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Ireland 1980 De La Salle Brothers Mnh

Centenary of Arrival of De La Salle Brothers in Ireland Date of Issue Feb-23, 1970

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Centenary of Arrival of De La Salle Brothers in Ireland

Date of Issue

  • Feb-23, 1970


  • Louis Le Brocquy

Numbers Issued

  • 6d: 16,000,000
  • 9d:   2,000,000

    Catalog Refs: SC477 SG 458 Mi 414 Yv 417

Shipping: Europe: US$2.00, Worldwide: US$2.25

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Jean-Baptiste de la Salle

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.)

Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, painting 1734 (15 years after the subject
Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, painting 1734 (15 years after the subject's death) by Pierre Léger

St. Jean-Baptiste de la Salle (John Baptist de La Salle) (April 30, 1651 in Reims – April 7, 1719 in Saint-Yon, Rouen on Good Friday) was a French priest, educational reformer, and founder of international educational movement who spent over forty years of his life dedicated to education for the children of the poor. In the process, he standardized educational practices throughout France, wrote inspirational meditations on the ministry of teaching (along with catechisms, politeness texts, and other resources for teachers and students), and became the catalyst and resource for many other religious congregations dedicated to education that were founded in the 18th and 19th centuries.

When he was just 16 years-old, he was appointed as canon of the Reims cathedral. He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of 27. Two years later he received a doctorate in theology. He would later leave his position as canon priest at Reims and found a religious community devoted to teaching, distributing his fortune to the poor during a particularly harsh winter.

In 1680 La Salle became involved in an educational venture that led to the founding of a new order, the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, also known as the De La Salle Christian Brothers, the De La Salle Brothers, or, most commonly, the Christian Brothers, often confused with a different order of the same name founded by Blessed Edmund Ignatius Rice of Ireland.

De La Salle became involved in education step-by-step, without really meaning to do so. What began as a charitable effort to help a committed educator of the poor, Adrian Nyel, organize a group of marginally competent teachers in De La Salle's hometown gradually became his life's work, as, according to his own words, one decision led to another until he found himself doing something that he had never anticipated. De La Salle wrote: 'I had imagined that the care which I assumed of the schools and the masters would amount only to a marginal involvement committing me to no more than providing for the subsistence of the masters and assuring that they acquitted themselves of their tasks with piety and devotedness . . . Indeed, if I had ever thought that the care I was taking of the schoolmasters out of pure charity would ever have made it my duty to live with them, I would have dropped the whole project. ... God, who guides all things with wisdom and serenity, whose way it is not to force the inclinations of persons, willed to commit me entirely to the development of the schools. He did this in an imperceptible way and over a long period of time so that one commitment led to another in a way that I did not foresee in the beginning.'

The life of De La Salle and the beginnings of St La Salle's order is chronicled in the book The Work Is Yours by Br. Luke Salm, FSC. Another short history of De La Salle and the early Brothers, along with an analysis of his pedogical spirituality and its application in schools of today, may be found in Touching the Hearts of Students: Characteristics of Lasallian Schools by Br. George Van Grieken, FSC.

La Salle was a pedagogical thinker of note and is among the founders of a distinctively modern pedagogy. In 1685 La Salle founded what is generally considered the first normal school — that is, a school whose purpose is to train teachers — in Rheims.

Currently, about 6,000 Brothers and 75,000 lay and religious colleagues worldwide serve as teachers, counsellors and guides to 900,000 students in over 1,000 educational institutions in 84 countries, carrying out the work of the founder into the 21st century.

He was canonized by Pope Leo XIII on May 24, 1900 and his feast is celebrated in the Catholic Church calendar on April 7th, and at Lasallian institutions on May 15.

He was proclaimed as the patron saint of All Teachers of Youth in 1950 by Pope Pius XII.