Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle and Why I Am Not Juanita

Growing up I remember always looking at the Calendars and seeing the name of my Saint. And I hated the fact that my Mom should have named me Juana.
I don’t like that name.

Please! No offense to any Juana’s out there! In Elementary School one of my good friends was named Juana and I Loved her to death. The thing is, she was a Juana. Well, Juanita. The name FIT her.
Me, a Juana! Or Juanita!!! I don’t think so!

I was so grateful that my Mami named me with quite a unique name, even if  my Tio Martin always would say that she should have just named me Jardin! Garden!
Thanks a lot Tio!

You know, I never really bothered to learn much about Mi Santo.
Oh, in case you may not be familiar, in México, and many other cultures, the custom was to name your child according to his/her Santo.

You would get the name off of the Calendar.

To this day, if you go to a Mercado, like Vallarta (plug, I know), at the end of the year and during the New Year, they give you Calendars. Each day has a name under it, that is the Santo of that day. Hence, Saint’s Feast Days.

You can guess when many Lupita’s or Lupe’s were born, December 12th. Though not always, as Lupita IS our Mother. Many Mexicanos will name their children Guadalupe simply to Honour Her. But it is almost Blasphemous to NOT name your child Guadalupe if they are born on the 12th of December.
And it works that way with any Saint of Feast Day.

The Ascension = Chonito’s and Chonita’s.
The Assumption = Asuncion.
Immaculate Conception = Concha.
And the list goes on and on.

That is why you will find many, many gender neutral names. They become that way because both men and women will be named after a Holy Day, Saint, Feast Day.

Again, my Mom could have named me Juana 😕 But she didn’t. Gracias, Mami ♥

Where was I?
Ah, si…

I never really learned much about Mi Santo. I knew his name and his Feast Day, but that was pretty much it.

Now that I am older, much, much, much older, I am beginning to realize that he is my Santo for a Reason.

I truly enjoy working with Youth.
Perhaps it IS my Calling.

I have been wanting to teach for a while, but since I do not possess Certification here in Ontario, I put it on the back burner.

I have decided that I am going for it!

We are going to be tight. REALLY Tight financially, and after having bought a home 😕
That does not seem like a great idea!
But, I think, I feel, I Believe it IS my calling to work with Youth!

I read the quote below from and it brought tears to my eyes.

Just a couple of days ago I was invited to look into Fe Y or Faith and and see if I would contribute!
Needless to say, I am Truly Humbled and Honoured!!
Have you seen what they do?!
What they write?!?!
If not, check it out!

What I am getting at is they educate. They catechize, Youth…

I keep getting little voices and signs about schools…

I need to discern if it is Him or just random…but I am beginning to believe that it my be Him.
I have been Happiest, Satisfied, Accomplished, Useful, Felt that I am Changing the World, Doing my Part when I have worked with Youth. I need…I want to return to that.

I have applied for various positions to no avail, but perhaps I am applying to the wrong ones…

St. John Baptist de la Salle, San Juan, por favor…te pido e intercedas por mi.
Ilumina mi sendero. Guia mis pasos. Ayuda a encontrar mi llamado. Y si es el de trabajar con la Juventud, entconces, por favor, intercede por mi y ayudame a encontrar un buen empleo.

Please, please Pray that I find my Vocation.

Sn. Juan Diego, tu tambien!!!!


Complete dedication to what he saw as God’s will for him dominated the life of John Baptist de la Salle. In 1950, Pope Pius XII named him patron of schoolteachers for his efforts in upgrading school instruction. As a young seventeenth-century Frenchman, John had everything going for him: scholarly bent, good looks, noble family background, money, refined upbringing. At the early age of 11, he received the tonsure and started preparation for the priesthood, to which he was ordained at 27. He seemed assured then of a life of dignified ease and a high position in the Church.
But God had other plans for John, which were gradually revealed to him in the next several years. During a chance meeting with M. Nyel of Raven, he became interested in the creation of schools for poor boys in Raven, where he was stationed. Though the work was extremely distasteful to him at first, he became more involved in working with the deprived youths.

Once convinced that this was his divinely appointed mission, John threw himself wholeheartedly into the work, left home and family, abandoned his position as canon at Rheims, gave away his fortune and reduced himself to the level of the poor to whom he devoted his entire life.

The remainder of his life was closely entwined with the community of religious men he founded, the Brothers of the Christian School (Christian Brothers, or De La Salle Brothers). This community grew rapidly and was successful in educating boys of poor families using methods designed by John, preparing teachers in the first training college for teachers and also setting up homes and schools for young delinquents of wealthy families. The motivating element in all these endeavors was the desire to become a good Christian.

Yet even in his success, John did not escape experiencing many trials: heartrending disappointment and defections among his disciples, bitter opposition from the secular schoolmasters who resented his new and fruitful methods, and persistent opposition from the Jansenists of his time, whose moral regidity and pessimism abut the human condition John resisted vehemently all his life.

Afflicted with asthma and rheumatism in his last years, he died on Good Friday at 68 and was canonized in 1900.


Complete dedication to one’s calling by God, whatever it may be, is a rare quality. Jesus asks us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30b, emphasis added). Paul gives similar advice: “Whatever you do, do from the heart…” (Colossians 3:23).


“What is nobler than to mold the character of the young? I consider that he who knows how to form the youthful mind is truly greater than all painters, sculptors and all others of that sort” (St. John Chrysostom).

~ American

6 thoughts on “Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle and Why I Am Not Juanita

Add yours

  1. San Juan Bautista de la Salle, patron of Teachers, pray for us. You know that we have three of Lasalle’s brothers writing for us, right? Bienvenida a la familia lasallista! If you want to read up on La Salle’s complete works, they are all free on the downloadable materials tab @ in English, Spanish and French. I’ll end this comment the lasallian way, ¡Viva Jesús en nuestros corazones por siempre!


  2. What a lovely name it is : Narda. It means “anointed”. If you want to work with youth then go for it. Remember, the minute we make a decision the universe conspires to make it happen. So, make that decision and let it work for you. 🙂


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