HomeDLSU Dialogue: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Cultural Studiesvol. 26 no. 1-2 (1993)

The Splendid Century: The Historical Setting for the Life and Work of St. John Baptist de La Salle

Gregory Wright

Discipline: History



The life of St. John Baptist de la Salle, who was born on 30 April 1651 and died on 7 April 1719, overlapped almost perfectly with the personal reign of Louis XIV, Ie roi soleil or "the Sun King," which began on 8 March 1661 and ended with his death on 1 September 1715. Therefore, what in French history is called Ie grand siede or "the Splendid Century," forms the historical setting for the life and work of the Founder of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools. Any effort to understand the saint and what he did must take into account the age in which he lived. By examining briefly some of the more important aspects of the Age of Louis XIV, be they political, economic, social, cultural or religious, this paper attempts to show how the Splendid Century could and did affect the life of the Founder and his work.