Rue Saint-Jean-Baptiste De la Salle is the former Rue de la Barouillere.
It was re-named in 1951, recalling the fact that from 1707-1715 De La Salle rented some buildings and gardens on the site of the present Savings Bank (Caisse d’Epargne). The street is only half a block from the Rue de Sevres Lasallian Center.
House Rented by the Brothers
It was here that a large house was rented called the House of the Barouillere. It would have been behind the present post office, on what is now De La Salle Street, one half-block from the Due de Sevres property. The school occupied the site of the present day rear part of the Savings Bank (Caisse d’Epargne). La Chetardye had been prevailed upon by Br. Thomas (the procurator) to provide the deposit for this house in Rue de la Barouillere. The house was primarily intended for the Rue Princesse Brothers as a residence because until then (1707) they had been living in the insalubrious dwelling attached to their school.
Escaping Famine at St. Yon
During several sojourns here, between 1707 and 1715, De La Salle made arrangements with the young Abbe Clement for a school in St. Denis, re-edited some of his earlier Vaugirard works, and lived with Brother Bartholomew and his novices when they sought refuge in Barouillere during a particularly bad famine in the St. Yon area in 1709.
Recovering from Knee Surgery
It was here also that De La Salle spent some time recovering from a series of horribly painful knee operations. It seems he stumbled and fell on an iron spike driven into the ground as a gatestop at the Tuileries Garden north of the Seine. He had been returning from Rue St. Honore and was going to Rue Princesse via the Pont Royal and Saint Germain Boulevard, about a 20 minute walk. After hurting his knee (on which there was already a “wen“) he struggled in agony the rest of the way to the door of the Rue Princesse house.
Nearby is the Rue Pierre-LeRoux, which was called the Rue de Frere Philippe from 1874-1885 in tribute to the work of education done by the Institute under Brother Phillipe’s superiorship. This street is almost opposite the Rue de La Salle. In De La Salle’s time the Rue Pierre-LeRoux was simply called the Rue Traverse.
Remains of St. Vincent de Paul Nearby
It’s to be noted that in the nearby Rue de Sevres, at no. 95, is the Chapel of the Lazarists built in 1827, holding the remains of St. Vincent de Paul. De La Salle was in frequent contact with the priests of this mission. One of their missionaries in Rome served as intermediary for corresponding with Br. Gabriel Drolin, although De La Salle was critical of them in his letters to Gabriel Drolin.
1) What do you think De La Salle would think about all of the attention that’s paid to him today? Would he be upset, pleased, indifferent? What would he want emphasized?
2) The letter to De La Salle that was written by the “principal Brothers” from this location was personal, but very direct. How would you characterize the relationship between the Brothers and De La Salle?
3) The statue by Lejeune in the small alcove of the building seems to be a favorite of many. Looking at the statue, why do you think that is? How is education represented