DOUBLE / WHITE
John Baptist de la Salle (1651-1719) was born of a titled family in Rheims. Although a private fortune and a high order of talent promised a brilliant secular career, John Baptist studied for the priesthood (at St. Sulpice), offering his first Mass with an intensity of devotion that never afterward left him. Gradually the heretical mood of the times and the abysmal ignorance of the poor disclosed a special vocation to him" "to teach the poor and to lead the young in the path of truth" (Collect). Weathering the reverses and heartbreaks that beleaguer every creative spirit, John baptist established the Brothers of the Christian Schools, whose vocation would be to teach and only to teach.
Although good teaching was important to John Baptist, spiritual formation was more so; and, in the face of a rampant Jansenism, he was advocating frequent and even daily Communion. When his foundation was firmly rooted and oriented, he resigned as superior, living thereafter as the humblest of his subjects. He died two years later, on Good Friday.
Mass of a CONFESSOR OF THE FAITH, except
O God, You inspired the holy confessor John Baptist to teach the poor and to lead the young in the path of truth, and then founded a new congregation in Your Church through him. May his intercession and example fill us with zeal to glorify You by the saving of souls, so that we may also share his reward in Heaven. Through Our Lord . . .
GOSPEL Matt. 18: 1-5
At that time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in their midst, and said, "Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such little child for My sake, receives Me."
We offer You, O Lord, this sacrifice of praise in memory of Your Saints. Free us from evil now and in the future through their intercession. Through our Lord . . .
Refreshed with heavenly Food and Drink we humbly pray You, our God, that we may be strengthened by the prayers of Your Saint, in whose memory we have received this Sacrament. Through our Lord . . .