Faith & Life

SAINT PROFILE: JOSEPH CALASANZ

1556 – 1648; Feast – August 25

By CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE     8/29/2015

This Spaniard studied law at the University of Lerida and was ordained a priest in 1583, despite his father’s hope that he would be a soldier. He became vicar general of a Spanish diocese, but in 1592 left for Rome, where he joined the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine and worked with neglected children. In 1597 he established the first free school in Rome with three other priests. This work led him to found the Clerks Regular of the Religious (or Pious) Schools, known as Piarists. He overcame internal and external opposition and served as superior general of the order. He was canonized in 1767, and in 1948 Pope Pius XII named him the patron saint of Christian schools. He is also a patron of students.

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