26, Catholic Teacher's Day
John Baptist de La Salle, Patron Saint of Catholic Teachers.
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.”
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.
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.
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