St Benilde

Celebrated on

Saint Of The Day

De La Salle brother and teacher. Born in 1805, at Thuret, Puy de Dome, in France, Pierre was educated by the De la Salle brothers and joined them in 1825. He excelled at cooking and teaching. Two years after his profession he was made superior of his community and school at Billom.

In 1841 he was entrusted with the foundation of Saugues where he spent the rest of his life as superior and headmaster. St Benilde was a small man but was a great leader. A charismatic teacher - many of his former pupils went on to become brothers or priests. In time the little school became the center of the social and intellectual life of the village, with evening classes for the adults and tutoring for the less gifted students.

Brother Benilde's extraordinary religious sense was evident to everyone: at Mass with the students in the parish church, teaching catechism, preparing boys for first communion, visiting and praying with the sick, and rumors of near-miraculous cures.

In his last year he suffered from a severe form of rheumatism. He died in 1862. At his beatification ceremony, Pope Pius XII stressed that his sanctification had been reached because he had enduring "the daily grind" and had done "common things in an uncommon way."

St Benilde was canonised in 1967.