Io vado in paradiso

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My friend Terry will, I am sure, have a splendid entry on Saint Dominic Savio! The two of us, together with Father Gregory O. and Father Martin F., probably read the same biography of the saint as boys. I must have been in fourth grade when, thanks to Sister Mary Clara's school library, I discovered The Life of Saint Dominic Savio by Saint John Bosco: "the life of a saint by a saint." I read the book over and over again. Like many small boys in Catholic schools, I wanted to be like Saint Dominic Savio. . . but I wasn't!

My cousin Barbara S. teaches in a Salesian school in San Francisco. I am sure that she will be celebrating Saint Dominic Savio with her students. I don't know that Barbara reads this blog, but her sister Mary does!

In the end, what most impressed me and has stayed with me lo, all these years was Dominic Savio's ardent love for the Blessed Virgin Mary and for the Most Holy Eucharist.
On March 9, 1857, fifteen year old Domenico, stricken with cholera, died in the arms of his parents. To his mother, he said, "Mamma, non piangere, io vado in Paradiso — Mamma, don't cry, I am going to Paradise”.

O God, wellspring of all good,
who, in Saint Dominic Savio, hast given adolescents
an admirable example of charity and of purity
grant that we also, may grow up as Thy sons in joy and in love
even unto the full stature of Thy Christ.
Who is God, living and reigning with Thee,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
forever and ever.

By what doth a young man correct his way?
by observing thy words.
With my whole heart have I sought after thee:
let me not stray from thy commandments.
Thy words have I hidden in my heart,
that I may not sin against thee.

(Psalm 118:9–11)


Interestingly, it's not the only "life of a saint by a saint" St. John Bosco wrote.

He also wrote "Priest of the Gallows" about St. Joseph Cafasso, his mentor.

Since I was a child, I prayed this prayer daily: (I'll bet Fr. Mark knows it by heart also?)

St. Dominic Savio's Prayer to Our Lady

O Mary, I give you my heart. Grant me to be always yours. Jesus and Mary, be ever my friends; and, for love of you, grant me to die a thousand deaths rather than to have the misfortune of committing a single mortal sin.

In His great mercy,
+Fr. Gregory

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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