Our Lady’s juggler

By Paulo Coelho

According to a medieval legend, Our Lady, with the Baby Jesus in her arms, decided to come down to Earth to visit a monastery.
Feeling very proud, the monks formed a long line and each stood in turn before the Virgin, wanting to pay tribute to mother and son. One read out some beautiful poems, others showed the illuminations they had made for the Bible, a third recited the names of all the saints. And so it went on, with monk after monk displaying his talent and his devotion.
Bringing up the rear was the most humble monk in the monastery, who had never read the learned texts of the age. His parents had been simple folk who had worked in a local circus, and the only thing they had taught him was to do a few juggling tricks with balls.
When it came to his turn, the other monks wanted to bring the tributes to a close because the former juggler had nothing important to say and might spoil the monastery’s image.
However, deep in his heart, he too felt a great need to give something of himself to Jesus and to the Virgin.
Greatly embarrassed and feeling his brothers’ disapproving eyes on him, he took a few oranges out of his pocket and began juggling with them, since it was the only thing he knew how to do.
It was then that the Baby Jesus smiled and began to clap his hands, as he sat in Our Lady’s lap. And it was to this monk that the Virgin held out her arms and allowed him to hold the child for a moment.

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  1. Marie-Christine says:

    just shows that children always know best

  2. demagdalene says:

    The sacred text was right…what we believed to be useless in this world are the ones invaluable in God’s sight.

    Thank you for reminding me.


  3. jolly says:

    hai,i have read this story, slihtly lengthier than this . as a tibetan story i love it . thank u

  4. beside simplicity, and pure intentions … i guess one of the morals is that what we do best, is what bring us joy and success

    everyone has his role in life, even if it is a simple juggler

    and finally, we shouldn’t belittle others, especially simple people… think that our sophistication will make us winners

    nice story… thanks Paulo

  5. Serene says:

    isn’t Jesus a grown person already when Our Lady died? you mean He turned back into a baby when in Heaven?

  6. Gilly says:

    paulo, I read By the banks of the river piedra i sat down and wept and the alchemist on the beach in menorca whilst trying to sort out my life!!! I came back less sorted than I thought I would be after a week “away from it all” but after reading your books realised that it is not really “sorted” I need to feel,”sorted” does not equate to happiness and the “unsorted-ness” is part of who I am and my journey! I am nearly 26, I have always wondered about who I am, but I think that now, for once in my life I am able to love the questions more than the answers and that gives me a little bit of peace! I loved your books, you are a brilliant writer,I don’t know you but you must have a passionate soul and a good heart. I am now reading veronika decides to die. Thank you so much, keep writing….Gilly x

  7. fLUXman says:

    hi paulo,
    just imagine mary and jesus coming to earth now,
    what would you do???
    as for me I believe the purest hearts are our own in our child hood,
    woudnt it be great if someone made say music that when listened to makes you a child again…
    most ads now a days target adults using children,

  8. Girish says:

    This is such a sweet story. Thanks for sharing it.

    Also Your book “The Alchemist” changed my life. I am indebted to you.
    Thank you,

  9. Big Fan says:

    is just simplicity at any moment in life that make us live in peace with ourselves….gracias por tus libros!!..eres lo maximo….te adoro!!!

  10. AM says:

    Many thanks for this beautiful story. It’s so very beautiful that I permited myself to copy/paste it (mentionning its source) on my flog http://www.fotolog.com/bb_am/24632132

    Yesterday i remembered a passage of “The Witch of Portobello” http://www.fotolog.com/bb_am/24601466

    Kind greetings from HK

  11. Tanja says:

    ” I’ ve learned that a man have a right to look at another man from above, only when he is helping him to get up. ”
    Gabriel Garsia Markes

    There is a divine sparkle in each and everyone of us.

    Love from Serbia :)

  12. Leaf says:

    Because the juggler felt the love of his parents, and they trusted in his future to nurture that love with fun, when he was brave enough to stand among the other monks, who were by no means any worse off…in his heart he remembered the love for a child….the humble beginning of each and every one of us…sadly often misplaced or forgotten….but always deep within our heart, waiting and wanting, giving and receiving, tears of joy or sadness, cries of laughter and pain…..to be found in the mundane or trivial and intellectual pursuits alike.

  13. Kathleen says:

    Really, when you think about it the most simple and sincere things in life are the ones that hit straight to the core of your heart.

  14. a biig fan says:

    You actually own a Blog ! Amazing ! There isnt one book of yours that I havent read. I loved the devil and miss prim the most. I know this is out of context over here but .. I am so so so thrilled. Keep writing Sir !

  15. aditya says:

    Simplicity, purity of intentions seems to be the key ! to begin with sincererity in all we do, will lead us to knowleldge and eventually to dropping of all knowledge. good day waariors. remain alert and keep pressing forward ( lest someone takes offense, this advise was more for myself )

  16. beautiful. A child needs to laugh, even if that child is Baby Jesus, and this monk didnt know it, but he had the power to make this baby to laugh.

  17. Noor says:

    hello, I’ve read this story before and I think again you show great simplicity in your stories! :D

    I just loved it…