Taken from Gilbert’s A Contemporary History of Ireland, 1641-1652, Book I, Part II, published 1879. Letter translated from its original Latin.
Most Reverend Father,
I have received the letters of your Fatherhood, bearing witness of your zeal for the country known by many other evidences. I wish that the ability to benefit the country and the desire were equally complete for you, that the effect of the affection would respond. Time slips by; and our afflicted country groans and is weary, not with the labours which it is prepared to endure even unto death for faith, but with the long hope and expectation of foreign help, which it does not doubt will come soon, and does not see approaching. For she did not doubt that if all the Catholic Princes refused their help in this respect, that the Apostolic See, with its usual piety, would lend a helping hand, where it would itself undertake the arduous task of defending the Catholic faith and justice. For she is not ignorant that it is not only the duty of the Apostolic See of the Christian faith, the teacher and propagator, to restore the same faith and to preserve it from destruction; but it is not at all forgotten that she gave the same opportunity to the See, which for many years has depended on its power in the affairs of the Catholic Church and in the administration of the state from which, whatever is the matter of the Republic and its citizens, she sees not any assistance, but the final extermination of the Catholic faith, every day thought and plotted. Whence, for hours, her pious helper of the Holy See has her eyes longing for hours, which she does not expect to come, although groaning under a heavy burden, she marvels and grieves at their slowness.
I understood from P. Hugh’s letter that some pious legation or aid had been sent to France; that I would rather be sent to these parts where it could be better spent for the common good of our country. For a similar task could best be entrusted to P. Hugh himself as superintendent; who, out of his zeal and prudence, would not allow it to be spent in any other way than as the common utility required, and they themselves were willing to contribute the support. But this, and what I have hitherto signified, I commend to the zeal and prudence of your fatherhood: from whom I expect nothing else in the like than that which he will judge best to promote the common good of the country and the glory of God. In the mean time I commend myself and our afflicted country to my almost dearer state by the prayers of your Fatherhood, and by other offices of pious zeal.
Most Reverend Father,
Your obedient servant,
Don Eug. O’Neill.
Given at Brussels, this 18th of May, 1642.