My name is Samuel and I am a 4th grader. As far as I can remember, my mother sought the intercession of St. Dominic Savio for me. She would tell me stories of saints especially child saints. I was particularly interested in St. Dominic Savio. I was attracted to the way he lived his life as a child and the choices he made for the love of God.
I am sharing with you a little bit of what I have read and heard about the life of this young saint and how he has been an inspiration in my daily life situations.
St. Dominic Savio was born on 2nd April 1842 in Riva, Italy. His parents were Carlo and Brigitta Savio. Dominic means ‘Belonging to God‘ and Savio means ‘Wise‘. At a very young age Dominic learnt to pray by himself and didn’t need reminders to say his prayers. When he was five, he learnt to serve mass. He received his First Holy Communion at the age of seven. On that day he wrote:
- I will go to confession and to communion often.
- I will keep Holy the feast days.
- Jesus and Mary will be my best friends.
- I will rather die than commit sin.
When Dominic was 10 years old, he was studying at the country school, 5Kms away from home. He walked to and fro from school daily. A local farmer once asked Dominic on a hot sunny day, if he was not tired from walking. Dominic replied
“Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you are working for a master who pays well; who rewards even a cup of cold water given for the love of Him”.
At the age of 12, he visited John Bosco and told him that he wanted to become a priest. Dominic entered the oratory school which John Bosco founded. His schoolmates liked him because he was very kind and cheerful.
On one occasion two boys had gotten into an argument and challenged each other to a rock duel, because one boy had insulted the family of the other. St. Dominic asked the two not to pursue the fight but they didn’t listen. The young saint then asked them to grant him a favor, which his friends accepted. St. Dominic having a crucifix in his hand asked each of his friends to cast the first stone at him. The two friends were shocked and insisted that they didn’t want to hurt their good friend. St. Dominic then said,
“Neither of you is ready to hurt me because I am your friend, yet you want to commit this sin over a stupid remark made at school. Christ who was innocent died for us rather than seeking revenge from those who hated Him”.
As a young boy, I sometimes think that I can’t do big things like adults do, but I remember what St. Dominic Savio said,
“I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest thing for the greater Glory of God”.
St. Dominic had a special love for Mother Mary. He prayed asking for the Grace to keep his heart like Mary’s free from every impure desire. “Mary“, he would pray,
“I always want to be your son. Let me die rather than commit a single sin against chastity”.
This young saint has inspired me to value purity. There was a young boy in my class who once got a book with some bad pictures in it. I remembered a similar instance in the life of St. Dominic Savio where he told the boys that,
“One look can stain your soul, and yet you go feasting your eyes on them”.
I didn’t want to sin so I walked away from them and I later told the boy who brought that book that it is not good to see things that displease God.
St. Dominic Savio often said,
“If you want many graces, go and visit the Blessed Sacrament often”.
While at the oratory Dominic studied hard and loved to pray. But his health was poor and after two years he had to return home. Before Dominic left he asked John Bosco,
“What can a sick boy do to gain merit before God?”
John Bosco replied,
“Offer your suffering to God”.
On 9th March, 1857, Dominic Savio died. While dying he said,
“What beautiful things I see”.
He was only 15 years old. He was declared a saint not because of martyrdom but because he lived what was seen as a Holy life. Here is a prayer I pray daily:
O Mary, I give you my heart.
Grant me to be always yours.
Jesus and Mary,
be ever my friends;
and, for love of you,
grant me to die a thousand deaths
rather than to have the misfortune
of committing a single mortal sin.
St. Dominic Savio, model of purity, piety, penance and apostolic zeal, grant me that through your intercession I may one day praise God in heaven forever and ever. Amen
Sharing by Samuel Ethan Pinto, CFCI Kids, Bangalore