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Letters of Maria Celeste:

6 April 1630

Most Beloved Lord Father

I was hoping to convey in person, Sire, the holiday wishes I owe you, and therefore I waited until today, the day when, seeing those hopes end vainly, I come with this letter to greet you dearly, and to rejoice in the happy passage of the holy festival days of Easter, as it does me good to believe that you are well not only physically, but also spiritually, and I thank blessed God for that. The only thing that disturbs me is the report I hear of how assiduously you are attacking your scholarly work, Sire, because I fear that this behavior is not without risk to your health. And I would not want you, while seeking to immortalize your fame, to cut short your life; a life held in such reverence and treasured so preciously by us your children, and by me in particular. Because, just as I have precedence over the others in years, so too do I dare to claim that I precede and surpass them in my love for you, Sire. I pray you therefore not to invite exhaustion through overexertion, so that you do no harm to yourself and cause neither anguish nor torment to us. I will say no more, so as not to bore you, save that I send you the loving regards of my heart together with Suor Arcangela and all our friends, and I pray the Lord to keep you in His grace.

From San Matteo, the 6th day of April 1630.

Most affectionate daughter,
S. Maria Celeste

1995 Al Van Helden
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