Letters of Maria Celeste:
10 December 1628
Most Beloved Lord Father
I should be continuously thanking blessed God, who, seeing fit to visit me with a few pains, gives me at the same time many consolations, one of which, or rather the greatest one in the world, is keeping you in my life, Sire, and keeping you, I must add, with ready willingness to help me in my every need, because truly, if I did not recognize this quality in you, I would be reluctant to annoy you so often; but to come at last to the reason why I impose upon you now, I tell you that Suor Arcangela has been sick for the past eight days, and although at the outset I made little of it, as it seemed to me just a chill, I see now that she needs to be purged; because, in addition to falling under her usual melancholy, she is also overtaken by a catarrh that affects her entire body, but especially her legs, where she has so many small red swellings that she cannot move without extreme fatigue. I know the best course for her is bleeding (now that nothing else has helped) and this is why I await the doctor this morning: but because I have no expense allowance for such a contingency, I beg you, for the love of God, to free me from my worry by sending me some money, as we are in dire need for many reasons, so numerous that I would find it too tedious to relate them all. If time allows, I would dearly welcome a visit from Vincenzio, with whom I could speak freely of my troubles, which are not trifling, coming from God. Here is a cooked pear, from among those very beautiful ones you sent me recently. I learned this new method of cooking them that you may prefer, and I will appreciate your returning the container, as it is not mine. I close here with loving regards, and I pray the Lord to bless you.
From San Matteo, the 10th day of December 1628.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden