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