Letters of Maria Celeste:
18 March 1628
Most Beloved Lord Father
Not knowing what in the world I might possibly send you to please you most, I thought perhaps you would like something you could present to Signora Barbara and your other caretakers, to whom I, too, confess (out of my love for you, Sire) that I am very much obliged. Therefore I send along these small pastries, for all of you to enjoy together with our love in these days of Lenten sacrifice; and if you would send us word, Sire, of whatever it is you might wish to have, you could do us no greater favor, since our hearts' desire is simply to be good to you in every way.
Yesterday I pulled a tooth of mine that had been causing me tremendous suffering, so that now by the grace of the Lord I am free of the pain that has tormented me the last two months, although I still have the remnants of my headache. I hope, however, with the passage of time, to be relieved of this, too, if it pleases God, whom I pray to grant you, Sire, a complete recovery; and in closing I send loving regards to you, to Vincenzio, to Aunt Chiara and to everyone else at home, from Suor Arcangela and me.
From San Matteo, the 18th day of March 1627.*
Most affectionate daughter,
*On the Florentine calendar the new year began on 25 March.
©1995 Al Van Helden