Saint John Baptist de la Salle was born to a noble family, the oldest of 10 children. Ordained to the priesthood in 1678, he distinguished himself by his piety and intellect. He was involved in the educational reform of the poor and founded the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools (Christian Brothers). At a time when education was only for the upper class, he brought classroom teaching and the use of the vernacular, for all children. Though he had many trials with his schools and the Christian Brothers order, his confidence in God remained firm. St. John inspired others to teach and care for youth, meeting failure and frailty with compassion.