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Pope recalls 300-year-old saint's educational innovations

The pope met with the De La Salle Brothers and many of their students. It is 300 years since the death of their founder, St. John Baptist de La Salle.

Superior General

“I would like to begin my greeting as we greet our students each day in our schools: “Long live Jesus in our hearts!" "Forever!”

Pope Francis recalled that John Baptist de La Salle was an innovator in education. For example, he taught in French and not Latin, divided subjects by schedule, and involved parents in the education of their children. 

“The impetus for the educational mission, which made your Founder a master and witness for many of his contemporaries, and his teaching, can still today feed your projects and your actions.”

John Baptist de La Salle founded the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools in 1679.

They were free schools for poor children and were taken care of by the men from the congregation La Salle founded. The teachers lived by a rule of life he had composed and helped bring schools to the prisons. 

“Be protagonists of a 'culture of the resurrection,' especially in those existential contexts where the culture of death prevails.”

“Do not tire of going in search of those who find themselves in the modern day 'tombs' of bewilderment, degradation, discomfort and poverty, to offer hope for a new life.”

Today the Lasallian family cares for more than 750,000 students in more than 80 countries. Its idea is to reach the hearts of young people and educate their minds so that they may have a better life.