An exhibition dedicated to Fr Solomon Leclercq is been prepared by the Brothers of the Christian Schools, Via Aurelia, 476, Rome. It has been designed and organized by Brother Diego Munoz, coordinator secretary of Lasallian Research and Resources Services. Through pictures, photos, historical notes and excerpts from the writings of Fr Solomon, Rousseau, Voltaire and La Chalotais (Attorney General of the Parliament of Brittany, opponent of the popular and catholic schools, such as those run by the Brothers of the Christian Schools), the exhibition proposes a short trip to the knowledge of a little-known character who definitely we try to perceive and appreciate through his letters to family members, his deep devotion teaching children and teenagers, to whom he devoted himself after only a year of novitiate reaching out to educate 130 pupils, till the martyrdom suffered for not having accepted the civil Constitution of the clergy that would have taken him away from fidelity to the Catholic Church and to the Pope, contrary to the desires of the Holy Founder De La Salle.
Born into a wealthy family in November 15, 1745 Solomon, also known as Guillaume-Nicolas-Louis Leclercq, entered the novitiate on March 25th. 1767. He was a teacher, director, treasurer and finally, at the outbreak of the French Revolution, Secretary of Brother Agathon, then Superior General.
“I am not worthy to suffer for Him, because I have not experienced any pain, while there are so many confessors of Jesus Christ suffering”, following the words from a letter written by Bro. Solomon to one of his sisters on the day of his capture, in August 15, 1792.
We understand the thought of a man, a martyr, blessed and saint. It is very difficult to imagine now the historical context such as that of the French revolution.
July 14, 1789, in fact, with the taking of the Bastille, the fury of the revolutionaries also befalls on religious and priests, forced to take an oath to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy promulgated on July 12, 1790. Anyone who refuses is imprisoned and almost certainly killed. Many priests and religious fled for fear of arrest and killing. Solomon remains true to its mandate and its vocation, alone in the Rue Neuve, He will be arrested there and taken to the prison of the Carmelites. In September the 2nd. of that year, along with other prisoners, mostly priests and religious, he was killed with the sword. Beatified in October 17, 1926 by Pope Pius XI along with other 191 victims of the massacres of September 1792, he became the first martyr of the Brothers of the Christian Schools.
“If the revolution continues, we expect that we will ask the oath which we can not do; that you may well want to force to teach a constitution that we can not in good conscience ever teach “ (Fr Solomon, 1791).
In August the 18th. , 1792 the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is officially abolished in France.
The exhibition will be inaugurated at the Generalate on October 17, 2016, the day after the solemn celebration of his canonization in Rome.
The Communications and Technology Services provide all the texts (in Italian, French, Spanish and English), photographs and engravings, exposures, in digital format. Anyone interested in reproducing this exhibition can contact Ilaria Iadeluca (Director of Communications) at: .