St. John Baptist De La Salle

St. John Baptist De La Salle

St.Francis' Institution, Melaka, is a Lasallian school. It is managed by the La Salle Brothers. St.John Baptist de La Salle is the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the La Salle Brothers.

John Baptist de La Salle was born on April 30, 1651, into a rich noble family in Rheims, France. His father was a city magistrate. Young La Salle grew up and was educated at College des Bons Enfants, where in 1669 he obtained his Masters of Arts. When he wa 27 years of age, he was ordained a priest.

It was by chance that he met a certain M. Adrian Nyel at the convent door in 1679. Through Nyel, La Salle realized the pitiful state of education of the poor children in France. La Salle was touched by that realization and gradually gave up his wealth to serve the poor through education. He found this shift from rich to poor difficult.

Later in his own words, La Salle tells us that if he had only realized all the hardships, sufferings and difficulties that he would have to endure to do God's work, he would not have gone anywhere near the convent door that fateful day.

By 1718, there were 27 schools, 274 Brothers and 9885 pupils and an organized society founded by La Salle which called themselves Brothers of the Christian Schools.

La Salle died on April 7, 1719 aged almost 68 years. He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on May 24, 1900 and declared 'Patron of All Teachers and Youth' by Pope Pius XII in 1950.

The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is his gift to humanity. The Brothers are to be found in over 90 countries all over the world. Today, his spirit lives on in them ...