St. Dominic Savio
St. Dominic Savio was born in Italy in 1842. Dominic was an ordinary boy with an extraordinary love for God. At the age of twelve, Dominic entered the school run by St. John Bosco. Everyone in the school saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different.
He greatly loved all the boys, and even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning. One day Dominic began to feel sick and was sent home to get better. While at home he grew worse, instead, and received the last Sacraments.
He was only fifteen then, but he did not fear death. In fact, he was overjoyed at the thought ofgoing to Heaven. Just before he died, he tried to sit up. “Goodbye,” he murmured to his father. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of great joy and happiness. “I am seeing such wonderful things!” he exclaimed.
Dominic Savio appears to be the perfect patron saint for this age group. He entered John Bosco’s school around the same age campers are allowed to participate. He died around the same age as the oldest campers. Most of his active years as a saint were during his middle school years. We felt he would be easily relatable to the junior high school because of his age. While at school, he constantly challenged his peers to be better in their faith – something we also try to do with camp.
You can read the entire life of St. Dominic Savio (written by his teacher, St. John Bosco) online. Please click here.
Photo credits to The Divine Mercy
St. John Bosco
Born in Castlenuovo d’Asti on August 16, 1815, John was educated in the faith and in living according to the Gospel message by his mother. He was just nine years old when he had a dream, which called him to dedicate himself to the education of young people. While still a boy he began to entertain his peers with games alternated with work, prayer and religious education.
On becoming a priest (1841) he chose as his life’s programme: “Da mihi animas cetera tolle” (“Give me souls, take all the rest” Gen. 14: 21). He began his apostolate among poor young people with the founding of the Oratory, which he placed under the patronage of St. Francis of Sales.
He Led Young People to Meet Christ By means of his educational style and pastoral practice, based on reason, religion and loving kindness (the Preventive System) he led young people to reflect, to meet Christ and their brothers and sisters, to the study of the faith and to apostolic, civil and professional commitment. St. Dominic Savio stands out among the most outstanding fruits of his work.
The source of his indefatigable activity and of the effectiveness of his work was his “constant union with God” and his unlimited confidence in Mary Our Help who he considered to be the inspiration and support of his whole work.
In the centenary of his death, which took place on January 31, 1888, Pope John Paul II proclaimed him The Father and Teacher of Youth.