Saint Joseph Calasanctius

Saint Joseph Calasanctius

Founder of the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools (Piarists)
(1556-1648)

Saint Joseph Calasanctius was born in Aragon in 1556 of a noble family, who gave him a very Christian education. When only five years old, he led a troop of children through the streets to find the devil and slay him. He became a priest, and was engaged in various reforms when he heard a voice saying, Go to Rome, Joseph and had a vision of many children who were being taught by him and by a company of Angels. When he reached the Holy City, his heart was moved by the vice and ignorance of the children of the poor, and he saw clearly that ignorance was the mother of vice and misery. Sunday catechism lessons were insufficient to remedy the situation. When he could find no collaboration under the existing frameworks, the children’s need mastered his profound humility, and he undertook to found personally the Order of Clerks Regular of the Pious Schools, or the Piarists.

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