shattered during the earthquake and have never rung out since.' That...
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