In the year 1815 a baby was born in the remote village or Becchi, near Turin, North Italy. His parents named him John Bosco. Little did they know that this baby, later to be called Don Bosco was destined to create history by dedicating his life for the salvation and education of thousands of young people all over the world. He was ordained a priest on 5th June 1841. Don Bosco gathered together homeless boys who had no other place to go. Turin knew him as “the Street Boy’s Priest”. He gave them a home, a chapel to pray, taught him how to love, taught them skills, and found jobs for them. He met the youth in prison and he met them on the streets. He gave his life for them. The boys whom he had cared for became his first followers and they went to distant places to tell young people that God loves them. They are known as the Salesians of Don Bosco. Even today, all over the world Don Bosco is known as the “Father and Friend of Youth”. The church declared Don Bosco a “Saint”. He also made his boys into saints. Dominic Savio, a twelve year old boy, met Don Bosco in October 1854. Savio immediately knew that he had found his spiritual guide who would help him to become a saint and with a lot of humility he offered himself to Don Bosco, saying: “You are the tailor and Iam the cloth. Mould me and make me into a beautiful garment for God”. Don Bosco immediately recognized in this boys a soul in full harmony with the Spirt of God. Dominic Savio asked Don Bosco to take him to his oratory in Turin. Dominic Savio lived with Don Bosco and learnt from him the simple and joyful secrets of becoming a saint. Don Bosco showed me young now to be saintly and happy at the same time. One day Savio listened to Don Bosco preaching about an easy way to become a saint.
Don Bosco highlighted three points:
From that day onwards he began to dream about becoming a saint. On the feast day of Don Bosco it was customary to give a token gift to boys and they were allowed to ask for this gift. Dominic Savio wrote out this simple quest on a piece of paper. “Please save my sould and make me a saint”
Don Bosco gave him a simple formula to become a saint:
Help our companions even if it demands sacrifice.Savio followed Don Bosco on the pathway to sanctity and he experienced a lot of happiness in doing it. He is known as the cheerful saint. Savio died on 9th March 1857. On 12th June 1954 at 4.46 p.m., thousands of friends of Dominic Savio were in St.Peter’s Basicilica, Rome. Pope Pius XII declared Dominic Savio a saint – the first proclaimed adolescent saint! The youngest saint in the history of the Church! He is a model for children and teenagers.