Father John Baptist de La Salle learned about what would become his life’s work in a kind of round-about, unexpected way. He lived in France in the 17th century, at a time when there were many poor children who had no hope of ever getting an education. When a friend asked him to help establish a school for some of these children, John became so engrossed in the project that he eventually gave everything he had to establishing a new community of teachers for them. In his own words, one decision led to another until he found himself doing something that he had never anticipated.
De La Salle pioneered educational methods including training for teachers, teaching in peoples’ spoken language (instead of Latin), classes outside of working hours for young men who had jobs, and schools that focused on technical training.
His work quickly spread through France and the world and continues today through the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools.
Saint John-Baptist de La Salle, patron of teachers, pray for us as we teach our children. Inspire us to use creative means to reach them and help us to follow your example by giving everything we have in this life’s work.