Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition
The Flight of the Earls (Author: Tadhg Ó Cianáin)

section 104

On Thursday, the twenty-ninth day of May, 1608, the anniversary of the day on which the holy Father, Paul V,


was crowned, Cardinal Borghese sent one of his noblemen as a grand messenger to invite the lords to solemn Mass which, in honour of the holy Father, was celebrated in the great church of Saint Peter. A position of honour and a fitting place was selected for them close to and near the Pope. They, and the ambassador of the King of Spain, and a great number of other great princes, were in the same place. Beautiful, splendid, reverent, remarkable, and wonderful was the precious Mass which was celebrated there. His Holiness the Pope himself said it and offered the Body of Christ. On either side of him was the melodious, sweet choir, the most harmonious in all Christendom. To increase the glory and the solemnity of that particular day, a noble, wonderful, holy woman named Saint Francesca Romana, who was in the city two hundred years before, was canonised. It was discovered and deduced from her holy life in this world, in virtue of all the miracles God performed through her, that she had the life of a saint. Her name is revered and honoured in the Church, and she is proclaimed noble and venerable among holy women, but it would be tedious to narrate all the state, and splendour, and ceremony connected with her canonization. Whoever had been present at the wonderful sight that was there, might say that his eyes


never saw anything like or similar to it for piety, splendour, reverence, music, earthly state, and all the other virtues besides. When the Mass and the ceremony was finished, the holy Father gave a holy blessing to all Catholics who were present. He went to his palace after that. Then the trumpets of the guard, horse and foot, were sounded, and the drums beaten. After that all the great and small ordnance of the Castle of Sant' Angelo and of the great palace were fired at the same moment. The streets were shaking and trembling from the noise and clattering of the beautiful, mettlesome, wild, Italian horses, which were drawing their coaches strongly, quickly, fiercely, violently, and hastily. The princes returned to their own palace after that. Splendid presents which his Holiness the Pope received at the ceremony came to them, namely, a silver basket, a pair of white doves, a golden bottle full of wine, and a gilded loaf of bread.