The prevalent feeling in Rome was that the Pope was not formally approving any new religious congregations. Instead he would give a blessing to the work and encourage them to continue – only by “graces and indulgences”. Eugene needed the formal approbation to give the Oblates a confirmed and protected status that could not be ignored or taken away by the local bishops in France. He thus tried every possible way to gain this.
I have not yet seen the Holy Father and I am not annoyed at that because I am not yet prepared. Only yesterday did I finish the petition which I propose to present to him; I filled four pages of large paper. Before composing it, I had to work on the language.
Shall I tell you? They give me little hope. Cardinal de Gregorio, to whom I had been warmly recommended from Turin and who has treated me with much friendship, who has already given me a dinner and a thousand courtesies, has told me positively that he does not believe that the Pope would give his formal approbation; that he could however, by graces and indulgences, recognize and be presumed to approve indirectly.
… I have begged the Cardinal to speak to the Pope beforehand in my favor; he will not fail. I had previously seen the Cardinal Vicar who, it seems, will have spoken to him of me. If the audience is delayed a little, other Cardinals will be able to render me the same service. In the meantime, I have not wasted my time and since graces ought, in the absence of all else, to signify something, I have asked some which will carry weight. For this I have gone to see the prelate who is Secretary of the Propaganda , who is disposed not to refuse me anything. He will present my requests immediately to the Pope.
Letter to Henri Tempier, 9 December 1825, EO VI n 211
“Working hard overcomes a whole lot of other obstacles. You can have unbelievable intelligence, you can have connections, you can have opportunities fall out of the sky. But in the end, hard work is the true, enduring characteristic of successful people” Author unknown