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St. John Baptist De La Salle has played a prominent and influential role in the development of education for the world. Through his life work, La Salle managed to change the education system of France, and the rest of the world, as others carried on his traditions after his death. Through La Salle’s consistent efforts for equality in education, and equality in social systems, La Salle has managed to leave a permanent and lasting mark upon the world.

La Salle was raised in an upper class family in the city of Rheims, France. Born as the eldest of seven, he was faced with the challenge of leadership at a young age. However, leadership took on an entirely different meaning after La Salle bore the tragedy of the death of both his parents. Now left as both the spiritual and physical leader of the family, La Salle was forced from an early age to learn how to provide, educate, and lead. Yet, La Salle’s new role as head of the family did not stop him from pursuing his dreams of his own education. Specifically La Salle took an interest in the Catholic church, and, after many years in school, he began to teach at the Seminary. An educated and experienced seminarian, La Salle realized a frightening trend to which he himself had been subject to: education, especially Catholic, was exclusively available to the wealthy and upper class. This was an issue La Salle would spend the greater majority of his life combating.

La Salle’s efforts to combat educational inequality began with setting up a school for children of the working class and the poor. He gathered other men, and trained them in his ways of teaching. La Salle was not content, however, to merely be companion teachers with these men, so, after distributing his possessions, he gave up...

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...e the circumstances around him for the better, and influence not only the course of a nation, but the course of the world.
God calls each of us just as he called La Salle. In our calling, we are not asked to reconstruct the educational system of the world, or to be canonized by the catholic church, but we are called to make changes in the name of God. All of us have been gifted with the blessing of educartion, and the opportunity to use it for the betterment of society. We are called to use this knowledge to determine the things around us that are right and the things that are wrong. We are called to further the good in that which is right, and fight the evil in that which is wrong. We are called to love one another as brothers and sisters. And, we are called to give not to the highest among us, but to the lowest among us, just as St. John Baptist De La Salle did.

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