6 July 1814
My dearest brother,
Last evening I received your fine letter with the enclosed bill of exchange, for which I thank you. Please relay my deepest thanks to our father. I already assumed that our father would receive back from the restored government his former office from which the usurper had removed him2. But to my surprise and extreme displeasure I learned of the calumnious opposition and aggravation that he has just suffered by being replaced by a foreigner. For me this event is nothing else than one more proof of the detestable perversity of the world in which we live, a perversity that from now on truly makes the world intolerable for me. It makes me groan every day, exclaiming with the Psalmist: Heu mihi quia incolatus meus prolungatus est! Habitavi cum habitantibus Cedar; multum incola fuit anima mea [“Woe is me that my dwelling has been prolonged, I have dwelt amid the inhabitants of Cedar; all too long has my soul been a dweller”]3. So great is the pain that I experience internally that I believe the days of my pilgrimage on earth will be shortened. Meanwhile amid present hardships I have to be resigned to make my way to the life to come. Do not let yourself get too bothered by such misfortune, since Providence will certainly bring a greater good out of it for you.
By this time you have, I believe, learned of the contents of my last letter to your brother-in-law, which I wrote to him a few weeks ago4.I gave him the consoling advice to get ready to depart for Rome with the understanding that he would accompany you. On the one hand you can imagine my great pleasure in seeing you and embracing you again, but on the other, I see how expensive it is to travel here and back, and even to stay here. So check your finances and do what God inspires you to do in this matter. The rule has been made here in our house of not receiving laity, no matter whom, unless they are making the retreats5. But I could find you lodging in some clean private home instead of having you stay at an inn for such a long time, since whoever comes to Rome should stay for some length of time to be able to view at least the more essential sights. I regret that during September I will probably have to be away from Rome for some time for certain obligations I have already agreed to, provided my ever-increasing ailments do not stop me6.For the last five or six months a stomach problem has bothered me, it weakens my whole body. I have tried many medicines, but they produce only ephemeral and passing improvements. I think that God no longer wants to do anything else with my deeds and wants me quickly removed from the world. I assure you that, for me, this is something more to be desired than feared. I understand well enough the vanity and evil of the world. I have no illusions about this, and I do not foresee the time when it will cease. Yet in all things, may God’s will be done.
You told me nothing about our father’s health or about that of the others at home. I suppose this means that all are well, and I am delighted about that. Give my regards to everyone, as if I had listed them all by name; you know who should be mentioned. Continue to offer to our father those filial duties that I cannot offer in my absence. Extend my best wishes to all our relatives and acquaintances. Believe me, in all sincerity and cordial brotherly affection for you, that I have the pleasure of calling myself
Your very dear and affectionate brother, Felix,
unworthy Priest of the Congregation of the Mission
Addressed: To the very illustrious Procurator Mr. Vincenzo De Andreis, Procurator, Cuneo for Demonte.
- Letter 4. Autograph letter, Italian, three pages with address, in provincial archives, Turin, De Andreis papers; copy in the archives of the General Curia, Rome; De Andreis collection, Volume XVI. Cited in Ricciardelli, Vita, 49-50,
- Napoleon Bonaparte.
- Ps 120:5-6 New American Bible: “Woe is me that I sojourn in Meshech, that I dwell amid the tents of Kedar! All too long have I dwelt (with those who hate peace).”
- Filippo Giriodi, C.M. The letter in question is not extant.
- Retreats for laity were a part of the mission of the house.
- Accounts are lacking of the missions that he might have preached in September 1814. Consequently, he probably had other obligations, such as retreats, clerical conferences, or attending to some local parish congregation.