A daily study of the Network’s diverse faiths

Jean-Baptiste de La Salle (St John Baptist La Salle) (1651-1719). Roman Catholic Feast Day commemorating death of wealthy French priest, educational reformer and founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, a teaching institute that had no priests and is also known in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Australasia as the De La Salle Brothers. La Salle was a member of the Moët & Chandon family, a canon of Rheims Cathedral at 16 who was sent to the Seminary of Saint-Sulpice in Paris in 1670 and ordained in 1678. He helped establish the Sisters of the Child Jesus, a new religious congregation whose work was the care of the sick and the education of poor girls, with which he served as chaplain and confessor. In 1680, he received a doctorate in theology and dedicated much of his life to the education of poor children in France, in classrooms and in French rather than Latin. He was considered the founder of the first Catholic schools, believing that education gave hope and opportunity for people to lead better lives of dignity and freedom. La Salle founded the first teacher training colleges for lay teachers in Rheims, central Paris and Saint-Denis and in 1705 he established a reform school for boys in Dijon. His educational innovations included Sunday courses for working young men, technical schools and secondary schools for modern languages, arts and science. His writings have influenced educational practice, school management and teacher preparation for over 300 years. There are about 3,000 brothers with 90,000 lay and religious colleagues serving worldwide as teachers, counsellors and guides to over a million students in over 1,100 Lasallian educational institutions in about 80 countries. La Salle died at Saint-Yon, Rouen. Patron of All Teachers of Youth.

Bryynach Sant (StBrynach of Carn-Engyle, Bernacus, the Irishman). Feast Day for 5th Century Irishman who settled in Wales, where he built a Pembrokeshire hermitage and the principal church of the district overlooking the River Nevern at Carn-Engyle (Mountain of Angels), thus named as Brynach was in constant communication with the angels. The Benedictines say that the first cuckoo of spring sings from the churchyard.

Prayer O holy Brynach, thou didst leave thy native Ireland to seek God in Pembroke’s solitude. As thou dost now stand before Christ our God, intercede with Him, we pray, that He may have mercy on us. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit (Yn enw’r Tad a’r Mab a’r Ysbryd Glân). Amen

St Goran of Bodmin (Woronus). Feast Day for 6th Century Welsh missionary friend of St Patrick who travelled in Brittany and Ireland before settling as a hermit in Bodmin where there is a well named after him. He met St Petroc, Abbot of Padstow, and  was persuaded to leave Bodmin for Gorran on the south coast of Cornwall, where he passed the rest of his life.