Feast Day: March 9
Canonized: June 12, 1954
Beatified: March 5, 1950
Venerated: July 11, 1933
It isn’t always easy to be different from others, but Dominic, who was born in 1842, was different. Even as a young boy, he had great faith. His parents taught him how important it was for him to put Jesus first in his life. They had one other goal for Dominic. They wanted him to learn to read and write, something they could not do. They could not afford to send Dominic to boarding school, and there were no public schools in his small Italian village of San Giovanni di Riva. Dominic spent his days on the streets. It did not look like he would have a good future.
A priest named Father John Bosco devoted his life to educating poor boys. He helped them to learn a trade so that they could earn a living when they grew up. When Father Bosco met Dominic, he was impressed by Dominic’s faith and his eagerness to learn.
Father Bosco invited Dominic to attend the school he had recently founded. It would mean moving away from home, but Dominic’s parents gave their permission. It was a wonderful opportunity for their son! Dominic was excited, too. He knew that if he was a good student, he could eventually become a priest and grow even closer to the Lord.
Away at school, Dominic became more religious. He made visits to church several times a day. At his First Communion he became determined to go to confession and communion often. Sometimes he skipped meals so that he would have more time to pray. The other students made fun of him. Father Bosco told Dominic that the way to holiness was to be happy and to help others find happiness. Dominic put Father Bosco’s words into action. He became a good friend to all the students and found ways to help them with their studies or chores. He asked Father Bosco to help him become a saint.
When Dominic was 14, he became very sick. Today we have medicines to treat the illness Dominic had, but there was nothing that could help him in those days. He died peacefully just before his 15th birthday after receiving the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick.
Father John Bosco, who was later canonized a saint, wrote the story of Dominic’s life. Dominic was named a saint in 1954, almost 100 years after he died. He was the youngest non-martyr to be declared a saint in the Church. Some people thought that he had not lived long enough to be considered for sainthood. But Dominic’s example teaches us that no matter how old we are, we can serve the Lord in small ways every day.
Pope Pius XII described St. Dominic Savio as “small in size, but a towering giant in spirit.” He is the patron saint of choirboys and juvenile delinquents.
Connecting to Be My Disciples®
Grade 5, chapter 21
Connecting to Blest Are We® Parish and School
Grade 1, unit 4