Somewhere in Southern-France
The Cardinal looked old. His face was pale, his hair grey and his eyes had lost much of their hardness and famous strict, staring look. Now the cardinal instead looked like an old man having lost much of the purpose of his life.
In the valley beneath the thick, dark, black smoke was raising from the city. In some parts of the city the flames could still be seen as they licked the dark sky and burned down yet another building. Although the cardinal and his men were far away the screams from the city could still be heard. The screams from people getting burned alive or killed by the invaders, the sound was horrible for all who heard it. It was the signs and sounds of horror.
The cardinal was sitting still on his horse with his head lowered praying in a low voice, not noticing the people around him just uttering forward the words of his prayer.
“Your Eminence, we can’t stay here. We should leave now.”
” Deus, cui omne cor patet et omnis uoluntas loquitur, et quem nullam latet secretum: purifica per infusionem sancti spiritus cogitationes cordis nostri, ut perfecte te diligere et digne laudare mereamur, per dominum nostrum iesum christum.
"We must leave now!”
”Yes… Yes, thank you general…”
Lowering his head once more the cardinal nods to the men around him. For some seconds his eyes rest on the banner, the banner with the French lilies, the fleur-de-lis. Then the cardinal kicks his horse and rides north leaving the burning ruins behind.
*Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known and from you no secrets are hid: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ our Lord, Amen.