Since we were children we knew that May 15 is Teacher’s Day, but, have you ever wondered the history and origin of this date, which was chosen to honor and celebrate those who dedicate their lives to teaching?
There are at least two good reasons for this celebration, one religious and one state related:
On May 15, the Catholic church celebrates the feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle – who was born in Reims, France, in the mid-seventeenth century – a priest, theologian and pedagogue who devoted his life to the formation of teachers who dedicated to educate the children of artisans, peasants and country men.
With that objective, John Baptist founded the Congregation of the Brothers of the Christian Schools – better known as the Brothers of La Salle -, an institution of religious roots dedicated to education, focused on the formation of poor and orphaned children and young people.
For his work, on May 15, 1950, Pope Pius XII appointed Saint John Baptist de La Salle “universal patron of all educators”, and this date became one of the saint’s feasts – in addition to April 7, anniversary of his birth.
On the other hand, in Mexico, the commemoration of Teacher’s Day is due to the initiative of President Venustiano Carranza, who in 1917, decreed that on May 15 the teachers would be celebrated all over Mexico.
The first Teacher’s Day was celebrated in México in 1918. The election of that date was due to the fact that the feast of Saint John Baptist de La Salle coincided with the anniversary of the capture of Queretaro.
In other countries people celebrate teachers in different dates. UNESCO, for example, declared October 5 as World Teacher’s Day.
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