St. Dominic, The Boy Saint

Feast Day: March 9

Patron saint: of boys, children’s choirs, choir boys, choirs, falsely accused people, juvenile delinquents

Meaning of name: Dominic meaning “belonging to God;” Savio meaning “wise’ learned”

Dominic Savio was born April 2, 1842 in Riva di Chieri, Turin Italy.  He was one of 10 children of Carlo, a blacksmith, and Birgitta, a seamstress.  At the age of 5, he became an altar boy, which began his preparation for the priesthood.  At age 7, he received his first Communion, even though the customary age was 12.

By the age of 12, Dominic had entered the Oratory School and became a protégé of Saint John Bosco.  Dominic Savio was put in charge of organizing those who were the center of Bosco’s order, and he received the respect of many of the older boys. 

Although he was young, he led by example – and always reminded the older boys to say grace before meals.

Saint Dominic regularly cared for the boys that were forgotten and he was often scolded by the teachers for his bursts of laughter.  Dominic died at the young age of 15 from tuberculosis.  His dying words were “What beautiful things I see.” 

Dominic focused on the little things in life, like helping others and playing games.  He offered everything he had up for God and lived his life in holiness.  It was his dream to become a priest, and he lived the motto of “death, but not sin!”  Pope St. Pius X said, “A teenager such as Dominic, who bravely struggled to keep his innocence from baptism to the end of his life, is really a saint.”