Letters of Maria Celeste:
10 September 1630
Most Beloved Lord Father
I offered no reply to your last letter, not wanting to detain your servant too long; now with more leisure, thanking you for all your loving thoughtfulness, I tell you that I took the greatest pleasure in proffering those exquisite plums to Suor Violante, seeing the happiness and gratitude that she showed me, as did Suor Luisa, too, for the two peaches you gave her, because she loves these more than all the other fruits.
I am mortified to hear that Madonna's appeal did not succeed, because I had perhaps too strong a wish that, with your assistance and favor, Sire, she would have received some good return: never mind, we shall await the outcome of that other effort in Rome.
Yesterday evening her highness the Grand Duchess sent over a beautiful doe to be presented to us, and everyone here made such merriment and so much noise when the deer was brought in, that I do not believe the hunters who caught it could have been more excited.
Now that the weather is beginning to turn cool, Suor Arcangela and I, together with our dearest friends, are planning to do our work in my cell, which is so spacious; but because the window is very high, it needs to be newly covered in a way that will admit a little more light. I would like to send it to you, Sire, meaning the windowpanes themselves, in the hope that you could help me by fitting them with waxed linen, which I believe will give us no trouble as it ages, but first I need to know if you will agree to do me this service. I do not doubt your loving attention; but because the work is rather more suited to a carpenter than a philosopher, I hesitate to ask. Therefore speak your mind freely to me on this matter, while I in the meantime send you loving greetings along with the Mother Abbess and all your friends here, and I pray blessed God to keep you in His holy grace.
From San Matteo, the 10th day of September 1630.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden