ST JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE, CONFESSOR; MEMORIAL: APRIL 7
John Baptist de la Salle was born of an illustrious family at Rheims, and as a youth studied literature and philosophy at the academy there. At sixteen, he became a Canon of the cathedral and later entered the Sulpician seminary there.
As a priest he watched over and directed the Sisters of the Infant Jesus, whose work is the education of girls. Turning his attention to boys, after many hardships, he founded a society of brothers called Brothers of the Christian Schools to give ordinary boys a good moral and religious education. This institute was later confirmed by Benedict XIII.
John Baptist resigned his Canonry and the government of the institute he founded, distributed all his property among the poor, and died at the age of sixty-eight, full of virtue and merit. Pope Leo XIII beatified and canonised him. Pius XII made him the special heavenly patron of all teachers of boys and young men.
O God, who raised up the holy Confessor John Baptist for the Christian education of the poor and to strengthen youth in the way of truth, and through him formed a new family in the Church, graciously grant by his intercession and example that we, striving to save souls out of zeal for your glory, may be found worthy to share his heavenly crown. Through our Lord.