Tuesday 28th May 2024

Home » saints » Currently Reading:

Catholic Heroes . . . St. John Baptist De La Salle

April 5, 2016 saints No Comments

By CAROLE BRESLIN

When some men hear the call of God, it is sudden with great changes made in their lives, as with St. Paul and the children of Fatima. However, for most people, it takes years to see where God is leading them. One man even admitted that if he had known when he began where God was leading him, he never would have begun the work to which he had been called. That man was St. John Baptist de La Salle from Reims, France.
Louis de La Salle and Nicole de Moet de Brouillet were the parents of seven children, the oldest one being John Baptist de La Salle born on April 30, 1651. Nicole came from a wealthy and noble family who ran an excellent winery. She was a relative of Claude Moet — one of the founders of Moet & Clandon in 1743 — a company which produces over 28,000,000 bottles of champagne every year.
Louis and Moet faithfully followed the teachings of the Church, treating all persons with respect and dignity no matter what part of society they came from.
John received a privileged education as well as a devout one, becoming known not only for his brilliance but also for his piety. When he was 11 years old he received the tonsure and at the age of 16 he was selected to be a canon at the Reims Cathedral.
When Canon Pierre Dozet, his older cousin, recognized the potential in John Baptist, he steadfastly monitored the young man’s education. As chancellor of the University of Reims, he guided John Baptist’s development when he left to attend the College des Bons Enfants on July 10, 1669.
John Baptist began his coursework in literature and philosophy, receiving high marks in the master of arts program. Then Canon Pierre insisted that John follow the family tradition and study law; however, John Baptist insisted even more strongly that he was called to serve the Church.
A little more than two years later, John Baptist went to Paris where he enrolled in the Saint-Sulpice Seminary on October 18, 1670. He also attended theology lectures at the Sorbonne. Here he also advanced quickly under the guidance of Louis Transon who pointed out John’s progress to M. Lechassier, the superior general of the Congregation of St. Sulpice.
However, when his mother died on July 19, 1671 and then his father died on April 9, 1672, John Baptist had to return home. He dropped out of Saint-Sulpice at the age of 21 and took over the running of the family estate and the education of his four brothers and two sisters.
He continued to study philosophy and theology, seeking the advice of several advisers, one of whom was Nicolas Roland, a man well known for his wisdom. Archbishop Ladislas Jonnart ordained John Baptist a subdeacon at Cambrai on June 2, 1672. On March 21, 1676, Bishop Francois Batailler ordained him a deacon and John continued to assist in helping the poor, especially in finding them educational opportunities.
John Baptist was finally ordained a priest on April 9, 1678 and then earned his doctorate in theology two years later. His regal bearing and penetrating blue eyes, together with his refined upbringing won him great respect. More important, his humility and zeal to help the poor get an education to improve their lives also endeared him to many. Add all this to his keen business acumen and his many organizational skills and you have a great servant of God.
As a newly ordained priest, John Baptist worked with the Sisters of the Child Jesus, a new religious congregation dedicated to care for the sick and promote the education of young girls. He served as their chaplain and confessor.
During this time, he also worked closely with Nicolas Roland who made a dying request of John Baptist to carry on what Nicolas had begun: “Your zeal will bring it to prosperity. You will complete the work which I have begun. In all this Fr. Barre will be your model and guide.” Although John Baptist agreed to this, had he foreseen what he would do, he never would have given his consent to that request.
Through our charitable works, the Lord brings others into our lives who assist us in our pilgrimage of faith. So it was with John Baptist, who, by his work with the Sisters of the Child Jesus, met Adrian Nyel.
Adrian wanted to start a school for the poor families in Reims. Nyel’s dream became reality with John Baptist at his side. With de La Salle’s help, the school was soon opened. This success resulted in a wealthy woman approaching Nyel and offering to endow another such school in Reims — but only if Fr. de La Salle was involved in the project.
Appreciating the extensive education he had received, John Baptist understood how it could help those who did not come from a privileged class as he did. Together with Nyel, such work grew quickly.
Hope, a sense of dignity, skills, and means to support themselves — all of these he wanted to provide the poor young people of Champagne. He witnessed the children who appeared to be “so far from salvation . . . often left to themselves and badly brought up.”
John Baptist wanted to help them both in this world and the next. His organizational skills and zeal to save souls motivated him to take action. He gathered a group of teachers in Reims; these teachers had good intentions but lacked direction.
At first he invited them to his home for their meals in 1680. This provided the opportunity to instill in them good manners and give direction for their work. However, some of his proud relatives took offense that he shared his meals with the lower classes.
They were even more upset when a year later John Baptiste invited the teachers to live with him. The upper social class was also deeply disturbed by this. Even more hardship came when the de La Salle home was lost in a lawsuit and John Baptist was forced to rent a home for himself and for the teachers.
Then John resigned his position as canon at the cathedral on July 1683 so that he could devote all of his time and talents to education. He soon had few treasures left, since he sold his inherited estate in 1684 and sent the proceeds to the poor in Champagne who were suffering from famine.
Free of earthly possessions and with fewer responsibilities, he dedicated his efforts to beginning a new religious institute. The first part of the institute had no priests — the first of its kind, and became known as the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools or as the De La Salle Brothers.
He suffered many persecutions in his last years and finally died from overwork on April 7, 1719 in Rouen. His feast is celebrated on April 7.
Dear St. John Baptist de La Salle, how desperately our youth need champions to encourage holy living. Beg for us those men and women who will unhesitatingly serve God by sanctifying our youth. Amen.

+ + +

(Carole Breslin home-schooled her four daughters and served as treasurer of the Michigan Catholic Home Educators for eight years. For over ten years, she was national coordinator for the Marian Catechists, founded by Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican and USCCB leave transgender policy texts unpublished

While U.S. bishops have made headlines for releasing policies addressing gender identity and pastoral ministry, guidelines on the subject have been drafted but not published by both the U.S. bishops’ conference and the Vatican’s doctrinal office, leaving diocesan bishops to…Continue Reading

Biden says Pope Francis told him to continue receiving communion, amid scrutiny over pro-abortion policies

President Biden said that Pope Francis, during their meeting Friday in Vatican City, told him that he should continue to receive communion, amid heightened scrutiny of the Catholic president’s pro-abortion policies.  The president, following the approximately 90-minute-long meeting, a key…Continue Reading

Federal judge rules in favor of Gov. DeSantis’ mask mandate ban

MIAMI (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge this week handed Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis another legal victory on his mask mandate ban for schools. On Wednesday, Judge K. Michael Moore of the Southern District of Florida denied a petition from…Continue Reading

The Eucharist should not be received unworthily, says Nigerian cardinal

Priests have a duty to remind Catholics not to receive the Eucharist in a state of serious sin and to make confession easily available, a Nigerian cardinal said at the International Eucharistic Congress on Thursday. “It is still the doctrine…Continue Reading

Donald Trump takes a swipe at Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him

Donald Trump complained about Catholics and Jews who did not vote for him in 2020. The former president made the comments in a conference call featuring religious leaders. The move could be seen to shore up his religious conservative base…Continue Reading

Y Gov. Kathy Hochul Admits Andrew Cuomo Covered Up COVID Deaths, 12,000 More Died Than Reported

When it comes to protecting people from COVID, Andrew Cuomo is already the worst governor in America. New York has the second highest death rate per capita, in part because he signed an executive order putting COVID patients in nursing…Continue Reading

Prayers For Cardinal Burke . . . U.S. Cardinal Burke says he has tested positive for COVID-19

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke said he has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19. In an Aug. 10 tweet, he wrote: “Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently…Continue Reading

Democrats Block Amendment Banning Late-Term Abortions, Stopping Abortions Up to Birth

Senate Democrats have blocked an amendment that would ban abortions on babies older than 20 weeks. During consideration of the multi-trillion spending package, pro-life Louisiana Senator John Kennedy filed an amendment to ban late-term abortions, but Democrats steadfastly support killing…Continue Reading

Transgender student wins as U.S. Supreme Court rebuffs bathroom appeal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday handed a victory to a transgender former public high school student who waged a six-year legal battle against a Virginia county school board that had barred him from using the bathroom corresponding…Continue Reading

New York priest accused by security guard of assault confirms charges have now been dropped

NEW YORK, June 17, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A New York priest has made his first public statement regarding the dismissal of charges against him.  Today Father George W. Rutler reached out to LifeSiteNews and other media today with the following…Continue Reading

21,000 sign petition protesting US Catholic bishops vote on Biden, abortion

More than 21,000 people have signed a letter calling for U.S. Catholic bishops to cancel a planned vote on whether President Biden should receive communion.  Biden, a Catholic, supports abortion rights and has long come under attack from some Catholics over that…Continue Reading

Bishop Gorman seeks candidates to fill two full time AP level teaching positions for the 2021-2022 school year in the subject areas of Calculus/Statistics and Physics

Bishop Thomas K. Gorman Regional Catholic School is a college preparatory school located in Tyler, Texas. It is an educational ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Tyler led by Bishop Joseph Strickland. The sixth through twelfth grade school provides a…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Catechism

Today . . .

Pedophile advocacy group praises Germany’s new law softening punishment for child pornography

(LifeSiteNews) — In 2010, Jan Flesichhauer and Wiebke Hollersen penned a chilling essay for Der Spiegel titled “How the Left Took Things Too Far.” “One of the goals of the German 1968 movement was the sexual liberation of children,” they wrote. “For some, this meant overcoming all sexual inhibitions, creating a climate in which even pedophilia was considered progressive.”   That climate involved discussions about whether sex with children might be healthy for the children and musings that this could…Continue Reading

Here’s Harrison Butker’s Full Speech Celebrating Pro-Life Christian Values

Some sports stars make headlines for drug abuse or acts of violence, but one football player is taking heat for publicly promoting Christian values. On Saturday, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered the commencement at the Catholic Benedictine College, encouraging young graduates to stand firm in their faith and live out authentic Christian virtues. Now, the National Football League (NFL) is playing defense and condemning Butker’s speech as offensive. The NFL’s senior vice president and top diversity, equity,…Continue Reading

DeSantis declares Florida ‘will not comply’ with Biden rule forcing ‘gender identity’ on schools

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — Florida “will not comply” with the Biden administration’s recently finalized rule forcing widespread recognition and accommodation of LGBT “identities” on the American education system, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis declared. In February, President Joe Biden’s U.S. Department of Education submitted to the U.S. Office of Management & Budget its finalized Title IX rule. Late last month, the administration published the rule, which expands the federal

U.S. birth and fertility rates drop to record lows, according to CDC report

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Apr 26, 2024 / 16:45 pm Provisional data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week showed that the fertility rate in the United States hit a record low and the total number of births in the country was the lowest it’s been in decades.  According to the report, slightly fewer than 3.6 million babies were born in 2023, or 54.4 births per 1,000 women aged 15 through…Continue Reading

Kamala Harris Heads to Arizona to Promote Abortions Up to Birth

Kamala Harris is visiting Arizona today to showcase the Biden-Harris Administration’s radical support of unlimited abortion. “Kamala Harris has become the abortion czar of the Biden Administration,” said Carol Tobias, president of the National Right to Life Committee. “Instead of joining with the pro-life movement to build programs and safety nets to help promote real solutions for women and their preborn children, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have engaged in fearmongering and propaganda,” Tobias continue

The King of Kings

Cindy Paslawski We are at the end of the Church year. We began with Advent a year ago, commemorating the time awaiting the coming of the Christ and we are ending these weeks later with a vision of the future, a vision of Christ the King of the Universe on His throne before us all.…Continue Reading

7,000 Pro-Lifers March In London

By STEVEN ERTELT LONDON (LifeNews) — Over the weekend, some seven thousand pro-life people in the UK participated in the March for Life in London to protest abortion.They marched to Parliament Square on Saturday, September 2 under the banner of “Freedom to Live” and had to deal with a handful of radical abortion activists.During the…Continue Reading

An Appeal For Prayer For The Armenian People

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke on August 29, 2023, issued this prayer for the Armenian people, noting their unceasing love for Christ, even in the face of persecution.) + + On the Feast of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, having a few days ago celebrated the…Continue Reading

Robert Hickson, Founding Member Of Christendom College, Dies At 80

By MAIKE HICKSON FRONT ROYAL, Va. (LifeSiteNews) — Robert David Hickson, Jr., of Front Royal, Va., died at his home on September 2, 2023, at 21:29 p.m. after several months of suffering and after having received the Last Rites of the Catholic Church. He was surrounded by friends and family.Robert is survived by me —…Continue Reading

The Real Hero Of “Sound of Freedom”… Says The Film Has Strengthened The Fight Against Child Trafficking

By ANA PAULA MORALES (CNA) —Tim Ballard, a former U.S. Homeland Security agent who risked his life to fight child trafficking, discussed the impact of the movie Sound of Freedom, which is based on his work, in an August 29 interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. “I’ve spent more than 20 years helping…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: This lesson on medical-moral issues is taken from the book Catholicism & Ethics. Please feel free to use the series for high schoolers or adults. We will continue to welcome your questions for the column as well. The email and postal addresses are given at the end of this column. Special Course On Catholicism And Ethics (Pages 53-59)…Continue Reading

Color Politics An Impediment To Faith

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The USCCB is rightly concerned about racism, as they should be about any sin. In the 2018 statement Open Wide Our Hearts, they affirm the dignity of every human person: “But racism still profoundly affects our culture, and it has no place in the Christian heart. This evil causes great harm to its victims, and…Continue Reading

Trademarks Of The True Messiah

By MSGR. CHARLES POPE (Editor’s Note: Msgr. Charles Pope posted this essay on September 2, and it is reprinted here with permission.) + + In Sunday’s Gospel the Lord firmly sets before us the need for the cross, not as an end in itself, but as the way to glory. Let’s consider the Gospel in three stages.First: The Pattern That…Continue Reading

A Beacon Of Light… The Holy Cross And Jesus’ Unconditional Love

By FR. RICHARD D. BRETON Each year on September 14 the Church celebrates the Feast Day of the Exultation of the Holy Cross. The Feast Day of the Triumph of the Holy Cross commemorates the day St. Helen found the True Cross. It is fitting then, that today we should focus on the final moments of Jesus’ life on the…Continue Reading

Our Ways Must Become More Like God’s Ways

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Fifth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:6-9Phil. 1:20c-24, 27aMatt. 20:1-16a In the first reading today, God tells us through the Prophet Isaiah that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways. This should not come as a surprise to anyone, especially when we look at what the Lord…Continue Reading

The Devil And The Democrats

By FR. DENIS WILDE, OSA States such as Minnesota, California, Maryland, and others, in all cases with Democrat-controlled legislatures, are on a fast track to not only allow unborn babies to be murdered on demand as a woman’s “constitutional right” but also to allow infanticide.Our nation has gotten so used to the moral evil of killing in the womb that…Continue Reading

Crushed But Unbroken . . . The Martyrdom Of St. Margaret Clitherow

By RAY CAVANAUGH The late-1500s were a tough time for Catholics in England, where the Reformation was in full gear. A 1581 law prohibited Catholic religious ceremonies. And a 1584 Act of Parliament mandated that all Catholic priests leave the country or else face execution. Some chose to remain, however, so they could continue serving the faithful.Also taking huge risks…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)