17. Don Sancho


To the Very Illustrious Lord, Don Sancho D’Avila.

The Saint thanks him for writing to her, and gives him an account of the foundation of the convent at Burgos. The letter was written from Valencia, August 12th, 1582. Carta VII. Spanish ed. vol. i. N.B.–Don Sancho was not a bishop when this letter was written.1

JESUS. The Grace of the Holy Spirit be ever with you. Amen.

If I had known the place where you were, I should much sooner have satisfied the great desire I had to answer your letter, and to let you know the comfort I received from it. May His Divine Majesty reward you with spiritual blessings: this is what I continually beg for you.

I had so many troubles, such poor health, and such numerous occupations in the foundation of Burgos, that I had scarcely any time to give myself the pleasure of writing to you. I thank God that trouble is now over, and has ended well. I have had an earnest desire to pass through your place, and it would give me a great deal of comfort to tell you by word of mouth certain matters which cannot be properly explained by letter. But in few things does our Lord wish my will to be accomplished: however, I am content, provided that of His Divine Majesty be fulfilled: this is all my desire.

I am anxious to see the Life of the Marchioness, your mother. I think that the lady-abbess, your sister, has delayed sending it to me, that she might have time to read it herself: she may have received the letter too late. You have great reason to wish so holy a life should be read by every one; God grant you may not forget anything which deserves to be known: I am only afraid you may not have said enough.

Alas! what have I not suffered from the parents of my niece,2 through my leaving her at Avila till I returned from Madrid. When they found that I was resolute, I was able to accomplish my object.

May God preserve you in recompense for the great care you take of bestowing favours upon the parents: I hope you will be their support. May God preserve you many years in that holiness which I always pray you may have. Amen.

Your unworthy Servant,


1 This letter is interesting, as it was written only a few months before the Saint died.

2 Her name in religion was Beatrix de Jesu. Her parents were unwilling for her to take the habit. She became prioress of the Carmelites at Madrid, where bishop Palafox knew her intimately.

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