Posted by Br John Cantwell
on 16 September 2021
Quite rightly, we hear and read a lot about John Baptist de La Salle as saint, founder and educationalist. It is helpful, perhaps, to reflect that each of those titles, representing his significant achievements, includes the ups and downs of being part of a big family. One of his roles was to be an uncle to 22 nieces and nephews. This sketch is about one of them in particular, Jeanne Remiette.
John Baptist’s mother, Nicolle Moët de Brouillet, gave birth to a further ten children after John Baptist. Four of them died very young. Her and Louis’ sixth son, Pierre, born in September 1666, was followed by two more sons, and outlived all his siblings. Jeanne Remiette was one of his six daughters.
Pierre’s godparents were his sister Marie and his brother John Baptist, now fifteen and already named a canon of Reims. Following the death of their parents in 1671-72, he became tutor to his three brothers, including Pierre, but according to his biographers, Pierre was alienated from his big brother by Jean Maillefer, his brother-in-law who was married to Marie de La Salle.