Servant of God
Fr. Dolindo Ruotolo
Dolindo Ruotolo was born in Naples in 1882. He was one of 11 children. Though part of the upper class there, his father had a limited income, so the large family did not lead a comfortable existence. But he had enough to afford several operations for Dolindo as a youngster. In 1896 his parents separated, and he went to live with a brother in the Apostolic School of Mission Priests founded by St. Vincent de Paul.
In 1901 he entered the seminary and four years later he has ordained a priest at the age of 23. (This brother became a priest too.)
After ordination and teaching, Fr. Dolindo was suspended from ministry and the sacraments … twice, and he was expelled from his order, becoming a diocesan priest; most amazing for a future Servant of God whose cause for beatification is currently underway. He was ahead of his time in harshly rejecting the modern “historical-critical method” of Biblical scholarship; he wrote that it was the product of an “accursed spirit of pride, presumption, and superficiality, disguised under minute investigations and hypocritical literal exactness.” He appeared before the Holy Office (now known as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) and he was cleared both times. His 10,000-page work in 33 volumes, Sacred Scripture, was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1940, but that Index is no longer binding in the Church. No mystic is without humiliation and great suffering. Indeed, the first sentence in his autobiography is: “I was called Dolindo, which means pain.”
The great mystic St. (Padre) Pio thought a great deal of Fr. Dolindo. He asked this of a group of pilgrims from Naples: “Why do you come here if you have Don Dolindo in Naples? Go to him – he’s a saint!” Padre Pio also said that “the whole of paradise” was in Fr. Dolindo’s soul. He further said of him: “No word can be lost from what came under the Padre Dolindo pen. He’s a holy priest.” A bishop said of him: “You will be a martyr, but in your heart, not with your blood.”
Fr. Dolindo wrote extensively on many theological and spiritual subjects. He had many sophisticated followers. Yet he is most known for the very simple Surrender Novena, which was revealed by Jesus to him. Jesus says this on Day 9 of the novena: “There is no novena more effective than this: O Jesus, I surrender myself to You, take care of everything!” (This last sentence is repeated ten times with a revealed meditation for each day of the novena.) Thus, this is the greatest novena of all time. This revelation through Fr. Dolindo of absolute surrender to God prepares the ground for the greatest private revelation of all time: that of his contemporary, the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, and Jesus’ revelations to her on the Divine Will.
Fr. Dolindo was very devoted to Our Lady and the Rosary and called himself “the Madonna’s little old man.” He wrote: “The Church honors with particular veneration the Most Holy Virgin, the masterpiece of creation, the Mother of God, Co-Redemptrix of the human race, Mediatrix of all graces, Mother of all mankind and the Church’s Most Loving Mother […] it is very salutary to make Most Holy Mary known and loved, since deep and ardent devotion towards a Mother so great, is the infallible secret of the Christian life and eternal salvation.”
He prophesied in 1965 to Bishop Hnilica that “a new John would rise out of Poland with heroic steps to break the chains of Communism.” This is precisely what happened after Karol Wojtyla was elected in 1978, taking the name “John Paul II.”
Fr. Dolindo died a tireless servant of multitudes in 1970 after being paralyzed his last ten years. So much more can be written about this mystic – stigmata, victimhood, revelations from heaven throughout his life, charity, miracles, etc. – but this serves as an introduction.
For more information, please see these websites:
In closing, here is a beautiful chaplet written by Fr. Dolindo with the help of the Holy Spirit:
Rosary of Abandonment
God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.
Say a Glory Be, an Our Father, and a Hail Mary.
1st Decade: Jesus, You take over! (10 times)
2nd Decade: Mother Mary, guide me. (10 times)
3rd Decade: Jesus, You take over! (10 times)
4th Decade: Mother Mary, guide me. (10 times)
5th Decade: Jesus, You take over! (10 times)
In conclusion: the Hail Holy Queen