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St. John Baptist de La Salle

Saint John Baptist de La Salle


De La Salle was born in the year of Our Lord 1651 to a wealthy family in Reims, France, and entered the seminary in Paris once he was nineteen. He was an excellent and pious student, but after the deaths of his mother and then his father a year later, the seminarian was forced to return home and care for his siblings. He nonetheless continued his studies, and was finally ordained a priest in 1678. Through work with the Sisters of the Child Jesus, de La Salle became involved in assisting teachers at free schools in Reims. In 1681, De La Salle resigned all other positions, gave the remains of his personal fortune to the poor, and founded a new teaching order of consecrated laymen called the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. De La Salle persevered through material difficulties and ecclesiastical opposition, introducing many innovative teaching methods to help educate poor children. Though the exhausting efforts contributed to his death at sixty-eight years of age, on Good Friday in the year of Our Lord 1719, the Christian Brothers were approved by the pope six years later and survived the French Revolution to eventually spread worldwide. De La Salle was proclaimed a patron of teachers in 1950.


Traditional Roman Martyrology for May 15th

AT Rouen, St. John Baptist de la Salle, confessor, who deserved well both of religion and society by his labors for the education of youth, especially of the poor, and by the founding of the Society of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.

In Spain, the Saints Torquatus, Ctesiphon, Secundus, Indaletius, Caecilius, Hesychius, and Euphrasius, who were consecrated bishops at Rome by the holy apostles, and sent to Spain to preach the word of God. When they had evangelized various cities, and brought innumerable multitudes under the yoke of Christ, they rested in peace in various parts of that country: Torquatus at Cadiz, Ctesiphon at Vierco, Secundus at Avila, Indaletius at Portilla, Caecilius at Elvira, Hesychius at Gibraltar, and Euphrasius at Anduxar.

At Evora, in Portugal, St. Mancius, martyr.

In the island of Chio, the birthday of blessed Isidore, martyr, in whose church is a well into which he is said to have been thrown. By drinking of the water from this well, the sick are frequently cured.

At Lampsacum, in Hellespont, the martyrdom of the Saints Peter, Andrew, Paul, ‘and Dionysia.

At Fausina, in Sardinia, in the time of Diocletian and the governor Barbarus, St. Simplicius, a bishop, who consummated his martyrdom by being transpierced with a lance.

At Clermont, in Auvergne, the holy martyrs Cassius, Victorinus, Maximus, and their companions.

In Brabant, St. Dympna, virgin and martyr, daughter of an Irish king. By order of her father, she was beheaded for the faith of Christ and the preservation of her virginity.

℣. And elsewhere many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.

℟. Thanks be to God.

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