St. John Baptist de la Salle was born in Rheims, France, to a noble family, on April 30, 1651. He was one of 10 children.
John studied in Paris, and was ordained in 1678. He was one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching in the vernacular instead of in Latin. John founded three teachers’ colleges and established a reform school for boys at Dijon in 1705.
John was also the founder of the Institute of the Brothers of Christian Schools, which now teaches around the world. He promoted and reformed Christian education, especially among the poor.
On Good Friday, April 7, 1751, John died at St. Yon, Roeun. He was canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII and named patron of teachers by Pope Pius XII in 1950.