Author: Lisa Graas
•4/07/2003 11:51:00 AM
Today's Saint -- from Patron Saints Index

St. John Baptist de La Salle -- Father of Modern Education

Attended the seminary in Paris, but quit to care for his brothers and sisters upon the death of their parents. When they were grown, he returned to school, graduated, and was ordained.

Founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools (Christian Brothers), established and supported academic education for all boys, not just the nobility. He liquidated his personal fortune, and his Brothers expected him to use it to further his education goals, but he surprised them by saying they would have to depend on Providence. The
money (about $400,000) was given away to the poor in the form of bread during the great famine of 1683 - 84. Saint John kept enough to endow a salary for himself similar to that which the Brothers received so he wouldn't be a burden on them.

Instituted the process of dividing students into grades. Established the first teacher's school. Started high schools and trade schools. Proclaimed the patron of all teachers of all youth by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
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