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Lives of Saints

St Dominic Savio (1842-1857)

Feast day: 6th May

St Dominic Savio

I was born in April 1842, one of ten children of a blacksmith and a seamstress. By the age of 5, I was already an altar boy. At 12, I entered the Oratory School of St John Bosco, in order to study as a priest.

I was a normal, high-spirited boy who sometimes got into trouble with his teachers because I would often break out laughing. However, I was generally well disciplined and gradually gained the respect of the tougher boys in our school. While at the Oratory School, I organized a group of boys into the Company of the Immaculate Conception. Besides its religious purpose, we swept and took care of the school and looked after the boys that no one seemed to pay any attention to.

My health forced me to give up my dream of the priesthood. I died at age 15. My birthplace is now a retreat house for teenagers, while the home where I grew up in Morialdo is now a retreat house for children. The final house in which I lived is the home in Mondonio. My family moved there when I was 10, and I eventually died there. Here you can see my father’s metal shop, and my mother’s tailoring shop. My tomb is in the basilica of Mary, Help of Christians in Turin, not far from the tomb of my mentor, teacher and biographer, Saint John Bosco.

I was canonized by Pope Pius XII in 1954.

“I can't do big things, but I want everything to be for the glory of God.”

St Dominic Savio

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