Letters of Maria Celeste:
16 July 1633
Most Illustrious and Beloved Lord Father
I saw the letter from Signor Mario [Guiducci] with greatest pleasure, having thus understood your condition, Sire, regarding your inner peace of mind, and with this my soul is also soothed and calmed to a large extent, but not entirely, given the vast distance between us and the uncertainty of when I will see you again: and here we observe a certain truth, that one cannot find genuine tranquility and contentment in any worldly thing. When you were in Rome, Sire, I said to myself: if I have the grace of your leaving that place and coming as far as Siena I will be satisfied, for then I can almost say that you are in your own house. And now I am not content, but find myself longing to again have you here even closer. Be that as it may, blessed be the Lord for having granted us His grace so magnanimously until now. It falls to us to try to be truly grateful for this much, so that He may be the more favorably disposed and compassionately moved to bless us in other ways in the future, as I hope He will do by His mercy. Meanwhile I pray most fervently for one thing above all others, Sire, which is the preservation of your health in the face of all the torments you have survived.
Neither the time nor the occasion permits me to write at greater length just now. Upon receipt of another letter from you, which indeed must soon reach me, I will write longer and give you a detailed report about the house.
I send you regards on behalf of all our usual friends and Signor Rondinelli who treats us so lovingly; and from the Lord God I pray for your consolation.
From San Matteo in Arcetri, the 16th day of July 1633.
Most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden