Monday, March 10, 2008

9 Days with Dominic Savio: The Contemplative

Yesterday, March 9th, ordinarily the feast day of St. Dominic Savio, was Passion Sunday. We are going to continue with a few more interesting notes about the life of this extraordinary teenage saint.

I was amazed to learn that on top of the high level of virtue he exhibited, Dominic grew deeply contemplative - something that can only be prompted by God's grace. It was God's gift to Dominic, but one he did not quite understand.

Dominic, when praying, would sometimes get "distracted". He would complain that he would lose track of his thoughts and hours would pass by as if mere minutes.

Don Bosco spoke with the boy about these "distractions", probing. As the questions got more intimate, he grew embarassed and burst into tears. Don Bosco ceased any further attempts to understand these "distractions", but worked to protect him by keeping them a secret.

One morning, Dominic failed to show for breakfast. He was missing from classes and from lunch. After learning of it, Don Bosco quietly went to St. Francis Church nearby. In Fr. Lappin's book, Dominic Savio - Teenage Saint, we get the following account:

Once there, he went to the rear of the altar. What he saw moved him deeply. Dominic was standing behind the altar, one foot almost on top of the other, his right hand holding on to the bookstand and his left hand on his chest. He was completely lost in contemplation.

Don Bosco watched him for a moment before he dared to speak.

"Dominic," he called out softly.

There was no response.

"Dominic," he called, louder than before.

Finally he took the boy by the arm and shook him gently.

Dominic seemed to come out of a trance. He looked around vacantly for a moment. Then he noticed Don Bosco.

"Oh," he said, "is Mass over already?"

"Dominic," said Don Bosco quietly, "it's now almost two o'clock."

The "distraction" had lasted seven hours!

Dominic looked confused, humbled, and completely at a loss. Don Bosco, too, was beside himself with emotion but he carefully hid his feelings so as not to make Dominic all the more confused.

"Go and have something to eat, my son," he said. "And if anyone asks you what happened, tell them you were doing something for me."

Other Related Posts
Day 1: The pint-sized boy and the Missal
Day 2: "Death before Sin!"
Day 3: Patron Saint of the Falsely Accused
Day 4: The Saint Meets a Saint
Day 5: The Stone Duel
Day 6: Founder of Society of Mary Immaculate

Te Deum Laudamus! Home