Saint Dominic Savio, the patron of choirboys, was born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy. One day when he was just four, he disappeared and his good mother went looking for him. She found the little fellow in a corner praying with his hands joined and his head bowed. He already knew all his prayers by heart! At five, he was an altar boy. When he was seven, he received his First Holy Communion. On that solemn day, he chose a motto: "Death, but not sin!" and he kept it always.
"A teenager such as Dominic, who bravely struggled to keep his innocence from Baptism to the end of his life, is really a saint," said Pope St. Pius X. Yes, 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. Don Bosco examined him first and at the end of the questions, Dominic asked, "What do you think of me?" "I think you're good material," answered the priest, with a big smile. "Well, then," said Dominic, "You are a good tailor, so if the material is good, take me and make a new suit out of me for Our Lord!"
Dominic impressed John Bosco 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.”
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 of going to Heaven. Just before he died, he tried to sit up. "Goodbye," he murmured to his good father. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of great joy and happiness. "I am seeing such wonderful things!" he exclaimed. Then he spoke no more, for he had gone to Heaven. He died on March 9, 1857. Saint John Bosco himself wrote the account of his life.
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. His Feast day is March 09.