Our Lady Cathedral

T his monument always impresses with its size, its elevation and its majesty. It is necessary to imagine there, in a scene more solemn than today, the young John Baptist sensitive to the solemn liturgies. From the age of eleven, he declared that he wanted to become a priest.

A t sixteen, his intention was confirmed, and in 1667 the archbishop named him canon. He is assigned, in the choir, stall 21, to replace an old cousin who had wanted this change because of the piety and the ardour with the studies shown by the young man.

T he canons that once lived near the bishop to help him manage the diocese of Reims lived in a canonical enclosure open to passers-by during the day.
T his enclosure included the cloister, the buildings necessary for life in common, the schools and all the dependencies useful to the administration of their domains and the exercise of their seigniorial jurisdiction on a part of the city (barns, cellars, court and jail). There were also shops, especially mercers, booksellers and printers.

I t was a real small town within the city! The buildings of the chapter have almost all disappeared today.
T he Chapter door, built in 1531, is a remnant of this "enclosure".

O ne year after having been ordained and met Adrien Nyel, John Baptist de La Salle was to discover, little by little, the lack of education of the poor boys and the lack of teacher training. A man of thirty-two, he then decided to involve himself entirely in this task, and he worked to the foundation of a community of schoolteachers.

T o join the masters in their poverty, he abandoned his title of canon and distributed his fortune to the poor during a famine in 1684.