Letters of Maria Celeste:
10 August 1623
Most Illustrious Lord Father
The happiness I derived from the gift of the letters you sent me, Sire, written to you by that most distinguished Cardinal, now elevated to the exalted position of Supreme Pontiff, was ineffable, for his letters so clearly express the affection he has for you, and also show how highly he values your abilities. I have read and reread them, savoring them in private, and I return them to you, as you insist, without having shown them to anyone else except Suor Arcangela, who has joined me in drawing the utmost joy from seeing how much our father is favored by persons of such caliber. May it please the Lord to grant you the robust health you will need to fulfill your desire to visit His Holiness, so that you can be even more greatly esteemed by him; and, seeing how many promises he makes you in his letters, we can entertain the hope that the Pope will readily grant you some sort of assistance for our brother.
In the meantime, we shall not fail to pray the Lord, from whom all grace descends, to bless you by letting you achieve all that you desire, so long\ as that be for the best.
I can only imagine, Sire, what a magnificent letter you must have written to His Holiness, to congratulate him on the occasion of his reaching this exalted rank, and, because I am more than a little bit curious, I yearn to see a copy of that letter, if it would please you to show it, and I thank you so much for the ones you have already sent, as well as for the melons which we enjoyed most gratefully. I have dashed off this note in considerable haste, so I beg your pardon if I have for that reason been sloppy or spoken amiss. I send you loving greetings along with the others here who always ask to be remembered to you.
From San Matteo, the 10th day of August.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden