St. Dominic Savio, St. Francis of Rome
St. Dominic Savio
So many holy persons seem to die young. Among them was
Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys.
Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco
as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He impressed John with his desire to be a
priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. A peacemaker and an organizer, young Dominic
founded a group he called the Company of the Immaculate Conception which, besides being devotional,
aided John Bosco with the boys and with manual work. All the members save one, Dominic, would in
1859 join John in the beginnings of his Salesian congregation. By that time, Dominic had been called
home to heaven.
As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. His raptures he called "my distractions." Even
in play, he said that at times "It seems heaven is opening just above me. I am afraid I may say or
do something that will make the other boys laugh." Dominic would say, "I can't do big things. But I
want all I do, even the smallest thing, to be for the greater glory of God."
Dominic's health, always
frail, led to lung problems and he was sent home to recuperate. As was the custom of the day, he was
bled in the thought that this would help, but it only worsened his condition. He died on March 9,
1857, after receiving the Last Sacraments. St. John Bosco himself wrote the account of his
Some thought that Dominic was too young to be considered a saint. St. Pius X declared that
just the opposite was true, and went ahead with his cause. Dominic was canonized in
Other Saints of the