The Surrender Novena: Let Jesus Take Care of Everything

“O Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything!”

This simple refrain captured my heart from the first time I heard it. I had never heard of the Surrender Novena—the prayer from which these words were taken—nor of Don Dolindo, its author, but I was so taken with this powerful prayer that I immediately wanted to learn more about both.

As it turns out, Servant of God Don Dolindo Ruotolo was, for a short time, the spiritual director of someone I have written about many times: Padre Pio.

St. Pio said Don Dolindo was a “saint” and that “the whole of Paradise” was in his soul.

Don Dolindo called himself “Mary’s little old man.” He lived in such great poverty that his own family turned away from him. He opened his arms without fear to embrace contagious sick people, caressing and kissing them. He offered himself as a victim soul for mankind, and was afflicted with many sufferings, including complete paralysis for the last ten years of his life. But he suffered with joy, because he suffered for love.

He also had the gift of prophecy, writing to Bishop Huilica in 1965 that “a new John will rise out of Poland with heroic steps to break the chains beyond the boundaries imposed by the communist tyranny.” This prophecy was realized in Pope John Paul II.

Many miracles have been attributed to Don Dolindo’s intercession, both before and after his death.

Don Dolindo received from Jesus the words of Surrender Novena. It is a prayer that is especially timely now, when world events feel out of control, and we are trying to grow in trust and abandonment to God’s providence.

“You see evil growing instead of weakening?” Jesus says in this prayer. “Do not worry. Close your eyes and say to me with faith: ‘Thy will be done, You take care of it.’ I say to you that I will take care of it, and that I will intervene as does a doctor and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed.”

It’s also timely when our own personal suffering is threatening to overwhelm us and steal our peace.

“Repose in me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by my love that if you say, ‘You take care of it,’ I will take care of it,” Jesus’ words in the prayer assure us.

As I write this, I have been holding back tears, because I just found out that, at least for the remainder of Lent, we will not be able to attend Mass in our diocese because of the pandemic. The idea of not being able to receive Jesus in the Eucharist, especially during a crisis, is crushing.

Yet this great suffering, this separation, is a chance to be united with Jesus in the Garden and on Calvary. We can join with Him, in a small way, in the isolation, loneliness, distance from God, and abandonment He felt. In being with Him there, we can console His Sacred Heart. (Padre Pio wrote a beautiful reflection on the Agony in the Garden that you can find here that explains in more depth how we can accompany Jesus in His suffering.)

Jesus abandoned Himself completely to His Father’s will. As this Lent unfolds before us in ways we never imagined, Don Dolindo’s Surrender Novena gives us a way to follow Jesus in His total abandonment, and to let Him “take care of everything.”

The Surrender Novena

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.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 2

Surrender to me does not mean to fret, to be upset, or to lose hope, nor does it mean offering to me a worried prayer asking me to follow you and change your worry into prayer. It is against this surrender, deeply against it, to worry, to be nervous and to desire to think about the consequences of anything.

It is like the confusion that children feel when they ask their mother to see to their needs, and then try to take care of those needs for themselves so that their childlike efforts get in their mother’s way. Surrender means to placidly close the eyes of the soul, to turn away from thoughts of tribulation and to put yourself in my care, so that only I act, saying, “You take care of it.”

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 3

How many things I do when the soul, in so much spiritual and material need, turns to me, looks at me and says to me, “You take care of it,” then closes its eyes and rests. In pain you pray for me to act, but that I act in the way you want. You do not turn to me, instead, you want me to adapt your ideas. You are not sick people who ask the doctor to cure you, but rather sick people who tell the doctor how to. So do not act this way, but pray as I taught you in the Our Father: “Hallowed be thy Name,” that is, be glorified in my need. “Thy kingdom come,” that is, let all that is in us and in the world be in accord with your kingdom. “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven,” that is, in our need, decide as you see fit for our temporal and eternal life. If you say to me truly: “Thy will be done,” which is the same as saying: “You take care of it,” I will intervene with all my omnipotence, and I will resolve the most difficult situations.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 4

You see evil growing instead of weakening? Do not worry. Close your eyes and say to me with faith: “Thy will be done, You take care of it.” I say to you that I will take care of it, and that I will intervene as does a doctor and I will accomplish miracles when they are needed. Do you see that the sick person is getting worse? Do not be upset, but close your eyes and say, “You take care of it.” I say to you that I will take care of it, and that there is no medicine more powerful than my loving intervention. By my love, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 5

And when I must lead you on a path different from the one you see, I will prepare you; I will carry you in my arms; I will let you find yourself, like children who have fallen asleep in their mother’s arms, on the other bank of the river. What troubles you and hurts you immensely are your reason, your thoughts and worry, and your desire at all costs to deal with what afflicts you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 6

You are sleepless; you want to judge everything, direct everything and see to everything and you surrender to human strength, or worse—to men themselves, trusting in their intervention—this is what hinders my words and my views. Oh, how much I wish from you this surrender, to help you; and how I suffer when I see you so agitated! Satan tries to do exactly this: to agitate you and to remove you from my protection and to throw you into the jaws of human initiative. So, trust only in me, rest in me, surrender to me in everything.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 7

I perform miracles in proportion to your full surrender to me and to your not thinking of yourselves. I sow treasure troves of graces when you are in the deepest poverty. No person of reason, no thinker, has ever performed miracles, not even among the saints. He does divine works whosoever surrenders to God. So don’t think about it any more, because your mind is acute and for you it is very hard to see evil and to trust in me and to not think of yourself. Do this for all your needs, do this, all of you, and you will see great continual silent miracles. I will take care of things, I promise this to you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 8

Close your eyes and let yourself be carried away on the flowing current of my grace; close your eyes and do not think of the present, turning your thoughts away from the future just as you would from temptation. Repose in me, believing in my goodness, and I promise you by my love that if you say, “You take care of it,” I will take care of it all; I will console you, liberate you and guide you.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Day 9

Pray always in readiness to surrender, and you will receive from it great peace and great rewards, even when I confer on you the grace of immolation, of repentance, and of love. Then what does suffering matter? It seems impossible to you? Close your eyes and say with all your soul, “Jesus, you take care of it.” Do not be afraid, I will take care of things and you will bless my name by humbling yourself. A thousand prayers cannot equal one single act of surrender, remember this well. There is no novena more effective than this.

O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything! (10 times)

Mother, I am yours now and forever.
Through you and with you
I always want to belong
completely to Jesus.

image: Boryana Manzurova / Shutterstock.com

Maura Roan McKeegan

By

Maura Roan McKeegan is the author of several children's books, including the award-winning The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary and Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah and Jesus. Her newest picture book is St. Conrad and the Wildfire (https://stpaulcenter.com/product/st-conrad-and-the-wildfire/), released in February of 2020. Her articles have appeared in publications such as Catholic Digest, The Civilized Reader, Franciscan Magazine, Guideposts, and The Imaginative Conservative. You can contact her at Maura.Roan.McKeegan@gmail.com.

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