Appeal of Margaret of Austria, Queen of Spain, to Pope Paul V for an Irish College in Rome
The following letter was sent to Pope Paul V by Margaret of Austria, Queen Consort of King Philip III of Spain, and is dated Madrid, 29th February, 1611:
Your Holiness’s very humble and obedient daughter Margaret, by the grace of God Queen of the Spains, of the two Sicilies, of Jerusalem, who kisses your holy feet and hands.
Most Holy Father,
The fervent zeal I know Your Holiness possesses for the service of God and the good of the Church, and the interest you take in everything that conduces to this end, cause me not to hesitate in writing to Your Holiness to recommend to you an object worthy of your zeal.
Such I regard the protection of the seminaries of Irishmen, who now with such courage return after their studies to preach the Gospel in their native land, shedding their blood for the confession of the holy Catholic Faith, and obedience to the Church of Rome. And because just at present the persecution is greatest, it is necessary to procure for them more schools where they may be taught, for the disciples are multiplying every day, so that although in these kingdoms the King my Lord has instituted three, in Salamanca, Lisbon, and Santiago, of Galicia, there is not room in them for all that come; and so some go on to Rome, where it would be a great consolation for them to have a seminary as they have in other nations. And though I am sure the causes that exist for it are quite sufficient when represented to Your Holiness, yet I will not lose what I may gain by supplicating Your Holiness as I do, to favour and assist them that they may have a seminary founded under your protection, which besides being so certainly to the service of God, will be to me a singular favour.
May the Lord guard Your Holiness for the good and happy government of His Church.