Thursday, May 6, 2010

St. Dominic Savio: Reverence for the Blessed Sacrament

"Do you want many graces? Go and visit the Blessed Sacrament often.
Do you want few graces? Visit the Blessed Sacrament rarely.
Do you want none at all? Then never pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament,"

~ St. Dominic Savio ~

Fr. Giovanni Zucca from Moriondo, who was then the chaplain at Murialdo when Dominic was five years old,[18] notes in a statement to John Bosco that he came to notice Dominic due to his regular church attendance with his mother, and his habit of kneeling down outside the church to pray (even in the mud or snow) if he happened to come to Church before it had been unlocked in the morning. The chaplain also notes that Savio made good progress at the village school not merely due to his cleverness, but also by working hard; he would not join the other boys in doing something that he believed to be morally wrong and would explain why he thought a particular deed was wrong;[19] At the age of five, he learned to serve Mass, and would try to participate at Mass every day as well as go regularly to Confession. Having been permitted to make his First Communion at an early age, he had much reverence for the Eucharist.[20].

First Communion
At that time, it was customary for children to receive their First Communion at the age of twelve.[21] (Pope Pius X would later lower this age to seven[22][23]) After initial hesitation, and subsequent consultation with other priests, the parish priest agreed to permit Dominic to receive his First Communion at the age of seven, since he knew the catechism and understood something of the Eucharist.[24] He spent much time praying and reading in preparation,[25] asking his mother's forgiveness for anything he might have done to displease her and then went to Church. In his biography of Dominic Savio, John Bosco devotes a chapter to tell of Dominic's First Communion. He says that several years later, whenever Dominic talked of the day of his First Communion, he said with joy:

"That was the happiest and most wonderful day of my life"[26]
John Bosco records that on the day of his First Communion, Dominic made some promises which he wrote in a "little book", and re-read them many times. John Bosco once looked through Dominic's book, and he quotes from it the promises that he made:[27]

Resolutions made by me, Dominic Savio, in the year 1849, on the day of my First Communion, at the age of seven.
1. I will go to Confession often, and as frequently to Holy Communion as my confessor allows.
2. I wish to sanctify the Sundays and festivals in a special manner.
3. My friends shall be Jesus and Mary.
4. Death rather than sin.[28]
~ Source ~

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