St John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719)
In the movement begun by John Baptist is found the beginnings of the modern school system. John Baptist was born in Rheims, France. At the age of eleven, John Baptist entered formation for the priesthood, being ordained at age twenty-seven. However, John Baptist came to leave behind his nobility, wealth, and status in order to dedicate himself fully to the education of poor boys. Others gathered around him in this task, and thus was born the Congregation of Brothers of the Christian Schools. Offering free education and changing the language of education from Latin to the native tongue, John Baptist faced many difficulties from the established education system. Even from within his own religious community, John Baptist faced numerous trials. However, he persevered, and his work bore much fruit. Many schools were erected by his order, and many more wanted to learn his methods. So John Baptist established the first training college for teachers. His goal in education was to make good Christians.
Father, you chose St. John Baptist de la Salle to give young people a Christian education. Give your Church teachers who will devote themselves to helping your children grow as Christian men and women.