The DLSU Newsletter online

22 JANUARY 2001. VOLUME 32. NUMBER 33. 8 PAGES_ 

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lasallian thoughts

January 26, Catholic Teacher's Day

St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Catholic Teachers.

Saint John Baptist de La Salle, founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, was a man of rare vision and faith who could say from his heart, “I adore God guiding me in all the events of my life.”

Moved by the plight off the poor who seemed so “far from salvation” either in this world or the next, he determined to put his own talents and advanced education at the service of the children “often left to themselves and badly brought up.” To be more effective, he abandoned his family home, moved in 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 to conduct gratuitous schools “together and by association.” The education establishment resented his innovative methods and his insistence on gratuity for all, regardless of whether they could afford to pay.

De La Salle pioneered in programs for training lay teachers, Sunday courses for working young men, and one of the first institutions in France for care of delinquents. Worn out by austerities and exhausting labors, he died at Saint Yon near Roue nearly on Good Friday, only weeks before his 68th birthday.

Born at Reims, France April 30, 1651; Ordained priest April 9, 1678; Died April 7, 1719; Beatified February 19, 1888; Canonized May 24, 1900; Proclaimed Patron of Christian Teachers May 15, 1950.

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