John Baptist de la Salle
Born in France to a wealthy family in 1651, John Baptist de la Salle anticipated a priest's life from the time he was eleven. He was ordained in when he was twenty-seven and received a doctorate in theology in 1681.
A layman asked John to help start a charity school in Reims, his home town. After de La Salle opened his home to the school's teachers he realized his life's calling to help educate the poor. John sold everything he owned and donated the money. With twelve others he founded the Brothers of the Christian Schools. At the time, many people opposed providing free education, which was considered suitable only for the wealthy. La Salle's teaching manuals and his approach revolutionized education in France.
John Baptist de la Salle and the Brothers eventually founded a training college as well as free schools in twenty-two French towns.
John spent his last years writing the Rule of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. He died on Good Friday, 1719.
John Baptist de la Salle is considered the patron saint of teachers.