John Baptist de la Salle was born in 1651 at Rheims France. In 1679 the newly ordained priest opened a school to educate poor children at Rheims. The education was not classical but rather practical and directed towards living as a Christian worker. He opened other schools, and in 1684 founded a religious community, the Brothers of the Christian Schools (De La Salle Brothers), which made a great contribution to popular education. His last years were filled with great trials. These he bore in Christlike silence. He died on Good Friday, 7 Apr 1719. He was canonised in 1900 and declared patron of schoolteachers in 1950. – CTS New Daily Roman Missal 2012, p 2631; Vatican II Weekday Missal 1975, p 1647.