St John Baptist de La Salle (1651-1719)
The Patron Saint of Teachers
John Baptist De La Salle was born in France in 1651. His family was from the privileged class; however, after entering the priesthood, De La Salle committed himself to provide a Christian and human education to young people, and especially to the poor and marginalised. In 1680, at 29 years of age, John Baptist de La Salle invited young men to join him in devoting themselves to the Christian education of youth.
On his death in 1719, there were 100 Brothers in France. He was canonised in 1900 and became the universal patron Saint of Teachers in 1950. Inspired by their Founder, the De La Salle Brothers developed into a worldwide Christian education community.
Today, more than 8,500 Brothers and many thousands of lay partners, supportive of the ethos and ideals of St John Baptist de La Salle, are continuing this tradition in universities, schools and other educational institutions in over 80 countries.
"To touch the hearts of the young and to inspire them with the Christian spirit is the greatest miracle you can perform, and it is the one that God asks of you; it is the purpose of your work with the young." (St John Baptist de la Salle)
“One Heart, One Commitment, One Life.”
This is the theme for the Lasallian Tercentenary, a jubilee year
designated to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the death of the Patron Saint
of Teachers, John Baptist de La Salle. The Institute of the Brothers of the
Christian Schools has also designated 2019 as the Year of Lasallian Vocations.
At La Salle College, Middle Swan, the world wide celebrations began on
the very first day which was aligned with the Feast of Christ the King, 25
November. On this day, a new statue of the Founder, commissioned by principal
Mr Wayne Bull, was unveiled by Br David Hawke FSC, Provincial of the De La
Salle Brothers and Mr Joe Marino, College Board Chair and blessed by College
Chaplain, Fr Richard Sadowski and former College Chaplain, Fr Leonard
Macionczyk SDS in front of a community crowd of around 300 people.
The statue was commissioned early 2018 and transported via ship from Thailand. It is comprised of bronze,
stands 2.3 metres tall and weighs about 550 kgs. Where it has been positioned
is of some historical significance. It is located in the place that the
original statue from 1954 once stood. That original statue has been restored
and is in the memorial garden behind the chapel.