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Virginia Galilei

  • ... I would so appreciate it, Sire, if you could send me a few farthings to provide for my needs, which are so numerous that it would exhaust me just to count them, and perhaps impossible for you to assist me with them in any other fashion. I will say only that the provisions currently given to us in the convent consist of moldy bread, ox meat, and wine that has turned sour. I enjoy your wine, of which I still have one full flask and another half, and I do not need any more just yet, because I drink so little.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • 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 [27], I will be very pleased if you can send me some fatty mutton, for surely I can manage to eat that.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • I would dearly welcome a visit from [brother] Vincenzio, with whom I could speak freely of my troubles, which are not trifling, coming from God.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • ... what greater happiness could one secure in this life than the joy that comes of a clear and calm conscience?

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • If you would teach me the secret you yourself employ, Sire, for getting by on so little sleep, I would be most grateful, because in the end the seven hours that I waste sleeping seem far too many to me.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()
  • ... I would desire you to heed some of the same advice you offer me, by not immersing yourself so deeply in your studies that you jeopardize your health too markedly; for if your poor body is to serve as an instrument capable of sustaining your zest for understanding and investigating novelties, it is well that you grant it some needed rest, lest it become so depleted as to render even your powerful intellect unable to savor that nourishment it devours with such relish.

    • Virginia Galilei,
    • in Dava Sobel., trans., Letters to Father: Suor Maria Celeste to Galileo, 1623-1633 ()

Virginia Galilei, Italian religious

(1600 - 1634)

Born: Virginia Gamba, later Sister Mary Celeste, daughter of Galileo.