• Cattleya

𝔄𝔯𝔞𝔤𝔬𝔫. 𝔙𝔦𝔰𝔠𝔬𝔲𝔫𝔱𝔶 𝔬𝔣 ℭ𝔞𝔰𝔱𝔢𝔩𝔟𝔬. 𝔜𝔢𝔞𝔯 1199.

Aragon was screaming, accusing and condemning. Aragon was entreating, explaining and seeking to persuade. Aragon was suffering, begging for mercy and…dying.

She was dying on the smouldering pyres where people pronounced as heretics and sentenced to death were burned alive. Were they guilty as charged? Did the fact that they believed in God but did not put their trust in those who dared call themselves his deputies on Earth, those who, while sinning themselves, sought to teach them obedience and adherence to laws and rules surely not created by God, did this make them ungodly? What truly set the victims apart from their tormentors? Wealth? Education? Perhaps their way of life and how they perceived the surrounding reality? The faith of the poor and simple is no different than they themselves. Uncomplicated and flowing straight from the heart. Uncompromising and pure like spring water. How different from the faith of their executioners: selfish, self-seeking and mercenary, merely playing God while bringing the true God neither joy nor satisfaction, only sorrow and tears.

When Peter III, called the Catholic, introduced the death penalty for heretics by burning at the stake, Miguel declared war on the Inquisitors. One of his most bitter enemies was the great Inquisitor Cristobal de Adorno. The common folk called him the ‘Butcher’ or the ‘King of Carnage.’

At last, the day came that changed everything. The time of a great duel between good and evil. An illustrious moment, a short instant snatched from the great circle of life and death. A second that equalled eternity, stripped of illusions, marked with blood and suffering that would bring liberation from the yoke of evil with its face the face of a demon and a soul that was black and suffused with wickedness, villainy, ignominy and sin of omission in relation to the One who mourned the silent victims of injustice and deceit. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The meeting of these two bitter opponents was tied to a series of bizarre events and veiled in a web of secrecy. Cristobal de Adorno, according to those who witnessed the incident, had been stabbed to death in the county of Castelbo, but his body was never found. Thereafter, he was never seen alive again. It was as if the ground had swallowed him whole. At the same time, his killer, the leader of the Waldensians, Miguel de Santofuego, had also disappeared. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Although the Inquisition continued, its essential nature changed. There were more conversions of unbelievers by the word, and executions ceased.⠀

Everybody wondered what really happened between the cruel Inquisitor and the leader of the heretics. Were they indeed mortal creatures still living here, below Heaven on Earth, or maybe they had come from two opposite worlds that existed by the power of faith rather than certainty. What forces compelled their actions and the daggers in their hands? Where was the body of the monster who got what he deserved—death—and the remaining question, where was the conqueror to whom the convicts owed their lives? God-fearing, poor and simple folk supposed that the mystery of the duel, their origin and their disappearance lay beyond the bounds of their faith, insight, and grasp of the world in which they must live.

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