He who comes from above is above all; he who comes from the earth belongs to the earth, and his words belong to the earth. He who comes from heaven speaks of the things he has seen and heard; he bears witness to these things, but no one accepts his testimony. Whoever does receive his testimony acknowledges the truthfulness of God.
The one sent by God speaks God’s words, and gives the Spirit unstintingly. The Father loves the Son and has entrusted everything into his hands. Whoever believes in the Son lives with eternal life; but he who will not believe in the Son will never know life, and always faces the justice of God.”
Today we are remembering a great modern saint from France, John Baptist de la Salle, who was born at Reims in 1651. Ordained a priest in 1678, he soon became interested in helping the poor get a suitable education. But his first concern was to assist badly prepared schoolteachers to better teach the large number of poor boys in their classes. Little by little these schoolteachers formed a community of celibate laymen living a religious lifestyle. In 1686, de la Salle and 12 of these teachers bound themselves by religious vows and decided to henceforth call themselves Brothers of the Christian Schools. Eventually de la Salle founded a sort of normal school, the first of its kind, to train lay teachers for country parishes. Unfortunately, he met a lot of opposition from people who wanted to have a monopoly on teaching. He was sued more than once and lost his suits. He was pressured to modify the rule of his Order, etc.
His last years were full of trials. Not surprisingly, the day of his death marked the day of Good Friday on that year 1719.
This man was not a theorist. His method of education was strictly practical. He remains one of the greatest educators of all time.
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