"IN MAKING THE VERNACULAR THE BASIS OF ALL INSTRUCTION, DE LA SALLE APPEALED TO THE INTELLIGENCE OF THE CHILD": FINELY ILLUSTRATED TRIBUTE TO THE LIFE AND WORK OF THE FOUNDER OF THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS, 1888
(DE LA SALLE, J.B.) RAVELET, Armand. Blessed J.B. De La Salle. Paris: Charles Poussielgue, 1888. Quarto, original half red pebbled morocco, elaborately gilt-decorated spine, raised bands, moire endpapers, all edges gilt. $950.
Finely illustrated tribute to the life and work of Jean Baptiste de La Salle—marking the 1888 beatification of the Founder of the Christian Brothers.
Born to a wealthy family, De La Salle was ordained in 1678 and appointed Canon of Rheims Cathedral at the age of 16. He subsequently renounced his prestige and wealth to work with young people, forming a lay religious community known as the Brothers of the Christian Schools. The Institute's pioneering mission of educational reform centered, most notably, on discarding Latin in favor of teaching the poor in their own language: "In making the vernacular the basis of all instruction, De La Salle appealed to the intelligence of the child, prepared the way for the study of national literature, and opened up to the grown man those avenues of real knowledge and delight that had hitherto been closed against the eager multitude. With true scientific insight he perceived the absurdity of retaining Latin texts to teach the art of reading" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Printed in Paris for English-speaking peoples and elaborately illustrated throughout, this biography consists of three sections: Primary Education before the Time of Blessed De La Salle; Life of De La Salle; After De La Salle. Followed by appendices laying out the case for beatification. Canonized in 1900 by Pope Leo XIII, Saint John Baptiste De La Salle was later declared the Patron of Christian Teachers by Pope Pius XII in May 1950. The final leaf contains a declaration: "We submit the present book to the judgment of the Holy See."
Interior clean; joints and corners lightly rubbed, binding sound, a few spots of mild discoloration to cloth, gilt bright. A near-fine copy in handsome publisher's binding.