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"Having become perfect in a short while, he reached the fullness of a long career; for his soul was pleasing to the Lord, therefore he sped him out of the midst of wickedness." That quotation from chapter four of the book of Wisdom is generally applied to holy persons who died early in life. Examples, among many are St.Tarcisius, St. Agnes, Blessed Laura Vicuna, and St. Dominic Savio, an adolescent of fifteen years. At his death he had acquired such holiness that even his schoolmates recognized and emulated his style of goodness and apostleship among them. A schoolboy apostle is what Dominic became, under the guidance of his teacher and spiritual father,

An exceptional Meeting

Early on the morning of the first Monday of October in 1854, a young boy is walking with his father toward Don Bosco, who was in the town of Murialdo on an excursion with some of his students from Turin. The boy's bright smile and respectful tone immediately impressed the priest.

"Who are you?" asked Don Bosco. "Where are you I from?"

"I'm Dominic Savio. I come from Mondonio. This is my lather. My teacher, Father Cugliero, told you about me."

Taking Dominic aside, Don Bosco asked about his school work and his life at home. As Don Bosco was about to call the boy's father, Dominic asked, "What do you say, Father? Will you take me to Turin with you to study?"

"Well, you look like good material to me!"

"Good material, Father? Good for what?"

"To make a beautiful garment for the Lord, son."

"Then take me with you, Father. You be the tailor, and I'll be the cloth. Make of me a beautiful garment for Our Lord."

"I'm a bit afraid that your health may not hold up under the strain of study."

"Don't worry about that, Father. God has given me health and strength so far, and He won't fail me in the future."

"What do you want to do when you finish your studies?"

"If God gives me grace, I very much want to be a priest."

"Fine! Now let's see how quick you are at learning. Take this book [an issue of the Catholic Readings] and see if you can learn this page by heart. Come back tomorrow and recite it to me."

Don Bosco sent Dominic off to join the other boys who were playing, and then he turned to have a word with his father. To Don Bosco's surprise, Dominic returned in eight minutes. Smiling, he said, "I can recite it now if you want me to,