15 May 1815
My dear brother,
So that you might have no further reason to complain of my epistolary silence, I now feel inspired to satisfy this duty since I have a bit of free time. Also the news I received from you just yesterday moved me to write. I was coming up from the refectory with Mr. Giovanni Pinelli from Demonte, who is here in our house for a few weeks because of some problem. The news [in your letter) disturbed me for a moment, but I was doubly consoled: by the cure obtained, as well as by your wise and Christian behavior with the innocent poisoner. I already realized what had happened. May eternal thanks be given for this to the supreme giver of every good. He showers me, in particular, with his grace with both hands and so abundantly that, because I am so unworthy, I am embarrassed just to think about it.
The day before yesterday I returned here after a worrisome and tiring eight-day mission2, during which I took sick one evening. But I quickly improved, so much so that it has been many years since I have enjoyed such good health.
I wanted to send you some books that I had printed last year, but I have not had the opportunity. I will send you some when I get the chance3.
Political rumors have not, we might say, disturbed us nor frightened us, since we already foresaw that, in fact, it would be only an inert passing dark cloud. Consequently we shortly expect the return of our supreme pontiff and sovereign [Pius VII] to his see4. Because the former king of Naples, Joachim Murat5, occupied the marches of Ancona, Mr. Giovanni Pinelli was unable to avoid new problems by returning to his farm where he had his patrimony. Since he had to remain in Rome to see to the outcome of these affairs, he realized that he had nearly consumed the savings he brought with him from there. Consequently, he will not have enough to make the long 300-mile trip back home. Since you wish to act ethically with Pietro, his brother—please give him my best wishes—I warmly recommend that you convince him to provide Giovanni with some helpful financial assistance, thirty or forty scudi, while he either returns to his farm or finds some timely and reliable help somewhere else. I do not doubt for a moment that you would pledge your help and that [Pietro] would agree to meet his brother’s pressing need. His conduct will make this very meritorious.
Mr. Giovanni has told me so many nice things about your son Gioannino, my nephew whom I have never seen, that it nearly induced me to visit him. Please give him a hug for me but on the condition that his mother not give him too many. Otherwise you might regret it with the passing of time. Remember what the Holy Spirit counsels in Ecclesiasticus 7:23: Filii tibi sunt? Erudi illos, et curva illos a pueritia illorum [“Do you have children? Teach them and mold them from their youth”]6, and in another place: qui parcit virga odit filium suum [“He who spares the rod hates his son”]7.
I would have written to our good father, but since you would have written back for him, I felt I should just write directly to you since he is used to this procedure. Please give him my respect and affection as best you can. The same for our good mother. She really deserves that title for the love she has always shown us. We could not have expected better if she had borne us8.
My regards to your wife, to dear brother Giuseppe and all his family, to our uncle and all our aunts, to our sister Margherita when you see her. Please give the same regards to all the good gentlemen of our region who remember me. I do not know if Giriodi your brother-in-law and my confrere has already left for Piacenza, as I have recently written him in the name of our vicar general9.If he has not done so yet, please urge him along, since the new superior, whom he knows well, Father [Carlo Saverio] De retris, anxiously awaits him there. He has already complained in a letter that he has not arrived.
I constantly beg the Lord that if I do not have the good fortune of seeing my family again here on earth, he will give me the grace of rejoicing in their company forever in heaven. I am convinced of the vanity of this present life, sic transeamus per bona temporalia, ut non ammitamus aeterna [“… we may use the good things of this world only in passing, and not lose the treasures of heaven”]10 and inter mundanas varietates ibi nostra fixa sunt corda, ubi vera sunt gaudia [“… that among the distractions of this world, our hearts might be fixed where true joys abide”]11.
I would long to be able to impress on your heart and on the hearts of all of them there firm sentiments as a sign of that sincere, cordial and fraternal affection, with which I sign myself,
Your most loving brother
unworthy priest of the Congregation of the Mission
Addressed: To the Illustrious Mr. Vincenzo De Andreis, Secretary of the Council, Cuneo for Demonte.
- Letter 5. Autograph letter, Italian, three pages, with address, in the archives of the province of Thrin, De Andreis papers.
- There are no records of this mission.
- Probably Dia Sala, mentioned in Letter 2, 29 July 1812.
- Napoleon abdicated 22 June 1815; the papal government was able to return to Rome 7 June 1815, just before this letter.
- Murat was officially deposed 19 May 1815, just after this letter. He died 13 October 1815. His forces occupied the Marches of Ancona from 28 March to 7 May 1815, and was most likely the “passing dark cloud” referred to above.
- NAB: “If you have sons, chastise them; bend their necks from childhood.”
- Prov 13:24 NAB: “He who spares his rod hates his son.”
- De Andreis’s mother died 3 March 1782, whereupon his father married a second, and then a third time, after his second wife died in childbirth. This third wife, Margherita Isaia, mentioned here, married Giovanni Maurizio De Andreis, 6 February 1791.
- Carlo Domenico Sicardi.
- From the collect of the third Sunday after Pentecost in the calendar of De Andreis’s time.
- From the collect of the fourth Sunday of Paschaltide.