Letters of Maria Celeste:
14 January 1631
Most Beloved Lord Father
I was hoping to see you again, Sire, before the imposition of the quarantine; given that things have not turned out as I expected, do please let me know how you stand with regard to your physical health and peace of mind; as for the other necessities of life, I feel certain that you manage comfortably on account of having made proper provisions, or at least having the freedom of being able to break cloister to go in search of whatever you need, as you have done in the past, which would be welcome news to me, nonetheless I do not believe that you find much reason to stray from your beloved shelter, especially at this season. May it please blessed God for the best of these earnest efforts to promote the universal preservation of all, but you above all others, Sire, as I hope will follow with divine help: that aid never fails those who put their faith in Him; thus it has come to pass here for us, since Our Lord has now provided a great sum of alms, namely two hundred four scudi, five lire and four crazie, donated to us, I believe, by the Commissioners of Health following an order from their Most Serene Highnesses [Grand Duke Ferdinando and his mother and grandmother], who show themselves to be extremely benevolent toward our monastery, so much so that we will live through this month without grieving our poor Mother Abbess, who I believe has obtained this goodness through her constant prayers, as well as by petitioning and pleading our cause to various people. From the citron that you sent me most recently, Sire, I have made this little ring I send you now: the almond-shaped piece I made from orange rind, for you to taste and see if you like it. The quince pear would have been better a few days ago, but I had no means of getting it to you. I have run out of paper, wherefore I will say no more, except that I greet you from the bottom of my heart together with my usual companions.
The 14th day of January 1630.*
Your most affectionate daughter,
*On the Florentione calendar the new yead began on 25 March
©1995 Al Van Helden