Scholarly attention to the Irish Catholic experience on the Continent in the early Stuart era is increasing.1 Interest in Irish pilgrimage to continental sanctuaries in the early modern period is one facet of that broader historiographical trend. However the surviving evidence tends to favour the travels of those of higher social standing, and it is their experience which has received attention.2 The present text, by contrast, arose from the journey to Rome of two brothers, soldiers who had been serving in the Irish regiment in Flanders. Having visited the Marian shrine of Loreto (north-east of Rome) on the way, while in Rome they made a petition to be employed in the papal military service. Their request is at several levels. Irish participation in Spanish military forces both in Flanders and Spain in the early seventeenth century has been of interest to scholars in recent decades; Irish involvement with the papal military forces in the same period is less well noted.3 Early modern soldiers regularly faced unemployment arising from a cessation of hostilities; in the case of two soldiers in the Spanish Netherlands, this document throws light on the need to find a new employer, and on strategies adopted to that end. Further, in presenting themselves to the Pope as a prospective employer, the petition illustrates how Irish soldier exiles fashioned an assertive Catholic identity for themselves, in which the family’s experience of religious persecution in their homeland was linked with subsequent military service against heretics on the Continent. Hence the significance of the text presented here. The brothers’ army career was outlined, with referees indicated, and some possible openings in the papal forces were suggested. These professional elements were integrated into a family narrative of persecution for the Catholic faith, and personal religious devotion, with a view to making an informed request for employment in papal service.