Rebroadcast of the long-running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour,” a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org
Born into a peasant family at Riva, Italy, young Dominic joined St. John Bosco, founder of the Salesians, as a student at the Oratory in Turin at the age of 12. He 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.
As a youth, Dominic spent hours rapt in prayer during which he would experience visions. 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.”
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.
Some thought that Dominic was too young to be considered a saint. Saint Pius X declared that just the opposite was true, and went ahead with his cause. Dominic was canonized in 1954. His feast day is celebrated on May 6.