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John Baptist de La Salle: Two Early Biographies

These are two of the very earliest biographies of John Baptist de La Salle by authors who knew him personally.

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These are two of the earliest biographies of John Baptist de La Salle. Brother Bernard was asked after De La Salle’s death in 1719 to write a biography, while in his early twenties. After input from De La Salle’s brother, Canon Jean-Louis, he began again and wrote a new life, it did not survive. Today, we have only 89 manuscript pages of his first draft, reaching to the year 1687 in De La Salle’s history.  Dom François-Élie Maillefer, OSB, (1684–1761),De La Salle’s nephew and the librarian of the monastery of St. Remi in Rheims, was given Br. Bernard’s manuscript by Canon Jean-Louis and wrote his own biography, completing the first version in 1723 and a second in 1740. However, both biographies were found inadequate by Br. Timothy, the second Superior General, and he subsequently commissioned Canon Jean-Baptiste Blain in 1727 to write the official life of John Baptist de La Salle.

(1996; 350 pp.)

Authors: Dom François-Élie Maillefer, OSB, and Brother Bernard, FSC.

Translated by William J. Quinn, FSC. Revised translation with notes by Donald C. Mouton, FSC. Edited by Paul Grass, FSC.

Volume 1 of Lasallian Resources: Biographies of John Baptist de La Salle by His Contemporaries, 1996.

Publisher: Christian Brothers Conference – Lasallian Region of North America

NOTE: This work is currently out of print but may be found in libraries.