Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

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Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle

Jean baptiste de la Salle.jpg
Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools
Born(1651-04-30)April 30, 1651
Reims, Champagne,
Kingdom of France
DiedApril 7, 1719(1719-04-07) (aged 67)
Rouen, Normandy
Kingdom of France
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified February 19, 1888, Saint Peter's Basilica by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized May 24, 1900, Saint Peter's Basilica by Pope Leo XIII
Major shrine Sanctuary of John Baptist de La Salle, Casa Generalizia, Rome, Italy
Feast Church: April 7
May 15 (General Roman Calendar 1904-1969, and Lasallian institutions)
Attributes Stretched right arm with finger pointing up, instructing one or two children standing near him, books
Patronage Teachers of Youth, (May 15, 1950, Pius XII), Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Lasallian educational institutions, educators, school principals, teachers

Saint Jean-Baptiste 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 Catholic Church and the patron saint for teachers of youth.

Priest person authorized to lead the sacred rituals of a religion (for a minister use Q1423891)

A priest or priestess is a religious leader authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities. Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

De La Salle Brothers Roman Catholic religious teaching congregation

The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is a Catholic religious teaching congregation, founded in France by a priest named Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (1651–1719), and now based in Rome. The Brothers use the post-nominal abbreviation FSC to denote their membership of the order, and the honorific title Brother, abbreviated Br.. The Lasallian Christian Brothers are not the same order as the Irish Christian Brothers.

Saint one who has been recognized for having an exceptional degree of holiness, sanctity, and virtue

A saint is a person who is recognized as having an exceptional degree of holiness or likeness or closeness to God. However, the use of the term "saint" depends on the context and denomination. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, Oriental Orthodox, and Lutheran doctrine, all of their faithful deceased in Heaven are considered to be saints, but some are considered worthy of greater honor or emulation; official ecclesiastical recognition, and consequently veneration, is given to some saints through the process of canonization in the Catholic Church or glorification in the Eastern Orthodox Church.


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 is considered the founder of the first Catholic schools.

Education Learning in which knowledge and skills is transferred through teaching

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators and also learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Catholic schools are parochial schools or education ministries of the Roman Catholic Church. As of 2011, the Church operates the world's largest non-governmental school system. In 2016, the church supported 43,800 secondary schools, and 95,200 primary schools. Catholic schools participate in the evangelizing mission of the Church, integrating religious education as a core subject within their curriculum.


De La Salle was born to a wealthy family in Rheims, France on April 30, in 1651. He was the oldest child of Louis de La Salle and Nicolle Moet de Brouillet. Nicolle's family was a noble one and ran a successful winery business and she was a relative of Claude Moët, founder of Moët & Chandon. [1]

Claude Moët (1683–1760) was a French vintner and wine merchant who founded the Champagne house that later became Moët et Chandon. Moët was the first winemaker in Champagne to exclusively produce sparkling wine.

Moët & Chandon company

Moët & Chandon, or Moët, is a French fine winery and co-owner of the luxury goods company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE. Moët et Chandon is one of the world's largest champagne producers and a prominent champagne house. Moët et Chandon was established in 1743 by Claude Moët, and today owns 1,190 hectares of vineyards, and annually produces approximately 28,000,000 bottles of champagne.

La Salle received the tonsure [ clarification needed ] at age eleven and was named canon of Rheims Cathedral when he was sixteen. [2] He was sent to the College des Bons Enfants, where he pursued higher studies and, on July 10, 1669, he took the degree of Master of Arts. When De La Salle had completed his classical, literary, and philosophical courses, he was sent to Paris to enter the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice on October 18, 1670. His mother died on July 19, 1671, and on April 9, 1672, his father died. This circumstance obliged him to leave Saint-Sulpice on April 19, 1672. He was now twenty-one, the head of the family, and as such had the responsibility of educating his four brothers and two sisters. He completed his theological studies and was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 26 on April 9, 1678. Two years later he received a doctorate in theology. [3]

Tonsure hairstyle

Tonsure is the practice of cutting or shaving some or all of the hair on the scalp, as a sign of religious devotion or humility. The term originates from the Latin word tōnsūra and referred to a specific practice in medieval Catholicism, abandoned by papal order in 1972. Tonsure can also refer to the secular practice of shaving all or part of the scalp to show support or sympathy, or to designate mourning. Current usage more generally refers to cutting or shaving for monks, devotees, or mystics of any religion as a symbol of their renunciation of worldly fashion and esteem.

Canon (priest) Ecclesiastical position

A canon is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule.

Sisters of the Child Jesus

The Sisters of the Child Jesus were a new religious congregation whose work was the care of the sick and education of poor girls. The young priest had helped them in becoming established, and then served as their chaplain and confessor. It was through his work with the Sisters that in 1679 he met Adrian Nyel. With De La Salle's help, a school was soon opened. Shortly thereafter, a wealthy woman in Rheims told Nyel that she also would endow a school, but only if La Salle would help. What began as an effort to help Adrian Nyel establish a school for the poor in De La Salle's home town gradually became his life's work. [4]

The Sisters of the Child Jesus are Religious Sisters founded in 1676 in Le Puy-en-Velay, France, by Anne-Marie Martel (1644–1673) to care for those in need. Divided among various independent religious congregations following the same spirit and tradition, they serve around the world. Since 1903 they have used the postnominal initials of R.E.J..

In the Roman Catholic Church, the term "congregation" is used not only in the senses that it has in other contexts, but also to mean specifically either a type of department of the Roman Curia, or a type of religious institute, or certain organized groups of Augustinian, Benedictine, and Cistercian houses.

Adrian Nyel was a 17th-century French educator. Nyel was a layman, who was in charge of the house for the poor in Rouen, France, where he also oversaw the education of poor boys, along with supervising poorly paid teachers. This charge WERE given by Pierre Lambert de la Motte in 1656.

Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools

Statue in the Church of Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, Paris, France Eglise Saint-Jean-Baptiste-de-la-Salle (Paris) 15.jpg
Statue in the Church of Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, Paris, France

At that time, most children had little hope for social and economic advancement. Jean Baptiste de La Salle believed that education gave hope and opportunity for people to lead better lives of dignity and freedom. Moved by the plight of 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". [2]

Life chances is a social science theory of the opportunities each individual has to improve their quality of life. The concept was introduced by German sociologist Max Weber. It is a probabilistic concept, describing how likely it is, given certain factors, that an individual's life will turn out a certain way. According to this theory, life chances are positively correlated with one's socioeconomic status.

Social mobility Mobility to move social classes

Social mobility is the movement of individuals, families, households, or other categories of people within or between social strata in a society. It is a change in social status relative to one's current social location within a given society.

Economic mobility

Economic mobility is the ability of an individual, family or some other group to improve their economic status—usually measured in income. Economic mobility is often measured by movement between income quintiles. Economic mobility may be considered a type of social mobility, which is often measured in change in income.

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. First, 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. This crossing of social boundaries was one that his relatives found difficult to bear. 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's relatives were deeply disturbed, his social class was scandalized. When, a year later, his family home was lost at auction because of a family lawsuit, De La Salle rented a house into which he and the handful of teachers moved. [5]

La Salle decided to resign his canonry to devote his full attention to the establishment of schools and the training of teachers. He had inherited a considerable fortune, and this might have been used to further his aims, but on the advice of a Father Barre of Paris, he sold what he had and sent the money to the poor of the province of Champagne, where a famine was causing great hardship. [6]

De La Salle thereby began a new religious institute, the first one with no priests, at all, among its members: the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, [2] also known as the De La Salle Brothers (in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Malta, Australasia, and Asia) or, most commonly in the United States, the Christian Brothers. (They are sometimes confused with a different congregation of the same name founded by Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice in Ireland, who are known in the U.S. as the Irish Christian Brothers.) The De La Salle Brothers were the first Roman Catholic teaching religious institute that did not include any priests.[ citation needed ]

One decision led to another until De La Salle found himself doing something that he had never anticipated. De La Salle wrote:

De La Salle's 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 free schools "together and by association". The educational establishment resented his innovative methods. [6] Nevertheless, De La Salle and his small group of free teachers set up the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools which is, according to the La Salle Web site, entirely dedicated to the Christian education of the "children of artisans and the poor", in a life close to that of the Catholic religious. [8]

In 1685, De La Salle founded what is generally considered the first normal school that is, a school whose purpose is to train teachers in Rheims, France. [9]

Worn out by austerities and exhausting labors, De La Salle died at Saint Yon, near Rouen, early in 1719 on Good Friday, only three weeks before his 68th birthday. [10]


Relics of John Baptist de La Salle in the Casa Generaliza in Rome, Italy John baptist de la salle-relics.jpg
Relics of John Baptist de La Salle in the Casa Generaliza in Rome, Italy

Pope Leo XIII canonized De La Salle on 24 May 1900 and Pope Pius X inserted his feast in the General Roman Calendar in 1904 for celebration on 15 May. Because of his life and inspirational writings, Pope Pius XII proclaimed him patron saint of teachers on 15 May 1950. [10] In the 1969 revision of the Church calendar, Pope Paul VI moved his feast day to 7 April, the day of his death or "birth to heaven", his dies natalis.


Statue of Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, De La Salle University Glasallejf.JPG
Statue of Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, De La Salle University

De La Salle was a pioneer in programs for training lay teachers. Of his writings on education, Matthew Arnold remarked: "Later works on the same subject have little improved the precepts, while they entirely lack the unction." [11] His educational innovations include Sunday courses for working young men, one of the first institutions in France for the care of delinquents, technical schools, and secondary schools for modern languages, arts, and sciences. The LaSalle University says that his writings influenced educational practice, school management, and teacher preparation for more than 300 years. [12]

As of 2017 about 3,800 brothers and 92,000 lay and religious colleagues worldwide were serving as teachers, counselors, and guides to 1,000,000 students in over 1,500 Lasallian educational institutions in 82 countries. [9] A number of streets have been named after De La Salle, generally due to the presence of a Lasallian School. These include: La Salle Avenue in Bacolod, Philippines (where the University of St. La Salle and St. Joseph School-La Salle are located),[ citation needed ] the La Salle Street in the Cubao neighborhood of Quezon City,[ citation needed ] and also one in Mandaluyong City.[ citation needed ] There is also De La Salle Avenue in St. Louis, Missouri,[ citation needed ] La Salle Road in Towson, Maryland,[ citation needed ] and La Salle Road in Hong Kong.[ citation needed ] In Malaysia, where there are 44 La Salle schools, in the state of Penang is a road named Jalan La Salle after a school there.[ citation needed ]. In Mexico, one station of the Mexico City Metrobús is named after De La Salle. [13]

Hundreds of educational institutions around the world are named after de La Salle. The De La Salle schools form a 300-year-old network in 80 countries [14] following La Salle's principles.

See also

Related Research Articles

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De La Salle University, also known as La Salle and abbreviated DLSU, is a leading private, Catholic research university run by De La Salle Brothers located in Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila, Philippines. It was established in 1911 as the De La Salle College in Nozaleda Street, Paco, Manila with Br. Blimond Pierre serving as first director. The educational institution moved to its present location on September 21 to facilitate the increase in enrollment. The college was granted university status in February 1975 and is the oldest constituent of De La Salle Philippines (DLSP), a network of 17 Lasallian institutions established in 2006 to replace the De La Salle University System.

De La Salle Lipa or DLSL is a private college, and a Lasallian educational institution located in Lipa City, Batangas, Philippines. It is one of the third generation of La Salle schools founded by the Catholic religious congregation De La Salle Brothers in the Philippines: La Salle Academy-Iligan in 1958, La Salle Green Hills (Mandaluyong) in 1959, Saint Joseph School-La Salle in 1960 and, De La Salle Lipa in 1962.

Lasallian educational institutions

Lasallian educational institutions are educational institutions affiliated with the De La Salle Brothers, a Roman Catholic religious teaching order founded by French Priest Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle, who was canonized in 1900 and proclaimed by the Vatican in 1950 as patron saint of all teachers. In regard to their educational activities the Brothers have since 1680 also called themselves "Brothers of the Christian Schools", associated with the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools; they are often referred to by themselves and others by the shorter term "Christian Brothers", a name also applied to the unrelated Congregation of Christian Brothers or Irish Christian Brothers, also providers of education, which commonly causes confusion.

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University of St. La Salle

The University of St. La Salle (USLS) is a Catholic private research university run by the De La Salle Brothers, located in La Salle Avenue, Bacolod City, Philippines. Established in 1952 as La Salle College - Bacolod, it is the second oldest campus founded by the congregation in the country. The university is a member of De La Salle Philippines, a network established in 2006 comprising 16 Lasallian educational institutions in the country. The university offers preschool, elementary, secondary, undergraduate, and graduate programs. It has seven colleges namely: Business and Accountancy, Engineering and Technology, Arts and Sciences, Education, Nursing, Law, and Medicine.

Jaime Hilario Integrated School – La Salle

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Armin Luistro Filipino academic administrator

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  1. Van Grieken, G. (1995). To Touch Hearts - Pedagogical Spirituality and St. John Baptist de La Salle (Doctoral dissertation). Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.
  2. 1 2 3 "St. John Baptist de La Salle", La
  3. 1 2 Wikisource-logo.svg  Graham, Matthias (1910). "St. John Baptist de la Salle"  . In Herbermann, Charles. Catholic Encyclopedia . 8. New York: Robert Appleton.
  4. Wanner, R., Claude Fleury (1640-1723) as an Educational Historiographer 1975 "No survey of French education in the seventeenth century would be complete without reference to the educational work of Jean-Baptiste de La Salle."
  5. "John Baptist de La Salle: His Life and Times", Signs of Faith, Winter 2000, De La Salle Institute Archived July 17, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  6. 1 2 "St. John Baptist de La Salle", Lives of Saints, John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.
  7. Koch, Carl (1990). Praying with John Baptist de La Salle. Saint Mary's Press. pp. 49–50. ISBN   9780884892403.
  8. "Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle". La Salle France. 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  9. 1 2 "Discover the Priesthood", Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri at the Wayback Machine (archived October 29, 2013). Archived from the original on 2013-10-29.
  10. 1 2 "Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle", nominis.cef
  11. "Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 8.djvu/513". Wikisource. Retrieved 14 April 2019.
  12. "History", La Salle University
  13. "Línea 2: significado de estaciones".
  14. "De La Salle: Institutions and Activities". Archived from the original on 1 June 2009.

Further reading