Letters of Maria Celeste:
13 August 1623
Most Illustrious Lord Father
It was through your most gentle and loving letter that I became fully aware of my backwardness, in assuming as I did that you, Sire, would perforce write right away to such a person, or, to put it better, to the loftiest lord in all the world. Therefore I thank you for pointing out my error, and at the same time I feel certain that you will, by the love you bear me, excuse my gross ignorance and many other defects that find expression in my character. I readily concede that you are the one to correct and advise me in all matters, just as I desire you to do and would so appreciate your doing, for I realize how little knowledge and ability I can justly call my own.
But since, considering your continuing indisposition, we are prohibited from seeing you again for some time, we must patiently submit ourselves to the will of God, who allows everything that contributes to our well-being. I set aside and save all the letters that you write me daily, Sire, and whenever I find myself free, then with the greatest pleasure I reread them yet again, so that I abandon myself to thoughts of you, and equally as eagerly do I anticipate reading those letters written to you by persons of distinction who feel affection for you.
Not wanting to inconvenience or bore you, I will end here, sending you warmest greetings together with Suor Arcangela and the others in our room, and Suor Diamante, too.
From San Matteo, the 13th day of August 1623.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden