Wednesday, April 7, 2010
St. John Baptist de La Salle
John was born into a world very different from ours. It was the first son of wealthy parents living in France 300 years ago. John Baptist de La Salle was born in Reims, received the tonsure at the age of 11 years and was appointed canon of the Cathedral of Reims in the 16th. When they died their parents had to deal with the management of family assets. , He completed his theological studies and was ordained priest on April 9, 1678. Two years later, he obtained a doctorate degree in theology. In that period of his life, tentatively involved with a group of rough and barely literate young people, to establish schools for poor children.
At that time a few people lived in luxury, while the great majority lived in extreme poverty: peasants in the villages and slum dwellers in cities. Only a few could send their children to school. Most children had little hope for the future. Moved by the plight of the poor who seemed so "far from salvation" in one situation or another, made the decision to put his talents to the children "often left to themselves and without education." To be more effective, he abandoned his family home and went to live with the teachers, renounced his position as Canon and his wealth, and so formed the community that became known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
His enterprise met opposition from the ecclesiastical authorities who resisted the creation of a new form of religious life, a community of consecrated laymen dealing with schools "together and by association." The educational establishment of that time were troubled by his innovative methods and his insistence on gratuity for all, regardless
John Baptist de la Salle, Saint
the fact of whether the parents could pay or not. Nevertheless, De La Salle and his Brothers succeeded in creating a network of quality schools, characterized by the use of the vernacular, the students grouped by ability and achievement, religious education based on original themes, prepared by teachers with a religious vocation and missionary at the same time and by the involvement of parents in education. In addition, De La Salle pioneered in programs for training lay teachers, Sunday courses for youth workers and one of the first institutions for the care of delinquents. " Worn out by austerities and labors, he died at Saint Yon near Rouen, in 1719, just weeks before turning 68.
John was a pioneer in founding training centers for teachers, reform schools for delinquents, technical schools, secondary schools for modern languages, arts and sciences. His work quickly spread through France, and after his death, all over the world. In 1900, John Baptist de La Salle was declared a Saint. In 1950, because of his life and inspirational writings, received the Patron Saint of those working in the field of education. John Baptist showed how to teach and care for young people, how to meet failure and frailty with compassion, how to help, heal and strengthen. Today, the Lasallian schools exist in 85 countries. He is the Founder of the Institute Brothers of the Christian Schools. Patron Saint of Christian Teachers.
Oh holy Saint John Baptist
de la Salle please hear our
prayer of intercession to
God so we too can go to the
Kingdom Of Heaven.