Dominic Savio was born on April 2nd, 1842 into a humble family of blacksmiths and peasants on the banks of Chieri in Piedmont, Italy. His parents taught him to pray and love God, and he went to Mass and became a choir child. At the age of seven, he took his first communion before the usual age because of his great piety. He was an intelligent child, and his parents send him to school, which was four kilometers away in another village. When asked if the road was too long for a little boy alone, Dominic answered "I am not alone, I have God with me".
In 1854, when Dominic was twelve years old, his father, Charles Savio, took him to meet Don Bosco, who visited the region. Charles Savio asked Don Bosco to take his son with him to Turin, who was eager to become a priest. To test this, Don Bosco gives the young boy a lesson to learn for the next day. Shortly after, he ran up, already knowing the whole page by heart. Don Bosco, congratulated him, their exchange remained famous: "Very well, you have quickly completed the study of your lesson, it is up to me to quickly give my answer: yes, I am taking you to Turin. I think there is beautiful fabric in you. “Fabric? What can it be used for? To make a beautiful garment for the Lord,” “I am therefore the fabric and you the tailor! ” Don Bosco took the young Dominic to his school: the Saint Francis de Sales Oratory in Turin.
For three years, Dominic would trust his master, who taught him the way to holiness with simplicity. Don Bosco's advice to him was as follows: “I will give you the recipe of holiness. It is made up of three things that must be combined: First, joy. That which troubleth thee and taketh away peace cannot please the Lord, cast him out. The second: do your job well in class and don't forget to pray. Finally, the third: always strive to do good unto others. ” Dominic was a serious, kind, and good boy who would quickly become the joy of the house. At the same time, he was growing spiritually. One day, when two students were fighting violently, Dominic placed himself between them with a cross and manages to reconcile them. Deeply devoted to the Virgin Mary, he founded the Society of the Immaculate Conception to build up and sanctify his comrades. At the age of fifteen, Dominic was struck by illness and died shortly afterwards, on March 9th, 1857 in Mondonio.
It was Don Bosco himself who wrote about the life of his young pupil, an ordinary life lived in an extraordinary way, always putting love in the first place. Don Bosco wanted to give an example to his young students and to the young people of the world. Dominic Savio was canonized in 1954 by Pius XII, who proclaimed him patron of teenagers and of the Pueri Cantores, the Little Singers. He is celebrated on May 6th.
A first extraordinary event occurred twenty years after Dominic's death. As he had promised Don Bosco in farewell, the young boy came to visit him. Here is their exchange:
“God sends me to you, Don Bosco, to speak to you, I am in Paradise, in the land of happiness.
- What's that light around you?
- It's a natural light, a little brighter. But the sky is infinitely brighter.
Dominic then recounts the beauties of Paradise. He shows Don Bosco a beautiful bouquet of flowers that he held in his hand:
- Each of these different flowers represents the Lord's favorite virtues.
- And what is the one Jesus loves above all?
- The love of the Blessed Virgin. Tell all your children to pray to her a lot. It is all-powerful before Jesus, especially at the moment of death. ”
Many extraordinary events took place through the intercession of Saint Dominic Savio. Here is one of the miracles consulted for beatification: a little boy, Albano Sabatino, was suffering from meningitis and had sepsis. He was dying when a relic of Dominic Savio was placed under his pillow, and immediately the child calmed down and fell asleep. When he woke up, he was in great shape and demanded his toys. For canonization, two other miracles were observed. A mother of six suffered from heart problems and bleeding. The attending physician, having read about the life of Saint Dominic the day before, proposed that the family ask him for a miracle so that the six children could keep their mother. The next day, the sick woman was perfectly and definitively cured. The second miracle was also the healing of a mother who asked that her children not become orphans.
Here is a beautiful prayer to Saint Dominic Savio, especially for young people and adolescents of whom he is the patron:
Saint Dominic Savio, you realized at 15 the dream that attracts me: to be a man and to be a saint!
On the roads of the world that open before me, be my faithful companion.
Teach me that the great adventure to run is first of all that of my soul, to be made clear every day; and that the true heroism is to prefer death to sin.
Make me pay attention to the suffering of others, to the distress of the world waiting for my arms.
Give me your impetus to work to build, in the reign of Christ, a city that is finally fraternal.
And may my love for God our Father, for Our Lady, Mary, grow and set my whole life ablaze at the living sources of prayer and the sacraments.