St. John Baptist

Born: 1651

Died: 1719

Feastday: April 7th

de la Salle

Patron of: teachers, students, catholic education

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John Baptist de la Salle was born at Rheims, France on April 30th. He was the eldest of ten children in a noble family. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. He was known for his work with the poor. He died at St. Yon, Rouen, on April 7th. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900. John was very involved in education. He founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools (approved in 1725) and established teacher colleges (Rheims in 1687, Paris in 1699, and Saint-Denis in 1709). He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction. He also began teaching in the vernacular instead of in Latin. His schools were formed all over Italy. In 1705, he established a reform school for boys at Dijon. John was named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950. His feast day is April 7th.

Prayer to St. John

God, ever-faithful, we thank you for the gift to your Church of Saint John Baptist De La Salle. We pray that, like him, we may deepen our friendship with you and grow more aware of your presence in our lives each day. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.