Emanuèle De Gregorio was born in Naples on December 18, 1758. When Pius VII was being held prisoner in Savona, he was for some time apostolic delegate in Rome before being exiled to Paris where he was arrested on January 2, 1811 and held until the fall of Napoleon. Pius VII raised him to the cardinalate on March 8, 1816. He was subsequently a member of several Roman congregations, in particular, Prefect of the Congregation of Ecclesiastical Immunity in 1818 and of the Congregation of the Council in 1820.

In Rome in 1825-1826, Cardinal De Gregorio was a special friend and advisor of Father de Mazenod who met with him several times. While traveling through Turin, some friends had given him a letter of recommendation for this cardinal whom he had already previously met in Paris. He went to see him on December 5 and dined with him at his home on December 6. The cardinal treated him most cordially, but left him little hope of obtaining a formal approbation of the rule. Father de Mazenod visited the cardinal again on the 11 and 22 of December, 12 and 15 of January and February 9. On December 24, Eugene participated at the ceremony of the closing of the holy door of Saint Peter’s basilica thanks to the influence of this cardinal.

In 1832, on the occasion of Eugene de Mazenod’s appointment as titular Bishop of Nicosia, he met at least once with Cardinal de Gregorio, who had been Grand Penitentiary since 1829. They talked about de Lamennais who was in Rome at the time and the “horrible principles of L’Avenir” (Letters of Bishop de Mazenod to Canon Cailhol, August 18 and to the scholastic brothers, September 11, 1832). The cardinal died on November 7, 1839.

Yvon Beaudoin, o.m.i.