One of our youngest saints, Dominic Savio was born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy. He joined St. John Bosco as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12.

He impressed Don Bosco with his desire to be a priest and to help him in his work with neglected boys. For such a young person, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer. He frequently found himself in a state of rapture, which 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.”

A peacemaker and an organizer, young Dominic founded a group he called the Company of the Immaculate Conception that, besides being devotional, aided John Bosco with the boys and with manual work. 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 wrote the account of his life.

Dominic would never join Don Bosco in the beginnings of his Salesian congregation in 1859. By that time, Dominic had been called home to heaven. 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 1954.

Dominic Savio is the patron of choirboys.

Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: St. Dominic Savio | Franciscan Media. (n.d.). Franciscan Media. Retrieved March 2, 2021, from