St. John Baptist de la Salle


 
Feast Day:
Roman Rite Calendar - 04/07


Patron Of: School Principals, Educators, Teachers

Also known as
    Father of Modern Education

Memorial
    7 April
    formerly 15 May

Profile
    Attended the seminary in Paris, but quit to care for his brothers and sisters upon the death of their parents. When they were grown, he returned to school. Canon of Rheims in 1667. Ordained in 1678. Doctor of theology in 1680.

    Spiritual director of the Sisters of the Holy Infant who were devoted to teaching poor girls. Founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers) in 1681, established and supported academic education for all boys. He liquidated his personal fortune, and his Brothers expected him to use it to further his education goals, but he surprised them by saying they would have to depend on Providence. The money (about $400,000) was given away to the poor in the form of bread during the great famine of 1683-1684. Saint John kept enough to endow a salary for himself similar to that which the Brothers received so he wouldn't be a burden on them.

    Instituted the process of dividing students into grades. Established the first teacher's school. Started high schools and trade schools. Proclaimed the patron of all teachers of all youth by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

Born
    1651 at Rheims, France

Died
    1719 at Rouen, France

Name Meaning
    God is gracious; gift of God

Beatified
    19 February 1888

Canonized
    24 May 1900 by Pope Leo XIII

Patronage
    educators
    school principals
    teachers



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All information used with permission of the Patron Saint Index.

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