Dominic Savio is one of the youngest saints in the Catholic Church. He is known as a special student of Saint John Bosco (Don Bosco). His Feast is celebrated on May 6 every year. He is revered as the patron saint of students, choirboys, juvenile delinquents, and falsely accused persons.
He was both meek and wise in terms of understanding the Scriptures just as his name, Dominic (of the Lord) Savio (wise). He was known for strange behaviours not observed among many his age. Besides his devotion, he would stop people from speaking offensive language, settle disputes and accept the blame for acts of his classmates so that they could improve instead of being punished by those with authority.
In regular times and particularly under the guise of the pandemic, we see some like him. In a world so engulfed by substance abuse and lack of faith among the young, there are those who choose to be different.
Amid a partying crowd, there are those volunteering and working. Among people so glued to loosely available entertainment, there is a person participating, singing and reading during the Eucharistic Celebration at Church. Also as people engage in gossip and mischief, there are those who choose to read the scriptures, learn a new skill and help in community service.
INFLUENCE IN GOA
To mould children in the footsteps of St Dominic Savio, the Salesian community in Panaji started a Kindergarten named after their favourite young saint.
Two years ago, the management of Calangute People’s High School by the Calangute Education Society was handed to the Konkan Development Society. This school which caters to economically weaker sections of society was named after Dominic Savio, a saint who came from an economically backward background but received education in the portals of Don Bosco as he was filled with grace, wisdom and love for Jesus Christ.
The Salesian Fathers in Goa also aim to give young lads who are eager learners an opportunity to develop themselves academically.
Similar services are provided at the primary schools in Odxel and Dabolim and the Open School in Parra.
The Aspirant Programme at Panaji also welcomes young boys filled with the fruits of the Holy Spirit to study at their school and simultaneously prepare themselves for priesthood just like Dominic Savio wanted when he joined as a student of Don Bosco.
In recent times, amid the despair that continues to threaten social harmony, peace and livelihoods, there are young people like Dominic Savio who want to be a change in society. We see them in the youth who appeal for a pollution-free and environment-friendly world. They are the volunteers who have worked to help people during quarantine time in the pandemic. They are voices who want unity and spread awareness about human rights amid the thunderstorms of division, discrimination, injustice and violence. May St Dominic Savio always guide the youth of our country and world.
[The writer is a freelance writer and ex-student of Don Bosco Higher Secondary School]