Our youth need Role Models and we suggest Saint Dominic Savio
Out of the muck and mire, a rose blooms
Dominic was born of very poor but holy peasant stock, one of ten children. His parents were from Castelnuovo D’Asti, ten miles outside Turin. When things got desperate they were forced to leave, to find work in a small village outside of Chieri called Riva. There on April 2, 1842, a boy child was born to Charles and Brigid Savio, whom they baptized Dominic. When Dominic was two years old, the family moved once again, to a village near their home town of Castelnuovo d’Asti, Murialdo.
Right from his earliest years, Dominic showed clear signs of piety. His parents said he never gave them cause for the slightest worry, was always obedient and thoughtful of their feelings. At barely four years of age, he swiftly learned his prayers, and could be observed reciting them alone, morning, noon and night. Deeply attached to his mother, he only left her side to go to a small hideaway where he could continue praying unnoticed.
He never began eating without saying Grace. One day, his family unwittingly began eating without first having prayed. Little Dominic cried out, “Daddy, we haven’t asked God to bless our meal yet.” He then proceeded to make the Sign of the Cross and began the prayer the family always recited before eating. All joined in, and after they finished eating, they said the Angelus (as was their custom, morning, noon and night). On another occasion, a guest at their dinner table began eating without first saying Grace. Young Dominic rose and left the table, retiring to a corner of the room. When he was later questioned, as to his strange behavior, he said, “I didn’t dare sit at table with someone who eats like an animal.”
In his biography of this little Saint, Don Bosco speaks not only of the extraordinary Grace bestowed upon Dominic, but attributed much of his virtuous life to his parents and their tireless commitment to bring him the treasures of the Church. Their example, their daily, ongoing living out of the Faith, their praying the Rosary and the Angelus as a family, their devout attendance at Mass, their fidelity to the Sacraments, their faithful teaching of the Catechism, bringing Dominic the stark reality of sin with its ultimate destruction of the soul, and the luminous rays of piety with its eternal reward in Heaven, molded him into the Saint he would become.
Father John Zucca said of his pupil, Dominic, that the first time he saw him was when the lad was five years old. As was his custom, Dominic was kneeling on the ground in front of the Church door, waiting for it to open. This was not an isolated case. He could be seen, every morning, praying, his eyes and heart zeroed in on something, or was it Someone, beyond the heavy doors. It was of no consequence, if the ground was muddy and wet from the pouring rain, Dominic knelt and prayed until the church opened.
He was an outstanding student scholastically, as well as spiritually. But as with today, there were rough necks who had not the same focus as Dominic. These young boys attended the same school as Dominic, bent on making trouble their primary occupation. Although out of necessity he had to associate with them in school, he never allowed himself to be coerced into joining them. He resisted them, gently declining to join them in seemingly harmless pranks, which soon turned into willful chaos and ultimate disruption of the classroom. Their mischief unchecked, they turned to harassment of old people on the streets, senseless, malicious destruction of property, and finally stealing. His refusal to join the pack caused him much pain; they taunted him, calling him all sorts of derogatory names. He just walked away, rather than engage in a verbal skirmish which could turn into a physical brawl.
So often we see little boys who live to serve as Altar Servers, lose their awe and wonder of serving the Mass when they grow older. It was not so with Dominic, who from five years of age reverently served. His life was to attend Daily Mass, so when he was not Altar server, he still devoutly participated in the Mass, adoring his Lord Who was coming to life on the Altar of Sacrifice. Read More click here