A group of priests dispatched from the parish entered a village near the lord’s castle and began to tour the houses there as if on a pilgrimage.
Among them, the priest who made his way to the front of someone’s house and knocked on the door first was, as expected, the youngest one.
When he knocked on the door a second time, a woman came out and looked around at the group of priests with a startled expression on her face.
“Oh my, what are the priests doing here?” When she asked, the young priests gave her a brief explanation of why they had come.
“The Lambs of God* are always starving, we have come all the way here even with our hunger, so we would ask for even a little of your sincerity,”
She had wondered why on earth they would have come, but it was because of donations?
‘What’s going on? They’ve never done it like this,’
“If it’s a donation… I’m doing so every weekend,”
Instead of replying to her, the young priest simply smiled. After all, she could not let the Lambs of God who had come all the way to her home leave empty-handed, so she gave them something to show her sincerity.
‘Phew, it’s just that they aren’t holding knives – but their sharpness is peerless,’
The young priest bowed and bestowed words of blessing on her while the woman, who could not show her true feelings, smiled awkwardly.
“May Johannes’ blessings be with you,”
The group of priests, who had been visiting each home in the area in this manner, stopped in front of a certain house.
This shabby and dilapidated home was different from many of the other houses around them as they had a family name.
Judging from the unrecognisable name, it seemed to simply be another unremarkable commoner’s home.
‘If you’re a commoner then, like a commoner, you should pay a lot in donations,’
The young priest was the one to once again knock on this door.
After a while, the door opened and out came a young boy who appeared to be maybe 9 years old.
‘Are there no adults?’
“Child, are your parent’s inside?”
While the young priest’s thoughts were on the child’s parents, who would donate generously, the fourth son of the Rothmedici family, who was facing him, shook his head to indicate that his parents weren’t here.
He seemed to be a very introverted kid since he just shook his head without saying a word.
“Where would your parents be?”
Although he was dealing with a silent child, the young priest who needed donations for their own circumstances did not intend to resign easily because sometimes there were people who didn’t want to donate money and pretended to be absent even if they were at home.
‘I won’t let them slip out of it easily,’
Unlike others, commoners paid taxes directly to the lord and were wealthy enough to maintain the family name but to pass this place by without getting anything?
It was a nonsensical idea.
“If you turn away from the Lambs who worship God without any justifiable reason, you will be severely punished later. So I ask again, is there really no one inside?”
Then Leo, who had only shaken his head until now, reluctantly opened his mouth.
“They passed away,”
“Did you say they passed away? Both of them?” When the surprised priest asked again, Leo quietly nodded his head.
Then a priest who had been quietly watching from behind began to speak with a slightly startled expression,
“Recently, it’s been said that a collector who worked under the lord died, the name Rothmedici isn’t unfamiliar to me, so I think the collector must have been from here,”
No matter how well-to-do commoners were, if they were in this state, then they could be economically inferior to the average serf.
When the bewildered priests did not know what to do, the young priest who seemed to be the leader among them opened his mouth,
“Let us go on to the next house. It is against the doctrine to force unconditional donations on the hungry and the naked – rather it should be given,”
They were also walking around the estate due to their own urgent circumstances, but they were not so ignorant that they would force a donation on to a child who had lost both of his parents.
When the older priest gave the young priest a small note, the young priest took Leo’s hand and gently stroked his head,
“Even if it’s hard, always stay strong,”
Except for the young priest, the others began to move on in unison, and the young priest who had received the note with instructions gave something to Leo.
It was a fraction of the donations they had received before.
“Johannes has always said, do not turn away from the hungry and the naked. This is a small gift to show sincerity from the church. I hope it will be of some help to you,” With his job done, the young priest was ready to turn and leave when Leo grabbed onto his coat.
When the priest turned his head to look back at him, the fourth son of the Rothmedici family asked him something,
“Excuse me… I have a question,” The young priest was a little sceptical of the question, but he soon faced Leo with a kind smile,
“What are you curious about?”
“That….well,” Leo remembered what his older brother had said yesterday and asked him about his doubts,
“If you pay a lot of donations…can you go to heaven?”
‘I was wondering what he would ask… it seems to be a fitting question for a child.’
“Not necessarily. Even if you donate a lot, you cannot go to heaven without faith.”
“The hyungs… they said that if you donate a lot, you can go to heaven. Because the Church said that if you donate a lot, the Church will pray more so that we can go to heaven.”
The young priest thought for a moment, then smiled softly. Leo’s question was cute to him.
“I can’t believe that that is all there is to it – but your hyungs’ thoughts aren’t bad either. But just as important as donations is faith,”
When the young priest finished his words, he again stepped back, preparing to leave. He was the youngest in the group, and he could see the impatience of the priests who had gone ahead slightly and were waiting for him.
“Or how about you pray for them,” he said,
“Me?” Leo asked, surprised, but before Leo could ask another question, the young priest, who was in a rush, delivered his final words,
“Pray that Johannes’ protection will always be on Rothmedici,” Leo stood where he was and watched the young priest as he left.
The words donation, faith and heaven lingered in Leo’s head.