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

section 105

On the Trinity Sunday following, the ladies went into the presence of his Holiness the Pope. He received them with honour, with affability, and with welcome. They one after the other kissed his foot. He gave them a blessing, and they returned home. On that same day, as a mark of respect and honour to the holy woman we have spoken of, the greater part of the Orders and of the young clerics of Rome came in large numbers, and in a splendid, respectful, grand procession, to the church of Saint Peter. After that, they went from Saint Peter's to the church of Sancta Maria Nova, where the monument and tomb of that noble saint is. There were, indeed, many thousands of ecclesiastics there. It was not possible to number or count them, there were so many of them. The people of Rome lit fires in their palaces and at the doors of their houses, with many candles and bright torches over


their dwellings. The top of the castle of Sant' Angelo was covered with lights of many colours. The images of an eagle and a dragon artistically, finely, and beautifully placed over it, were made and filled with powder in the inside. About the time of the striking of the bell for the Ave Maria in the evening, fires were lighted in these strange, wonderful figures. Then, at once and at the same moment, they burst and flamed forth, so that they emitted flashes, and flames, and thunderous, fiery, red-flaming showers on high, in such manner that they filled a portion of the atmosphere over the castle with the showers and fiery flames they sent forth. For one who had never seen the like before, to view it was enough to cause the greatest terror and admiration. After that, they commenced firing at one another from the rooms and the numerous, skilfully arranged apartments which were laid out inside them, until their supplies were wasted and exhausted.