EAO GOOD NIGHT TALK (60)
April 1, 2019
How do you imitate Salesian saints?
The happiest day of my life: first communion of Dominic Savio
Dear Friends and Salesian Family members,
During my retreat (first week of January 2019) in the holy places of Don Bosco, I was touched by the inscription on the house where Saint Dominic Savio lived, reminding that exactly 170 years ago this young boy left us a very precious legacy to imitate through his first communion.
Indeed, in his Life of Dominic Savio, Don Bosco devotes one chapter to tell us about Dominic's First Communion on Easter Sunday - April 8, 1849: “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. He spent much time praying and reading in preparation, asking his mother's forgiveness for anything he might have done to displease her and then went to Church. And 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.” Don Bosco records that on the day of his First Communion, Dominic made 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: Resolutions made by me, Dominic Savio, in the year 1849 (April 8), 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!
Thousands of young people in Dominic Savio’s time were prepared for their first communion following the same catechism (including the four resolutions), but only Dominic took it seriously as pointers for the direction his life would take.
Thousands of boys and girls experience their first holy communion, but not many educators (like Don Bosco) record it for them in a concrete way!
What can we learn from this synergy between a holy master and a holy disciple? Imitating our Salesian saints can start from their concrete and simple consistency in little details: putting our whole heart into ordinary things with extraordinary love.
It was no coincidence that Don Bosco invited everybody ‘Give your heart completely to Jesus!’
Fr. Václav Klement, SDB
EAO Regional councillor