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Letters of Maria Celeste:

17 March 1631

Most Beloved Lord Father

The response that I report from the Mother Abbess, regarding the service of which you wrote the other day, Sire, is that without doubt your procuring the favor from Monsignor Archbishop will be greatly and universally appreciated, not only by the fathers, but by the brothers [the church governors and friars minor who bore responsibility for the Poor Clares] as well; but that it seems most fitting to delay the request until after Easter. Meanwhile, Sire, you will have been here and had the chance to speak of it directly with her, as she is truly a very judicious and discreet person, although quite timid.

I return your bleached collars which, for being so worn, cannot be done up with that perfection I would have wanted: if you need anything else remember that I have no greater pleasure in the world than busying myself taking care of whatever you would have me do, just as you, for your part, seem to have naught else to do but delight me and satisfy all my requests, since you provide for my every need with such solicitude.

I thank you for everything in general, and in particular for the most recent gifts that I received by hand from our steward, which were two little wrapped packets, one of almonds, the other of notebooks, and six biscuits. We enjoyed everything with thanks to you. And I have made you a poor man's present, namely this jar of conserve, which will be good for relieving your headache: although I think you might be better comforted by leaving off working yourself to exhaustion with study and writing. The trifles in the little basket are for our Virginia. For want of time I will say no more. Except that in the name of all our friends I send you loving regards and pray Our Lord to grant you His holy grace.

From San Matteo, the 17th day of March 1630.*

Most affectionate daughter,
S. Maria Celeste

*On the Florentione calendar the new yead began on 25 March

1995 Al Van Helden
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