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Worried about your rebellious teenager? Here’s your patron saint

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St. Dominic Savio led his troublesome classmates back to God.

It can be difficult being a parent, especially when a young teenager strays from the path of truth and heads down roads that too often prove to be not just fruitless but harmful. The experience can be painful, both for a teenager and for parents, yet it almost seems like an unavoidable part of life.

While there are many different factors that contribute to a child’s rebellious behavior, parents (and teachers) can always turn to the saints in their time of need. One of the many powerful intercessors in God’s presence is St. Dominic Savio.

Dominic was a bright kid who met St. John Bosco at the age of 12 and attended his school. As an ordinary and fun-loving boy, he sometimes got into trouble for laughing too much in the classroom. He loved to play games, but also devoted long hours to prayer.

One day Dominic encountered two boys arguing and on the verge of a dangerous fight. They were going to throw stones at each other until Dominic intervened.

Dominic pleaded “You must stop this. It is not right!”

One of the boys shouted, “You can’t stop us.”

“Not until I split his head open …” the other added.

“I am not stopping the fight,” shot back Dominic, “but I am asking you to accept one condition … Before you start the fight you must look at this crucifix, and throw the first stone at me.”

Taken by surprise, the boy began to tremble. “No!” he protested. “Never! I have no argument with you, Dominic.”

“Neither of you is ready to hurt me because I am your friend, yet you want to commit this sin over a stupid remark made at school. Christ, who was innocent, died for us rather then seek revenge from those who hated him.” Dominic stood, silent, crucifix in hand. Both boys dropped their stones, ashamed before his courageous stand.

Dominic was a beacon of light to his classmates and helped many of them turn their lives around and back to God. He died at the age of 15 due to a severe, unidentified illness, and was later canonized for displaying such heroic faith at a young age.

He is known as the patron saint of “juvenile delinquents” and is a great intercessor for all youth, especially those who have fallen in with bad influences, or gone astray.

Here is a short prayer to St. Dominic Savio, invoking his intercession in your hour of need.

Dear Saint Dominic Savio,
we ask you to look upon all young people
and inspire them to love God as you did.
Pray that we may all share your aversion for sin
and achieve a life of sanctity.
Jesus always spoke of his love for children
and we know that your requests will be well received.
We humbly ask that you
bring our petitions before the Lord.

[Mention your intentions here…]

Saint Dominic Savio,
Pray for us.

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