St. John Baptist De La Salle was just like any other person filled with aspirations. He always felt that it was his mission from God to serve in the church. He would always be fascinated by the stories of saints that his grandmother would tell him.
Do you think that I can become a saint too, Grandmother?
Why, yes, John! Anybody with good will and heart can become a saint.
This is it, I'll soon become a priest!
De La Salle was 19 years old when he studied at the Seminary of St. Sulpice in Paris.
Despite his dream of becoming a priest, John had to stop his studies and leave Paris and come home to Reims to care for his siblings after receiving news that his father, who, months after his mother had passed away. He was 21 at the time.
I'm sorry for your loss.
You want to do what?!
Aside from being called to become a priest, De La Salle felt that he also had another mission from God and that was to educate the many poor children in his town. He, together with Adrian Nyel set out to fulfill this mission.
Build a free school for the poor!
Sister, I'm sorry but I must do this for the good of the children and the brothers.
Building a school that had no tuition was not easy for De La Salle. However, his perseverance made him go as far as selling his family's estate in order to financially support the free school.
John, you have to stop this nonsense, these are Mother and Father's belongings!
Despite the many brothers who ridiculed and abandoned John for teaching the children with no proper salary, Nicholas Vuyart and Gabriel Drolin remained; and thus, on the 21st of November, 1691, De La Salle along with the two, professed the "Heroic Vow" in order to preserve the legacy built by De La Salle.
...make the vow of ASSOCIATION and UNION to bring about and maintain the said establishment, without our being able to abandon it, even if we were to remain just we three in the said Society, and that we were obliged to beg alms and live on bread alone.