On April 7th, the Institute throughout the world celebrated the three hundredth anniversary of the entrance into eternal life of our Patron, Saint John Baptist de La Salle, on Good Friday, 1719. To mark this milestone in the history of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and our Founder's enduring legacy, La Salle College High School commissioned this original icon.
This icon took shape as a creative collaboration between school President Brother James Butler, FSC and noted contemporary iconographer Vivian Imbruglia (www.sacredimageicons.com). Brother James commented, "I was looking to develop an icon which manifests some of the enduring characteristics of the genre while being at the same time uniquely evocative of our particular La Salle school in 2019." Dialogue with Ms. Imbruglia began in the fall and resulted in a work the artist described as "probably the most unique icon I have ever done. I hope it represents your school well."
In addition to the depiction of de La Salle as a vital middle aged man, established in his personal Mission but still undiminished by obstacles or age, the piece includes the coats of arms of the Brothers of the Christian Schools and La Salle College High School as well as the contemporary mantra encouraging students and alumni to "leave to serve." The cruciform organization of the icon reminds all that Jesus is the source and inspiration of the Lasallian Mission.
Four architectural images grace the corners of the icon. At top left is St. Michael's Church, the site where La Salle began operations in 1858. To the right is the Glaser Center, the newest facility constructed on campus, reminding us also of the contribution generous benefactors make to furthering our educational Mission. At the bottom right is the first part of the La Salle Building that students see each morning, and opposite that is a scene from the Lourdes Grotto. That grotto, an architectural feature linking the Wyndmoor campus to its predecessor at 20th and Olney, connects as well to the 33 alumni classes who studied there. Honoring Mary under her title as Queen and Mother of Christian Schools, this segment acknowledges the experience of "Brothers' Boys" from that era, taught to carry their rosaries with them every day, whose devotion to the Blessed Mother has remained with them throughout their active and retired lives.