“A teenager such as Dominic, who bravely struggled to keep his innocence from baptism to the end of his life, is really a saint,” said Pope St. Pius X.
Yes, Dominic was an ordinary boy with an extraordinary love for God.
At the age of twelve, Dominic entered the school run by St. John Bosco. Don Bosco examined him first and at the end of the questions, Dominic asked, “What do you think of me?” “I think you’re good material,” answered the priest, with a big smile.
“Well, then,” said Dominic, “you are a good tailor, so if the material is good, take me and make a new suit out of me for Our Lord!”
Everyone in school soon saw from the way he prayed that this boy was different. He greatly loved all the boys even though he was younger, he used to worry about them. He was afraid that they would lose the grace of God by sinning.
One day, a fellow brought a magazine full of bad pictures to school. In a minute, a group of boys had gathered around him to see it. “What’s up?” wondered Dominic and he, too, went to look. Just one peek was enough for him. He grabbed the magazine and tore it in pieces! “Poor us!” he cried in the meantime, “Did God give us eyes to look at such things as this? Aren’t you ashamed?”
“Oh, we were just looking at these pictures for the fun of it,” said one boy.
“Sure, for fun,” answered Dominic, “and in the meantime you’re preparing yourselves to go to hell!”
“Oh, what’s so wrong about looking at these pictures anyway?” anther fellow demanded.
Dominic had a ready answer. “If you don’t see anything wrong,” he said sadly, “this is even worse. It means you’re used to looking at shameful things!”
No one said anything after that. They all realized that Dominic was right.
Another time he stopped a terrific stone-throwing fight between two angry boys. Holding up a little crucifix between them, he said, “Before you fight, look at this and say, ‘Jesus Christ was innocent and He died forgiving his murderers. I am a sinner, and I am going to hurt Him by not forgiving my enemies.’ Then you can start – and throw your first stone at me!”
The two boys were so ashamed of themselves that they made up and promised to go to confession, besides.
One day Dominic began to feel sick and was sent home to get better. There he grew worse, instead, and received the last Sacraments. He was only fifteen then but he did not fear death. In fact, he was overjoyed at the thought of going to Heaven. Just before he died, he tried to sit up. “Goodbye,” he murmured to his good father. Suddenly his face lit up with a smile of great joy and happiness. “I am seeing such wonderful things!” he exclaimed. Then he spoke no more, for he had gone to Heaven.
Let us make Dominic’s motto, “Death but not sin” our motto, too.