“Take even more care of the education of the young people entrusted
to you than if they were the children of a king.”
(Med 133.2 – on St Margaret, Queen of Scotland)
St. John Baptist de La Salle died April 7, 1719. The Catholic Church celebrates the feast of St. La Salle on the anniversary of his death. De La Salle was canonized a saint of the Catholic Church on May 24, 1900 and proclaimed patron of all teachers of youth by Pope Pius XII on May 15, 1950. Lasallians celebrate May 15 as Founder’s Day.
St. La Salle’s untiring faith and zeal inspired a modest revolution in Christian education in his day and continue to stir the hearts of educators everywhere. During De La Salle’s time, few people lived in luxury, instead most were extremely poor. Very few could afford to send their children to school. In his pursuit of providing a practical, Christian education to the young, especially the poor, De La Salle left his home, gave up his wealth, renounced his position as a Canon, and moved in with teachers, which formed the Brothers of the Christian Schools. De La Salle’s tuition-free schools welcomed all students, regardless of social standing. He provided free education as a way to liberate the poor and give them hope for the future.
O God, who for the Christian education of the poor and for the preservation of youth in the way of truth raised up John Baptist de La Salle, and did form by him a new religious family in the Church, mercifully grant that through his intercession and example, we may be animated with zeal for Your glory in saving souls, and merit to share in his crown in heaven. Amen.