Lasallians from the Lasallian Region of North America (RELAN) were among those who traveled to Vatican City to witness the canonization of Brother Solomon Le Clercq, FSC, on October 16, 2016. Saint Solomon, a martyr of the French Revolution, was the first Brother of the Christian Schools to be martyred, and the first to be beatified.
“It is inspiring to see that our Lasallian ministry, begun over 300 years ago, remains transformative and powerful,” Brother Thomas Hetland, FSC, religious institutes relationship manager at Christian Brothers Services in Romeoville, Illinois. “Saint Solomon reminds us of the power and potential that each of us has to serve others with faith and zeal.”
Rebecca Hulick, a Lasallian Volunteer serving at Cathedral High School in El Paso, Texas, called the canonization an experience she will never forget.
“When I first arrived in Rome, I was filled with excitement and still could not believe I was here,” she said. “I attended dinner with a Brother from Naples, a representative from DENA and high school students who are in Lasallian Youth at their school. I forgot for a moment that we may not speak the same language and our cultures are different but we are Lasallians. We understand each other because we are following the Lasallian mission.”
In the day surrounding the canonization, Lasallian also attended a Mass and celebration in honor of Saint Solomon. Saint Solomon was born in 1745 and entered the novitiate at age 21. He was named secretary to the Superior General in 1782. During the French Revolution, Saint Solomon was put to death on September 2, 1792, with 165 other prisoners who all refused to swear the oath of “The Civil Constitution of the Clergy” denying their loyalty to the church. Saint Solomon and his companions were beatified on October 17, 1926. The 2016 confirmation of a 2007 miracle attributed to Saint Solomon ended his five-year canonization process. He is credited with curing a five-year-old Venezuelan girl of complications from a venomous snakebite.
“Lasallian faith and zeal filled Saint Peter’s Square as Brothers and Partners gathered with other Church faithful for the canonization of Saint Solomon and the other six saints who were canonized,” said Maryann Donohue-Lynch, associate executive director of the office for mission and ministry in the District of Eastern North America (DENA). “I found the homily of Pope Francis most inspiring as he spoke regarding the necessity for and the power of prayer.”
Including Saint Solomon and Saint John Baptist de La Salle, 14 Brothers have been canonized, 150 are blessed and eight have been declared venerable. Five are on the path of holiness with the process started or nearly concluded.