St. John Baptist de la Salle is known for promoting and reforming Christian education, especially amongst the poor. He is also the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools, which now teaches around the world.
The French priest was one of the first pedagogues to emphasize classroom teaching in the vernacular instead of in Latin. He also founded three teachers’ colleges and, in 1705, he established a reform school for boys at Dijon.
John was born in Rheims, France to a noble family of 10 children on April 30, 1651. He studied in Paris and was ordained in 1678. He died at St. Yon, Rouen on Good Friday, April 7, 1751. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1900 and named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950.
REFLECTION FOR THE DAY
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” John 20:15
Just a few days after Jesus has died and been buried, he encounters his dear friend, Mary Magdalene, her broken heart evidenced by her tears. He notices Mary’s profound grief and seems to ask a rather obvious question, echoing the inquiry of the angels at his tomb. “Why are you weeping?” Well, of course she’s weeping, we might say, she’s mourning his death, which she herself witnessed. But Jesus follows up with a question that invites many layers of response. “Whom are you looking for?” touches on the ache of our human condition- an ache laid bare by death and loss-but also by longing. “Whom are you looking for?” is another way of asking, “What is your deepest desire? What yearning brought you to this place?” Today Jesus also turns to us and asks us that same question: Whom are we looking for.