December 21 was the anniversary of Eugene’s ordination to the priesthood.

I had really wanted to spend this day on retreat, but I had to go to see the person indicated to me by the Holy Father.

Roman Diary, 21 December 1825, EO XVII

So, after having celebrated Mass at the tomb of Saint Peter, where he had placed the manuscript of the Oblate Rules, he went to the address given to him by the Pope, to the home of the Archpriest Pietro Adinolfi, Under-secretary for the Congregation of Bishops and Regulars. Here he received a warm welcome, but no hope for the success of hir request for a formal approbation of the Oblates.

The Archpriest was not at home; I waited for him resolutely for more than two hours. He arrived at last and received me, much as my good angel disposes everybody to receive me here. It was dinner time for him but he did not wish me to be concerned about that; he listened to my account with the utmost pleasantness, had my little memoir read to him and grasped its meaning perfectly. He is a man of experience in these affairs and quite alert; I saw that I could press my case with him and went so far as to say that I had to present him with a volume which would daunt any man of fortitude and showed it to him there and then. He told me he would consume many such others in time to come and that by evening it would be read and his report would be ready to be presented to the Holy Father on Friday.
“I do not promise you,” said he, “not to make a criticism here and there, that is to say (correcting himself some observations, but I see in leafing it through that it is good.” He continued to speak to me with much frankness and did not hide from me that we should expect at the most a “laudanda” [ed. a recognition praising the good work being done] after each Cardinal had given his vote and after the Cardinal whom we will have chosen for “ponent” had made his report; that such was the practice adopted and that such would be his own conclusion. I admit to you that his words perplexed me very much; I was for a moment undecided, even to the point of taking back my book and of renouncing what seemed too difficult to obtain. However I did not let this idea linger in me out of respect for the Pope, who had himself given me this directive and, abandoning myself confidently to divine Providence who had protected me in a very tangible manner hitherto, I said to M. the Archpriest: “I leave this matter in your hands; I ask nothing but the fulfilment of the plans of God.”
We parted company quite pleased with each other and he gave me an appointment for Saturday morning, the day after his audience, which took place Friday evening. I had spent more than an hour and a half with him, perhaps delaying as much his dinner and this man, very forthright in his manner, accustomed to keep waiting Generals of Orders and Bishops who all come under his jurisdiction, was not tired by my long interview, showed not the least sign of boredom and was charming right up to the end. I regarded that as a kind of miracle which made me think it augured well for our enterprise.

Letter to Henri Tempier, 22 December 1825, EO VI n 213


“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.”    Corrie Ten Boom

This entry was posted in DIARY, LETTERS and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I am struck by what Eugene had to go through in this whole process. Hearing at last from the Pope himself that this was good even while having the process and likely results explained to him. Then again being so warmly received by the Archpriest, spending time with him only to again hear what could almost be taken as a warning, that the norm of the day was to receive a “laudanda”. Eugene himself writing: “I was for a moment undecided, even to the point of taking back my book and of renouncing what seemed too difficult to obtain.” I can’t but help to feel his struggle, the tiny shiver of disappointment mingled with the perplexion he admits to feeling. This dear man who is so used to moving forward with daring and passion as he lives out exactly what he believes God has called him and others to. Knowing inside of himself that his life will not likely change even if all he is to get is a “laudanda” rather than full approbation. And perhaps I am reading too much into it, but that is how it seems to me, and I find myself relating to that in part of my life.

    Trusting – that was so huge and I think figured so largely in him – knowing that this was right for him, lets say ‘ordained by God right’ and yet having to trust that the Pope, the Archpriest, the cardinals, etc etc would see and acknowledge that. Such absolute trust and faith. ““I leave this matter in your hands; I ask nothing but the fulfillment of the plans of God.” Not just nice empty words, it was to him, real – lived. Yesterday was the anniversary of the Oblates – his Oblates – arriving in Canada in 1841 and today we celebrate the Canonization of St. Eugene, neither of which would he have imagined during his stay in Rome in 1825.

    I am not looking to found an order of any kind, nor canonization by our Church. But I am looking to fulfilling God’s plans for me as best I can. I am not always sure at all how He [God] would have me be, and so I walk in faith, in trust. It is hard, not smooth, not easy, with what look to be 6 steps backwards for every 4 forwards. St. Eugene on this anniversary of your canonization I ask that you pray for me, that I may be filled with trust and faith, with the courage to persevere. And I thank you for sharing yourself so completely with all of us, your charism, your very spirit. Pray that my heart may grow to be a little like yours.

  2. anda says:

    Thinking about the first time I heard about St Eugene, from Fr Jack at Galilee, there is a word that I heard that seems to resonate still today: DARE. For me it was DARE not only to DO, but also to stop trying so hard and DARE to LET GO. In many cases, for me daring to do various aspects of my life is much less difficult than the letting go; I mix up trust in God with a laisez faire attitude or doing nothing, slacking off, and wondering why nothing happens.

    As those who know me, currently I do not know where I am in many things in my life, from jobs to aspects of faith. However, with your post today, Frank, I do know that I have to write the phrase down and dare to repeat it if not several times a day, then
    at least as I start each day, asking for the grace to come to understand how I adapt the line to mean the most to me in the most meaningful way for my relationship with God.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *