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The Boy Saint

Why is it that people underestimate a child's voice - their influence in changing the world?

Children can be wonderful role models and see things with such truthfulness, when their worlds are unaltered. My children teach me daily lessons about humility, love, and patience.

If we would just slow down and pay attention, we would learn so much about how to behave by just modeling the heart of a child.

One hundred and sixty-seven years ago a very special boy was born. His name was, Dominic Savio. Dominic came from a very poor family and was one of ten children. He had a remarkable love for God and it showed in his daily life. He treated those around him with love and respect in the short time that he lived.

By the age of four Dominic knew all his prayers and found great joy in reciting them. He reminded those around him to pray if they ever forgot. When Dominic was five years old he caught the attention of his parish priest by attending daily mass. It was not uncommon for the priest to find Dominic kneeling in front of the church before it was unlocked. The priest found Dominic many times on his knees praying in unbearable heat, under horrible rain, on snowy days, and even on muddy grounds - he was undeterred . Although it was customary for children to do their First Communion at the age of twelve, Dominic was allowed to make his First Communion when he was only seven because of his deep love for Christ. This young boy proved to the priest, and those around him that he not only knew his Catechism, but lived by it.

Dominic was a wonderful role model to those around him. As an older child he attended an all boys' school run by another saint, John Bosco, a wonderful teacher and priest. Under John Bosco's wing Dominic grew. However, St. John Bosco later wrote in his biography of Saint Dominic Savio, of many circumstances where he, himself, learned lessons from the boy. For example, one day John Bosco walked in on Dominic as he kneeled praying and overheard him say, "Oh my God, I really mean it! I want to die before I ever commit a single mortal sin! Death but not sin!" The boy was praying so hard that he was unaware that he was speaking out loud and unaware that John Bosco was listening.

Dominic was an amazing boy and although he knew poverty all to well, he always helped those who were less fortunate then him. Dominic's greatest virtue though, was the purity of his heart. He tried very hard to never let his eyes wander. He always asked God "Let me die before I ever commit a single sin against Chastity!" I truly believe that Dominic would be so sad to see how unchaste today's youngsters are. Dominic's reply to those who asked why he never let his eyes wandered was a simple one, "I'm saving them to look at my Blessed Mother." How simple and beautiful. How different would our world be if we could all think and conduct ourselves like this child?

What I've written are just a few accounts of the many things that Dominic did while he was on earth. The point of this entry is that many people underestimate or dismiss the virtues in a child's heart and think that they are too young to make a difference, when in fact the opposite is true. Children have the purest of hearts and are born to us with a blank slate. We write on the slates of their lives everyday. We can altered this purity very easily and this is why we must take the responsibility that God has bestowed upon us very seriously.


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