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Oil dedicated to St Dominic Savio on prayer cloth
The Oil dedicated to St Dominic Savio on prayer cloth is in honour of the young boy saint who died very young. He is acclaimed as the patron saint for choir boys.
St Dominic born on April 2, 1842 in the village of Riva in northern Italy. His family poor but hardworking. They devout and pious Catholics.
When he just two years old, St Dominic’s family returned to their native village of Castlenuovo d’Asti, (Today, Castlenuovo Don Bosco) near the birthplace of John Bosco. Bosco would himself later canonized as a Saint by the Church and became a major influence on the life of Dominic.
He very devout in practicing his Catholic faith. For example, he said grace before every meal and refused to eat with those who did not. He always quick to encourage others to pray.
Dominic attended Church regularly with his mother and often seen kneeling before the Tabernacle in prayer. He even prayed outside the Church building. It did not matter to Dominic if the ground was covered with mud or snow, he knelt and prayed anyway.
Dominic’s first Communion
Dominic asked to receive his first communion at the age of seven. This not the practice in the Church of Italy at the time. Normally, children received their first holy communion at the age of twelve. Dominic’s priest was so impressed with his intelligence concerning the faith, his love for the Lord and his piety that he made an exception. Dominic said that the day of his First Communion the happiest day of his life.
On the Day he received his first communion, Dominic wrote four promises in a little book. Those promises were:
I will go to Confession often, and as frequently to Holy Communion as my confessor allows.
I wish to sanctify the Sundays and festivals in a special manner.
My friends shall be Jesus and Mary.
Death rather than sin.
The young Dominic graduated to secondary school and walked three miles to school each day. He undertook this chore gladly. While walking to school on a hot day a farmer asked why he wasn’t yet tired. Dominic cheerfully replied, “Nothing seems tiresome or painful when you working for a master who pays well.”
Although he young, Dominic clearly different than his peers. When two boys stuffed a school heating stove with snow and rubbish. The boys known troublemakers and likely to face expulsion if caught, so they blamed Dominic for the misdeed. Dominic did not deny the accusation and he scolded before the class. However, a day later the teacher learned the truth. He asked Dominic why he did not defend himself while scolded for something he did not do. Dominic mentioned he imitating Jesus who remained silent when unjustly accused.
Dominic’s teacher spoke well of him and brought him to the attention of Fr. John Bosco, who renowned for looking after hundreds of boys, many of them orphaned and poor. In October 1854, Dominic personally introduced to Fr. Bosco – along with his father.
John Bosco tests Dominic
At the meeting, Bosco wanted to test Dominic’s intelligence and understanding of the Catholic faith. He gave Dominic a copy of The Catholic Readings, which a pamphlet that dealt with apologetics. He expected Dominic to provide a report the next day, but just ten minutes later Dominic recited the text and provided a full explanation of its significance. This solidified Bosco’s high opinion of Dominic.
Dominic expressed an interest in becoming a priest and asked to go to Turin to attend the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales. Fr. Bosco agreed to take him.
At the Oratory, St Dominic studied directly under Fr. Bosco. He worked diligently and always asked questions when he did not understand something. He renewed his First Communion promises that he wrote in his little book at the age of seven. After six months at the Oratory, Dominic delivered a speech on the path to sainthood. In his speech, he made three outstanding points; it is God’s will that we ALL become saints, it is easy to become a saint, and there great rewards in heaven for saints.
Dominic’s penances corrected
St Dominic Savio desire to become a saint troubled him however. He wondered to himself how someone as young as he could become a saint? In his zeal, he tried voluntary mortification and other voluntary penances, hoping that they would help him to grow closer to Jesus and help him to be less concerned with his own needs.
At the same time Dominic developing his reputation as a fantastic student, his health began to fail. He started to lose his appetite and Fr. Bosco became concerned. Dominic taken to the doctor who recommended that he be sent home to his family to recover. Dominic wanted to stay at the oratory, but Fr. Bosco insisted he go home. Everybody expected Dominic to recover, except for Dominic himself who insisted he dying.
Before he departed, Dominic made the Exercise of a Happy Death and predicted this would be his final devotion.
After four days at home, Dominic’s health worsened. The doctor ordered him to bed to rest. He then performed bloodletting, which still performed at that time. Over the next four days, Dominic bled ten times before the doctor satisfied he would recover.
But Dominic sure of his impending death. He implored his parents to bring the parish priest so he could make a last confession. They obliged him and Dominic made a confession and given the Anointing of the Sick.
His father wrote to Fr. Bocso to report the sad news.
Fr. Bosco powerfully touched by Dominic and he wrote a biography, “The Life of Dominic Savio.” The biography quickly became popular and would eventually be read in schools across Italy. As people learned about Dominic, they called for his canonization.
Detractors argued that Dominic too young to canonized and pointed out that he not a martyr. However, Pope Pius X disagreed and opened his cause for canonization.
Dominic Savio declared venerable in 1933 by Pope Pius XI, beatified in 1950, then canonized in 1954 by Pope Pius XII.
Saint Dominic is the patron saint of choirboys, the falsely accused, and juvenile delinquents. His feast day is May 6, moved from March 9. Many schools and institutions dedicated to boys dedicated to him.