St John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719)
The Patron Saint of Teachers
John Baptist De La Salle was born in France in 1651. His family was from the privileged class; however, after entering the priesthood, De La Salle committed himself to provide a Christian and human education to young people, and especially to the poor and marginalised. In 1680, at 29 years of age, John Baptist de La Salle invited young men to join him in devoting themselves to the Christian education of youth.
On his death in 1719, there were 100 Brothers in France. He was canonised in 1900 and became the universal patron Saint of Teachers in 1950. Inspired by their Founder, the De La Salle Brothers developed into a worldwide Christian education community.
Today, more than 8,500 Brothers and many thousands of lay partners, supportive of the ethos and ideals of St John Baptist de La Salle, are continuing this tradition in universities, schools and other educational institutions in over 80 countries.
"To touch the hearts of the young and to inspire them with the Christian spirit is the greatest miracle you can perform, and it is the one that God asks of you; it is the purpose of your work with the young." (St John Baptist de la Salle)