Article by Tim Lilley
“Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything!” — The Surrender Novena
I found a tri-fold holy card with The Surrender Novena recently at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Daylight. Parish staff member Jane Young takes care of the holy cards and medals the parish makes available for purchase (all at wonderfully low prices!) in the narthex. She also coordinates the parish’s perpetual adoration chapel.
Jesus gave Servant of God Father Dolindo Ruotolo the novena. The novena holy card I picked up at St. John Daylight includes a brief biography of the holy man, of whom St. Padre Pio once said, “The whole of paradise is in (his) soul.”
Father Ruotolo was a contemporary of St. Padre Pio who lived and served in Naples, Italy. His body is in the Naples parish church where he served as pastor for many years. If you search his name online, you will find some fascinating biographical information — and you will find the Surrender Novena.
On the holy card, each day includes a brief message that Jesus provided to Father Ruotolo. Here is the message for Day 1: “Why do you confuse yourselves by worrying? Leave the care of your affairs to Me, and everything will be peaceful. I say to you in truth that every act of true, blind, complete surrender to Me produces the effect that you desire and resolves all difficult situations.” Here are the final two sentences of Jesus’ message that is used for Day 9, which concludes the novena: “A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender; remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.”
Those of us who are fond of St. Padre Pio and pray for his intercession know well a quote that has become synonymous with his name:
“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.” — St. Padre Pio
Having prayed the Surrender Novena several times since discovering it, I find myself convinced that God chose St. Padre Pio and Servant of God Father Ruotolo as apostolic teammates — messengers at a time in Church history not unlike what we are experiencing today. I found a biography of Father Ruotolo on the sign.org website that includes this: “He worked unceasingly for his beloved Church, torn apart by disputes, accusations and desertions, (those were years of worldwide controversy).”
St. Padre Pio tells us to “pray, hope and don’t worry.” Father Ruotolo expands on that with a message straight from Jesus: “I surrender myself to You, take care of everything.” For me, the best way to pray, hope, and not worry is to tell Jesus I surrender myself to Him and ask Him to take care of everything.
Have you tried it?
Full disclosure: I bought the last Surrender Novena holy card on the table at St. John the Evangelish Parish in Daylight. The fullofgraceusa.com offers the Surrender Novena holy card in regular and large fonts. And I suspect St. John Daylight will restock the holy cards soon.