SAINT DOMINIC SAVIO
Adolescent (June 12, 1954)
“A LITTLE, OR RATHER, A GREAT GIANT OF THE SPIRIT”
Dominic was born on April 2, 1842, in San Giovanni di Riva, near Chieri (Turin).
On the occasion of his First Communion, at the age of seven, he set out his life’s program, “I will go to Confession frequently and Communion as often as my confessor allows. I want to make Sundays and feast days holy. My friends will be Jesus and Mary. Death but not sin.” At 12, Don Bosco accepted him into the Oratory in Turin and Dominic asked his help in order to “become a saint.” Gentle, serene and happy, he put great effort into fulfilling his duties as a student and helping his companions in every way he could, teaching them Catechism, assisting the sick and settling quarrels.
One day he said to a companion, who had just arrived in the Oratory, “You should know that here we make holiness consist in being always cheerful. We just try to avoid sin, which is the great enemy that robs us of the grace of God and peace of heart, and we try to to fulfill our duties exactly.” He was very faithful to his program of work, sustained by intense participation in sacramental life, by a filial devotion to Mary and by joyful sacrifice. God enriched him with many special gifts.
On December 8, 1854, when Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Dominic consecrated himself to Mary and began to advance rapidly in holiness. In 1856, he founded the Immaculate Conception Sodality among his friends. This was a group dedicated to apostolic action and peer ministry.
Mamma Margaret, who had come to Turin to help her priest son, one day said to him, “You have many good boys, but no one surpasses the beauty of heart and soul of Dominic Savio.” And she explained, “I see him always praying, even remaining in Church after the others; every day he leaves recreation to visit the Blessed Sacrament; when he is in Church, he is like an angel in Heaven.” He died in Moriondo on March 9, 1857. His remains are in the Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin. His feast is celebrated on May 6. Pope Pius XI defined him as, “a little, or rather, a great giant of the Spirit.” He is patron of young choir singers.