Letters of Maria Celeste:
25 March 1628
Most Beloved Lord Father
The happiness we feel at the news of your good progress in convalescence is inestimable, and with all our hearts we thank the Lord God, giver of every blessing. So as not to transgress against your commandment, so lovingly issued, for a full account of our health, I tell you that I am following the doctor's orders by not observing Lent, and that, being already mostly toothless at my age, I will be very pleased if you can send me some fatty mutton, for surely I can manage to eat that. Suor Arcangela contents herself with picking at a few little things for her evening meal; what she would particularly appreciate is a little white wine. This much I tell you to obey you, though I for one cannot fathom how you manage, even now while you find yourself indisposed, to think so much of us and our needs; but there is nothing to be said about it except that you are our father, our most tender, loving father, upon whom, after blessed God, we rely for our every hope. May it please that same blessed Lord to keep you with us still, in the fullness of health. And closing here I send you my love.
From San Matteo, the 25th day of March [New Year's Day] 1628.
Your most affectionate daughter,
©1995 Al Van Helden