Biography. The immediate precursor of St. John Baptist de la Salle was a theorist, the anonymous author of "Avis touchant les Petites Exoles" (Bibl. After things were relatively settled, he was advised to pursue his studies and resume his path to the priesthood. The Brothers reluctantly agreed, electing 24-year-old Brother Henri L’Heureux. St. de La Salle believed that teaching them will help in alleviating their lives. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. A year later, De La Salle had to move to the poor part of the city, renting a house into which he and his handful of teachers moved, a house that would come to be called “The Cradle of the Institute.” One biographer has called the walk across town to this undistinguished home in the poorer part of town De La Salle’s “personal Exodus.”. But De La Salle could not shake the conviction that this was something that God wanted him to do, something confirmed for him in deep prayer and long reflection. Born at Reims, John Baptist de La Salle received the tonsure at age eleven and was named Canon of the Reims Cathedral at sixteen. 13:01. His family was from the privileged class; however, after entering the priesthood, De La Salle committed himself to provide a Christian and human education to young people, and especially to the poor and marginalised. In 1694, the first assembly to be known as a General Chapter was held. In 1688, he and two Brothers traveled to Paris, where in short order they revitalized a school for the poor in the parish of Saint Sulpice. Learn more here. All were welcome to their free schools, and many wanted to come, including those whose families were not on the parish’s Poor Register. The Work Is Yours: The Life of Saint John Baptist de La Salle De La Salle was quite shaken by the event. The following short biography of St. John Baptiste de La Salle was excerpted from the De La Salle Institute website: Born in Reims, France, April 30, 1651 Ordained priest April 9, 1678 Died April 7, 1719 Beatified February 19, 1888. Take a glimpse at St. John Baptist de La Salle's extradordinary journey and challenges as he devoted his life to his advocacy of providing quality education for all. Song Epic Inspirational 01-5027 When he foresaw that the judgment would go against him, he wisely handed all documents over to his lawyer and left Paris for an extended visit to the Brothers’ establishments in the south of France — outside the Paris jurisdiction. Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, (born April 30, 1651, Reims, France—died April 7, 1719, Rouen; canonized 1900; feast day April 7), French educator and founder of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (sometimes called the de La Salle Brothers), the first Roman Catholic congregation of male nonclerics devoted solely to schools, learning, and teaching. Brother Barthélemy, his successor as Superior of the Brothers, quietly asks him if he accepts his sufferings, and De La Salle responds with the last words that he will ever say: “Oui, j’adore en toutes choses la conduite de Dieu à mon égard.” (“Yes, I adore God guiding me in all the events of my life.”). Of noble birth, La Salle was ordained priest in 1678 and devoted himself to education of the poor. He was known for his work with the poor. Updates? Teaching and procedures at the three schools in Reims gradually became more regular under De La Salle’s guidance. He was the first son of wealthy parents living in France over 300 years ago. But where was God’s will? Yet De La Salle was not one to do things by halves. His Gospel journey had taken him long past the point at which any personal injustice could wound him. He finally accepted this as God’s will, but insisted that the Brothers declare, in writing, that their choice of their priest founder as Superior was not to be a precedent for the future and that “henceforth and for all time no priest or person in sacred orders is to be accepted into our Society or elected as Superior, and that we shall never admit as Superior anyone who has not associated himself with us by the same vow as we have pronounced.”. Who is St. John Baptiste de La Salle. The idea of a cleric obeying a layman as his superior was scandalous, and the archbishop quickly ordered De La Salle to resume the headship of the group. Mass at St. Johns’s Saturday Evening: 4:00 PM Sunday Morning: 11:00 AM Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30 AM RECONCILIATION Drive up 4:00 PM Wednesdays and 12 Noon Saturdays / St John’s. In 1725 Pope Benedict XIII raised La Salle’s congregation to the status of a papal institute. As lawsuits were decided against him — many of them having to do with the right to teach all who came to his doors, regardless of means or ability — he began to wonder if the welfare of the community and the prosperity of the work would benefit from his personal withdrawal from the scene. A brief survey of his personal life story leads to a description of the innovative educational elements he and the early Brothers introduced, followed by a concise summary of the elements of his education-based spirituality. Others continued to oppose the work or tried to control it according to their own vision. De La Salle knew that the teachers in Reims were struggling, lacking leadership, purpose, and training, and he found himself taking increasingly deliberate steps to help this small group of men with their work. John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th. John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th. In the early morning hours of Good Friday, he lies in his bed, attended by the men whom he calls “Brothers.” His wealth was long ago given away, and the privileges that were his by birth have long since been surrendered and cast aside. Having insufficient knowledge about St. de la Salle triggered my eagerness to know him better. He was certainly no wallflower. After reflecting, praying and consulting — though with determined conviction and a calm disposition — he resigned his position of canon at the cathedral after serving there for some 15 years. He died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7th. That perspective of reading the events of his life as calls from God is one that has made all the difference. The small community was by now operating a good number of successful parish-based schools for the poor in and around Reims. Upon hearing Nyel’s intentions and observing his lack of familiarity with the situation in Reims, De La Salle invited Nyel to stay at his home so that they could consult with others in the town on how to start the proposed school for poor boys. John Baptist de La Salle, born of an honorable family at Rheims, when still a boy showed by his manners and actions that he was called by destiny to the Lord, and was to be adorned with the excellence of holiness. His physical health was poor (his rheumatism was chronic). Within eighteen months, this privileged world of De La Salle’s changed quite dramatically. He helped to establish charity schools in Reims and subsequently formed his teachers into a religious order (1680). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Things appeared to be back on track by the time he was ordained, and De La Salle no doubt expected that he would resume his career in the Church and in sacramental ministry. De La Salle was renowned in the area, and at Saint Yon, as a confessor. St. La Salle was born on April 30, 1651 to Nicole Moet and Louise de la Salle, a city magistrate. The Short Biography of St. John Baptiste de La Salle. But he looked for God’s voice in it all and decided that from now on the Brothers would be fully devoted to education as their ministry and there would be no sacramental ministry, no priests. De La Salle became ill for many months, rallying occasionally to take up his work but finally sinking into terminal decline. SAINT JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE: THE PATRON SAINT OF TEACHERS, By John Gray and Br. He especially sought out the hardened cases among those brought in for help, and was inevitably successful in changing their ways. Unexpectedly, De La Salle’s life changed dramatically. Certainly it was privileged upbringing growing up in a wealthy, distinguished family. This move was important because it established the group’s autonomy and freedom from the direct diocesan control of Reims, and it allowed the Brothers in Reims to begin to develop without leaning on De La Salle’s constant presence. The Patron Saint of Teachers. As the work in Paris proceeded — first at one school and then at several more — a new challenge appeared. Even on his deathbed his troubles did not cease. Mission Statement. Again De La Salle, despite his wish for a Brother to have the office, was elected Superior (twice, as he made them vote again). Saint John Baptist De LaSalle 1. It’s focus is on the person of the teacher and the spiritual dimensions of an educator’s vocation. When the case was decided in 1712, the decision went against De La Salle who was left without the training school or the property. Not long after, another wealthy woman in Reims told Nyel that she also would endow a school but only if De La Salle would ensure that her money would not be squandered or wasted. A small community of some hundred men that calls itself the Brothers of the Christian Schools, but a group that is not yet even recognized officially by either the church or the state, and a set of mostly parish-based schools for poor boys, schools that are really only fully appreciated by those who attend them. Though not in any specific location, this depiction of a classroom of De La Salle is quite clear. Schools for the poor such as the Brothers ran were meant to be restricted to the certified poor. De La Salle replied to their concerns with an inspiring talk about trusting in God’s providence, like the lilies in the field. He died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7th. Back in Reims, meanwhile, other difficulties appeared. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It seemed his life would be one of privilege and […] While in Parménie in 1714, he received a letter from the assembled Brothers of the Paris area where external authorities were again trying to tamper with the Brothers’ self-governance and rewrite their Rule, “We, the principal Brothers of the Christian Schools…command you in the name of the body of this Society to which you have vowed obedience …to resume forthwith the general conduct of affairs.”. This 21-year-old seminarian — still technically a minor since the age of majority was 25 — had four brothers and two sisters to take care of. A more exhaustive biography of De La Salle, > Lasallian Resource Center He gave away his entire fortune and kept just enough not to become a burden on the Brothers when it came to his priestly responsibilities. The collection of 208 meditations by St. John Baptist de La Salle, each in three parts, that cover a wide range of topics, saints, feast days, and matters directly related to the education of youth. Philanthropic groups existed in the ancient civilizations of the Middle East, Greece, and Rome: an endowment supported Plato’s Academy (c. 387 bce) for some 900 years; the Islamic waqf (religious endowment) dates to…. He had a strong tendency to meddle in the internal affairs of the Institute. His long labors had worn him out. by Luke Salm, FSC. It is located about 78 miles (125 km) northwest of Paris, on the Seine River. Throughout Rouen, and soon throughout the Society, word spread that “the Saint is dead.” But the providential extension of his life, work, and influence was just beginning. This website was originally sponsored by Christian Brothers Conference and the Lasallian colleges & universities. Hence, by the time he had finished his task and had become a good friend of the sisters, he was also well-poised to be a good advisor for any new ventures of a similar kind. As part of the Tercentenary Celebrations, the District of ARLEP (Spain and Portugal) has published a new and entirely original cartoon-strip about Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, entitled “El loco de las escuelas”. At the same time, he was eager in sharing with the novices his wisdom about interior prayer and cultivating the presence of God. Between 1694 and 1709, many new schools opened, others closed, and different legal battles with opponents to this new means of providing education for the poor raged on. He guided the brothers into a mission to spread education to the poor. He was buried on Holy Saturday in a side chapel of the local parish church, Saint Sever. Through the suggestion of a priest-friend in the area, he spent several weeks at a hermitage near Grenoble, called Parménie, conversing with a devout and pious but illiterate visionary, Sister Louise, who lived there and welcomed all who came on pilgrimage. This particular crossing of social boundaries was one that his relatives found difficult to bear. Every day he would now process into the grand cathedral of Reims in his ermine cope and chant the Divine Offices with his fellow canons, joining the group in advising the archbishop and undoubtedly happy at his future prospects. The Brothers didn’t distinguish in their admissions between poor and non-poor. For a compact introduction to De La Salle’s life and times and achievement, and an analysis of the meaning of Lasallian education today, The Work Is Yours In 1681, De La Salle realized that he would have to take a further step — he brought the teachers into his own home to live with him. De La Salle pondered the continued usefulness of his presence within the Institute that he had worked so hard to establish. He learned that the Archbishop of Rouen had withdrawn his authorization to celebrate the sacraments for the community because of a dispute with the local pastor, who wanted him to bring the entire population of Saint Yon, including those in confinement, to his parish church for Mass. The son of aristocratic parents, La Salle had the opportunity for an excellent education and went on to be ordained a priest. John Baptiste de La Salle was the eldest child of Louis de La Salle and Nicolle de Moet de Brouillet. De La Salle realized that in order to survive, the community had to govern itself from within, rather than from the outside, whether such outside influence came from a bishop, a parish priest, or even himself. It seems that the independence of the Brothers that he had hoped for had different results than he had expected. Understanding better than his Brothers that although he might be needed, he was not essential to the success of the work. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. Some devoted Brothers fell ill and died through overwork, and De La Salle himself underwent a long sickness that brought him near death. Illuminations: The Life and Work of Saint John Baptist de La Salle - Duration: 13:01. manhattancollege 4,706 views. He died in 1719 and was canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII. The 16 Brothers there were cut in half because of defections. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. He was proclaimed Patron of Christian Teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950. As I read his biography online as authored by Brother Leo, I discovered many things. Though he had to assume the administration of family affairs after his parents died, he completed his theological studies … Early depiction of the Sorbonne, near the church of Saint Sulpice. 415 Michigan Avenue NE, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20017, Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Child Jesus, Hotel de La Cloche, De La Salle’s childhood home in Reims, Discover De La Salle’s Birth Home: Hotel de La Cloche, De La Salle says his first Mass at Reims Cathedral, A chance encounter with Adrian Nyel would begin the Lasallian schools, Rue Neuve, the Brothers first home away from home, De La Salle distributes his wealth to the poor of Reims, circa 1683, De La Salle and the Brothers took their first vows here, Discover the Historic Pilgrimage to Liesse-Notre-Dame, New schools in Paris for the poor paved the way for more schools, After leaving Paris, De La Salle finds a school in Grenoble, A necessary retreat leads to a final call, Saint Yon in Rouen would become the foundation for the Institute, The Institute now in good hands, De La Salle prepares for transition, De La Salle buried in the church of Saint Sever, a house that would come to be called “The Cradle of the Institute.”, Click here to learn what became of the Clément Affair, Parménie, conversing with a devout and pious but illiterate visionary, Sister Louise, Touching the Hearts of Students: Characteristics of Lasallian Schools, De La Salle: A City Saint and the Liberation of the Poor Through Education. He was known for his work with the poor. All rights reserved. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. At the same time, he was eager in sharing with the novices his wisdom about interior prayer and cultivating the presence of God. Since it was Holy Week, the more solemn funeral rituals were delayed until the following week. In 1709 a wealthy young man named Clément expressed eagerness to help the educational mission and wanted to establish a teacher training school near Paris that the Brothers would help to run. The life he lived was the life that God led him to live. Touching the Hearts of Students: Characteristics of Lasallian Schools Instead he became the person God led him to become, the person whom he could be in the eyes of God. This was as other Founders had done before him and as some of the Brothers had hoped. St. La Salle was born on April 30, 1651 to Nicole Moet and Louise de la Salle, a city magistrate. Now De La Salle’s relatives were deeply disturbed, his social class was scandalized, and it was thought that he was carrying the Gospel a bit too far. John Baptist de La Salle (April 30, 1651 – April 7, 1719) was a French priest, educational reformer, and founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.He is a saint of the Roman Catholic Church and the patron saint of teachers.. De La Salle dedicated much of his life to the education of poor children in France; in doing so, he started many lasting educational practices. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. . He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. Establishing the first of his schools in Paris was a major triumph in the Institute. > Christian Brothers Conference Community life became more formalized. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). A new series of setbacks, culminating in a costly and embarrassing legal judgment, the Clément affair, convinced him that this was indeed the case. (Click here to learn what became of the Clément Affair). His journey had been down paths he could not have imagined forty years earlier. The Life of John Baptist de La Salle, Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools - A Biography in Three Books De La Salle A Founder as Pilgrim … Now, they would all be fully dependent on God alone. THE LIFE OF DE LA SALLE A New Biography of St John Baptist De La Salle [/images/NewBiographyofDLS.pdf] A Meeting of the First Brothers with M. De La Salle [/images/MeetingoffirstBrothersandDLS1686.pdf] 1687- The Election of the First Brother Superior [/images/1687theelectionofthefirstBrotherSuperior.pdf] Miracles acce He set out an example to leaders of today how to lead their people towards a common goal. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. The Ven. Synopsis Born in the late 1st century (circa 5 B.C. The fee-taking teachers, through their guilds (“unions”), filed suits for infringement on their business and violation of the established regulations. He did so, but he also subsequently had the same Brother Henri begin his training for ordination, thinking that this would overcome the archbishop’s objections and allow him to be Superior. © Christian Brothers Conference. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. Until the age of 13, the family home is the Hotel de la Cloche, now named the Hotel De La Salle. St John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719) The Patron Saint of Teachers John Baptist De La Salle was born in France in 1651. De La Salle, habitually cautious and prudent, had paid a high price for his zeal. His devout parents named him after John the Baptist, the herald of Jesus, a name that providentially gave a fitting indication of the role that he would play in bringing the Gospel to so many who had little opportunity of hearing or appreciating its power and appeal. His church connections are mixed at best; some church leaders admire him, but many powerful pastors and bishops have treated him and his work with little disguised contempt or hostility. It’s focus is on the person of the teacher and the spiritual dimensions of an educator’s vocation. He was declared patron saint of all schoolteachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950. Corrections? Question 1 Part 1 Saint John Baptist De LaSalle was the patron saint of teachers because he gave away his life of being a priest to become a person who created This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle, Fact Monster - People - Biography of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, The Catholic Encyclopedia - St. John Baptist de la Salle. De La Salle spent time writing a variety of texts, both for use in the schools and for the Brothers and their life in community, which included everything from a student reading text on politeness and decorum to a detailed method for the Brothers’ interior prayer. St. John Baptist De La Salle, (MTR 1:2 [Med 193.2]) St. de La Salle was a perfect example of a unifying leader. But De La Salle took on the task and in the process learned much about the educational situation in Reims, along with the political realities involved in establishing a new charitable group in town. Besides teaching in elementary, secondary, and teacher-training schools, the brothers administer and staff colleges; agricultural schools; welfare or…, Rouen, port city and capital of Seine-Maritime département, Haute-Normandie région, northwestern France. Many in his family thought him to be imprudent– if not insane — although others admired his strong faith and evident integrity. John Baptist was the eldest child of Louis de la Salle and Nicolle de Moet de Brouillet. This hostility — in suits, harassment, and even violence — would continue in Paris for at least the next 15 years. The difficulties in Paris continued to be a personal challenge. John Baptist de La Salle was born on April 30, 1651, in Rheims, France. St. John Baptist de la Salle is the patron saint of teachers, and there are more than 1,000 schools in 84 countries that exist because of his work and faith. As a youth he studied literature and the philosophical sciences at the academy at Rheims. Not all of the Brothers’ communities he visited in the south of France welcomed him as he patiently tried to repair communities that were weak or in disarray. Saint Sulpice was notable for a rigorous life style and was intended to produce priests capable of self sacrifice and self discipline. Among the regular tasks of the seminarians was to teach catechism to the poor, which De La Salle certainly did do, although there is no indication that he found it anything other than one of the apostolic duties that was part of being a seminarian. Considered to be the best popular biography of Saint John Baptist de La Salle in English, this work incorporates modern research to complement the narratives of the original biographers to provide an illuminating background on the life and charism of the Founder of the Christian Schools and the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. In 1680, he invited them to take their meals in his home, as much to teach them table manners as to inspire and instruct them in their work. Yet again, however, providence stepped in the way. At the end of the assembly, for the first time ever, perpetual vows of obedience, stability, and association for the educational service of the poor were taken by De La Salle and 12 chosen Brothers. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. As De La Salle begins to breathe his last in this 68th year of his life, the power of his faith and spirit is yet evident and strong. Its graduates were slated to hold lofty positions in the Church of France. De La Salle’s presence and insights did help eventually to resolve most of the difficulties that had been besetting them. He was the first son of wealthy parents living in France over 300 years ago. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. 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