Teresa and Ten Coins

Source: Reflection of Goodwill taken from the book “Sacred Spiritual Guidelines of the Religion of God, of the Christ, and of the Holy Spirit,” volume 3, 1991. | Updated in May 2018.

As the saying goes, thought is power. And that is true. In a way, it restates what Jesus taught us in His Gospel according to Mark 9:23 and 11:24: “Everything is possible for one who believes. Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

Gustavo Henrique


It is evident that the Divine Professor was not referring to the absurd requests that some people make and then complain about not being answered . . . What would they expect? . . . May our Accomplishing Faith always be used on behalf of Goodness, as in the valuable example of Saint Teresa and her famous ten coins.

Acervo familiar

Malba Tahan

Malba Tahan—the pseudonym of the renowned Brazilian writer and mathematician Júlio César de Mello e Souza (1895-1974)—tells us in his book Lendas do Céu e da Terra [Legends of Heaven and Earth] something which, if you allow me, I would like to present here by heart, because it illustrates this point perfectly:

“Saint Teresa was getting ready to go on a journey. One of the sisters who lived with her asked what she was going to do.

 “‘I am going to build a new convent in the service of Goodness,’ replied the Saint.

“‘But do you have the resources to do it? Are you taking any money with you?’

“‘Ten coins.’

“‘Ten coins!’ the sister exclaimed, astonished. ‘That’s so little! What can you do with ten coins, Teresa?’

‘That’s true,’ replied the Saint, ‘you’re absolutely right. Teresa and ten coins cannot accomplish much. But God, Teresa, and ten coins can do anything.’”

Tela: Jusepe de Ribera (1591-1652)


This, in a nutshell, is the story told by the late Professor Júlio César de Mello e Souza.

Arquivo BV

Alziro Zarur

The world does need good examples of work and accomplishments that ultimately benefit the entire population, but it urgently needs to pray. This does no harm and leaves no one alienated, as some people still go around saying in haste. That is pure ignorance of vital issues, which need to be clarified. As long as humans are unaware of what they are supposed to do on this planet, they will continue to stumble throughout life, in this and in other dimensions.

Alziro Zarur (1914-1979), late founder of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), used to say that, “Calling on the name of God sincerely from the bottom of our hearts attracts the protection of the Higher Spirits.”

José de Paiva Netto is a writer, journalist, radio broadcaster, composer, and poet. He is the President of the Legion of Good Will (LGW), effective member of the Brazilian Press Association (ABI) and of the Brazilian International Press Association (ABI-Inter). Affiliated to the National Federation of Journalists (FENAJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Union of Professional Journalists of the State of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Writers of Rio de Janeiro, the Union of Radio Broadcasters of Rio de Janeiro, and the Brazilian Union of Composers (UBC). He is also a member of the Academy of Letters of Central Brazil. He is an author of international reference in the concept and defense of the cause of Ecumenical Citizenship and Spirituality which, according to him, constitute “the cradle of the most generous values that are born of the Soul, the dwelling of the emotions and of the reasoning enlightened by intuition, the atmosphere that embraces everything that transcends the ordinary field of matter and comes from the elevated human sensitivity, such as Truth, Justice, Mercy, Ethics, Honesty, Generosity, and Fraternal Love.”