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Not many outside Italy know about Don Dolindo Ruotolo, even though St. Padre Pio highly regarded him as a holy man during his life.
According to a Catholic Exchange article, Monsignor Giacomo Pappalardo, a member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in 1997, met Ruotolo during a miraculous encounter 27 years after Ruotolo’s death.
After celebrating Mass, Pappalardo saw an elderly priest holding a “bag of stones.”
Ruotolo said to Pappalardo after learning of his position, “Are you going to make me a saint?” he exclaimed lightheartedly. “Well, there is one small detail,” Monsignor Pappalardo joked back. “To be proclaimed a saint, you first have to be dead and in heaven!”
A few weeks later a parishioner showed Pappalardo a picture of Ruotolo and he immediately recognized him as the priest he met.
The stones were also a tell-tale sign, as Ruotolo used to hold the bag of stones as an act of penance.
Currently Ruotolo’s cause for canonization is open and he is referred to as a “Servant of God.”