Prayer for the Intercession of Saint Dominic Savio

July 5th, 1992
Brother John Raymond

	Dominic Savio was born on April 2, 1842 in the small town of
 Riva, Italy to peasant parents who could neither read nor write.
 Lack of education did not keep his parents from teaching their
 little boy the principles of religion, which they had learned and
 practiced. At the age of six Dominic started learning to read and
 write in the single-room school run by the local priest in his own
 home. Also he began attending Holy Mass daily. At the age of seven
 he made the following resolutions before First Holy Communion:

1. "I will go often to Confession and Holy Communion."
2. "Jesus and Mary will by my Special Friends."
3. "I wish to die rather than commit a sin."

	By the early Spring of 1854 Dominic began to express his interest
 in the priesthood. The poverty of his parents ruled out every school
 except one - the Oratory of St. Frances de Sales in Turin. This
 school for poor children was started a few years before by St. John
 Bosco better known as Don Bosco.
	A short time after his arrival Don Bosco delivered a sermon at
 Mass which had a profound impact on Dominic. He spoke of the
 necessity for all to become saints, that this was God's will for
 everyone and that it was easy to achieve. The next three days
 Dominic played by himself, avoided his friends and spent a lot of
 time praying in the church. Don Bosco was disturbed at the sudden
 change in Dominic's behavior. He asked him what was wrong. Dominic
 replied, "Father, you said that it is easy to become a saint. I had
 never realized that before. I want to tackle this matter seriously."
	Don Bosco said, "But you are going about it the wrong way,
 Dominic. You have to become a saint by fulfilling your daily duties
 as perfectly as you can, not by neglecting any of them. Say your
 prayers well. Study as much as you can. But you must join in the
 games as well. That is equally important. Here at the Oratory
 holiness consists in being happy and helping others to be happy too.
 Remember that!" With that Don Bosco helped Dominic to rise rapidly
 to perfection.
	Dominic's thanksgivings after Holy Communion became more and more
 of a consolation and grace for him. He started prolonging them after
 Mass until he regularly missed breakfast. One day he was missing for
 hours. Don Bosco went searching for him. He found him close to the
 tabernacle in the church absorbed in prayer. He shook the boy to get
 his attention. Dominic said to Don Bosco, "Oh, I'm sorry Father, is
 Mass over?" Such were the great graces Dominic derived from Holy
	Another practice of Dominic was to make quick visits to the
 Blessed Sacrament between supper and his studies in the evening.
 Sometimes he would persuade a friend to join him. Soon several
 groups of boys could be seen after supper making visits to Jesus.
	Dominic had a great desire to do penance. His health, however,
 was not very good. Don Bosco forbide him to practice any physical
 penance. Dominic asked what kind of penance he should do. Don Bosco
 responded, "Obedience is to be your penance. Be punctual to the
 daily schedule, be exact in your duties, especially in your studies.
 If this doesn't satisfy you there are other things like enduring the
 weather without complaining or getting depressed. You can eat food
 that isn't to your taste. Be patient with companions who are
 difficult and who treat you poorly or contradict you."
	Dominic was not satisfied with these forms of penance because
 everyone has to endure them. Don Bosco replied, "Precisely because
 you don't choose these penances, but accept them for the sake of
 God, they are more meritorious." This fit in with Don Bosco's maxim
 for the boys which was sanctification by the "martyrdom of daily
	In 1856 Dominic started the "Company of the Immaculate Conception
 at the Oratory." This group had the following two goals:

1. Their own personal sanctification to be accomplished by their
 exact fulfillment of their duties in the school. (Don Bosco's

2. The sanctification of others by word and example.

	The second goal was put into practice by each member's choosing a
 boy or group of boys whom he thought to be in need of help.
	During this same year of 1856 Dominic's health began to decline
 rapidly. One year later it seemed certain that he had contracted
 tuberculosis. Don Bosco sent him home to rest and recover his
 health. A few weeks after arriving home a priest had to be called to
 administer the Last Rites. As the priest was saying the prayers the
 boy's eyes seemed to fix on a point far beyond the room. He then
 exclaimed "Oh, what lovely things I see." What he saw he soon joined
 as his eyes closed in death. He died with a smile on his face at the
 age of fifteen.
	At the Oratory news of Dominic's death made the boys there pray
 to him instead of for him. They considered him a saint. In 1933 Pope
 Pius XI proclaimed Dominic Savio Venerable. He was beatified by Pope
 Pius XII in 1950. Finally in 1954 he was declared a Saint.


	Dear St. Dominic, you spent your short life totally for love of
 Jesus and His Mother. Help youth today to realize the importance of
 God in their lives. You became a saint through fervent participation
 in the sacraments, enlighten parents and children to the importance
 of frequent confession and Holy Communion. At a young age you
 meditated on the sorrowful Passion of Our Lord. Obtain for us the
 grace of a fervent desire to suffer for love of Him.
	We desperately need your intercession to protect today's children
 from the snares of the world. Watch over them and lead them on the
 narrow road to Heaven. Ask God to give us the grace to sanctify our
 daily duties by performing them perfectly out of love for Him.
 Remind us of the necessity of practicing virtue especially in times
 of trial.
	St. Dominic Savio, you who preserved your Baptismal innocence of
 heart, pray for us.