John Baptist de La Salle:
The Educator and Visionary

Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the declaration that John Baptist de La Salle is the Patron of All Teachers of Youth

People of Influence

De La Salle's Written Works

The Gardens, Vaugirard,
Map of Schools at De La Salle's Death

Examples of De La Salle's Writing



Examples of De La Salle's Writing


Examples from De La Salle's book
The Rules of Christian Decorum and Civility

"It is highly unbecoming to comb your hair in public, but the offense becomes quite intolerable if you do so in church. That is one place where you should be very neat and clean out of the respect you have toward God."

"It is against decorum to spit in front of yourself while with others, or to spit too far, so that you have to go looking for the spittle in order to step on it. In places that are usually kept clean, turn aside slightly and spit into your handkerchief, then fold it immediately without looking at it, and replace it in your pocket."

"Here are the circumstances in which you should remove your hat:

1) in a place where there are important people;
2) when you greet someone;
3) when you give or receive anything;
4) when you are being seated at the table;
5) you hear the names of Jesus or Mary;
6) when you are in the presence of persons to whom you owe great respect. "It is not appropriate to wear a feather behind your ear or to put flowers in your ear or to have pierced ears with earrings. This is most inappropriate for a man, for it is a sign of slavery, which is not at all becoming."

"At table, it is rude to use your napkin to wipe your face, even more so to rub your teeth with it. It would be gross and uncivilized to blow your nose in your napkin. It is also unbecoming to wipe plates and other dishes with your napkin."

"It is entirely contrary to decorum to grow overexcited when you play. Still, you should not play in a careless manner nor lose deliberately as a way of flattering your opponents. This would make the person with whom you are playing think that you care little about contributing to his enjoyment in a well-played match."

"Those who have nothing to relate except gossip and frivolous, silly stories, and those who affect introductions so long that nobody else can speak, would do better to keep quiet. It is far better to gain a reputation for being a person of few words than to bore people with nonsense and stupidities or always to have something to say."


Examples from De La Salle's Meditations
on the topic of serving as an example to students:

"Since it is your responsibility to teach your students about God, you must first become aware of the action of God in your life. Teach by example. Put into practice what you want your students to believe."

"Example makes a much greater impression on the minds and hearts of the young than do words. Young people . . . ordinarily model themselves on the example of their teachers. That your words may produce their full effect on your students, preach by example and practice what you wish them to accept."

"You will lead your disciples to practice virtue far more easily by giving them the example of a wise and reserved conduct than by anything you can say."

"Your zeal for the pupils under your guidance would be very imperfect if you expressed it only in words. It will become perfect only if you practice yourself what you are teaching them. Your example makes a much greater impression on minds and hearts than words do. Students are led more readily to do what they see done for them than to carry out what they hear told them, particularly when the words they hear are not in harmony with the actions they see."

"If you wish your disciples to practice virtue, do so yourself."


Editor's Letter | Brother Visitor's Letter | John Baptist de La Salle: His Life and Times
John Baptist de La Salle: The Educator and Visionary | John Baptist de La Salle: A Saint For Teachers
General Chapter | The District Today

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