One Sunday in Lent, Don Bosco spoke on becoming a Saint, stressing three points which made a deep impression on Savio's receptive soul:
- It is God's Will that we become saints.
- It is quite easy to become a saint.
- There is a great reward in Heaven for one who becomes a saint.
I feel a deep yearning, an earnest need, to become a Saint. I never knew it could be so easy, but now that I see one can be happy and holy too, I definitely want to become a Saint."
Don Bosco praised his resolve and showed him that the first thing God wanted of him was a constant, moderate cheerfulness. He advised him to carry out his scholastic and religious duties diligently and always to join in the games of his companions at recreation. At the same time, he forbade austere penances or long prayers as unsuitable to a boy of his age.
Savio obeyed, but one day Don Bosco saw him very dejected. "I really don't know what to do!" the boy complained. "The Lord says that unless I do penance, I can't get to Heaven, and you won't let me do any, What are my chances for Heaven?" "The penance Our Lord asks of you is obedience," Don Bosco replied. "Just obey, and you will be doing enough." "But won't you please let me do some other penance?" "Yes, I will let you do the penance of daily bearing with insults and patiently suffering heat, cold, wind, rain, tiredness and all the discomforts which God may send you." "But, I have to suffer these things anyway." "If you offer it all to God, it will become virtue and bring you merit." "Is there anything else I can do?" "Yes! Strive to win souls to God." "Thank you, Father!" B.M. Vol. V. p. 135 f.