Lasallian Tercentenary Celebrations

Knock Shrine – Saturday April 6th 2019

Tercentenary Celebration of the Death of John Baptist De La Salle


De La Salle died in 1719 at Saint Yon in Rouen among his fellow Brothers

De La Salle died in 1719 at Saint Yon in Rouen among his fellow Brothers

De La Salle was ill for many months prior to his death, rallying occasionally to take up his work but finally sinking into terminal decline. De La Salle’s long practice of submission to God’s will had made him tranquil in all situations. His Gospel journey had taken him long past the point at which any personal injustice could wound him.  “Yes, I adore God guiding me in all the events of my life.”

At 4:00AM on Good Friday, De La Salle made an effort to rise from his bed.

As if to greet someone, he joined his hands, raised his eyes to heaven, and died. He was buried on Holy Saturday in a side chapel of the local parish church, Saint Sever. Since it was Holy Week, the more solemn funeral rituals were delayed until the following week. Throughout Rouen, and soon throughout the Society, word spread that “the Saint is dead.” But the providential extension of his life, work, and influence was just beginning.

Old, racked by asthma and chronic rheumatism, De La Salle was at the end of his earthly journey. In the early morning hours of Good Friday, he lies in his bed, attended by the men whom he calls “Brothers.” His wealth was long ago given away, and the privileges that were his by birth have long since been surrendered and cast aside. His church connections are mixed at best; some church leaders admire him, but many powerful pastors and bishops have treated him and his work with little disguised contempt or hostility.

His journey had been down paths he could not have imagined forty years earlier. And what are the final results of his life’s work? A small community of some hundred men that calls itself the Brothers of the Christian Schools, but a group that is not yet even recognized officially by either the church or the state, and a set of mostly parish-based schools for poor boys, schools that are really only fully appreciated by those who attend them.

De La Salle must have really wondered what was going to happen to this relatively small group of followers. As De La Salle begins to breathe his last in this 68th year of his life, the power of his faith and spirit was still evident and strong. Brother Barthélemy, his successor as Superior of the Brothers, quietly asks him if he accepts his sufferings, and De La Salle responds with the last words that he will ever say: “Yes, I adore God guiding me in all the events of my life.”

Today about 3,800 Brothers and 92,000 lay and religious colleagues worldwide are serving as Lasallian teachers, counsellors, and guides to over 1,000,000 students in more than 1,500 Lasallian educational institutions in 82 countries.

Message for Br Robert Schieller

Lasallians throughout the world will come together in 2019 to celebrate the Year of Lasallian Vocations with the theme “De La Salle: One Heart, One Commitment, One Life.” 


The Year of Lasallian Vocations marks the 300th anniversary of Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s entry into eternal life and celebrates the impact of the mission he started. The yearlong celebration will take place during the 2018-2019 liturgical year, beginning on December 2, 2018, with Advent and concluding on November 24, 2019, with the feast of Christ the King