St. John Baptist de la Salle

Feast Day – April 7

Patron saint of teachers

                St. John Baptist de la Salle was born in Reims, France in 1651 into a large Catholic family.  As the oldest of 10 St. John Baptistchildren, he saw early the value of children.  He knew from a very early age that he wanted to enter the priesthood and was always devoted to the Blessed Sacrament.  After he became a priest, he continued to pursue his education and obtained his doctorate in theology.  Being highly educated himself, he recognized the importance of a quality education.  He began by opening free schools for poor children.  Realizing that teachers too needed a quality education, he opened colleges for teachers.  He developed the religious order called the Brothers of the Christian Schools and together, he and his brothers strove to further the education of both children and teachers.  St. John Baptist changed teaching to the classroom setting we have today and always encouraged love and compassion for students.

                He opened schools for children and teachers across Europe.  And although he was thwarted by illness and critics of his teaching techniques, he continued in his mission until 1717.  He died at the age of 68 and is known as the father of modern education.

With all of the time our beloved children spend with their teachers, I thought that St. John Baptist de la Salle was the perfect saint of the week.  We can ask for his prayers for our teachers to give them patience, insight and compassion when teaching our children each day.


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