This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Monday, January 30, 2012

January 30 -- Feast of Saint Mutien Marie Wiaux

This nineteenth century Belgian saint was born Louis Wiaux, but he took the name Mutien Marie when he joined the Brothers of Christian Schools.  Given that his was a teaching order, Saint Mutien Marie's placement seemed poor.

He was notoriously lax on discipline, a characteristic that runs counter to the stereotype of the parochial school.  This may account for his placement at several different elementary schools around the greater Brussels area.   It certainly explains how he wound up teaching Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).  Just like so many school districts in Maine, his administrators perceived that VPA was a marginal subject and so he was relegated there.

Unlike Maine, the music and art classes he taught had very low numbers.  He worked closely with some of the least promising students in the school, distinguishing himself by "bringing even the least gifted to the limit of their abilities."  He became one of those teachers who really makes a difference in the lives of his students, helping them to like school, feel successful, and realize their potential. 

Yesterday, I looked at the new K-12 plan by Maine's Commissioner of Education.  His section on standards focused on the Common Core, a plan that thus far only addresses English and math.  They tell me that science standards will be coming out any day now.  As a social studies and Latin teacher, I can take some encouragement from Saint Mutien Marie Wiaux.  The Belgian bishops said of him that he "left no theological or spiritual treatise, nothing to bring his name out of the shadows. . . . [he] accomplished nothing out of the ordinary. . . . He was a man of prayer, an apostle among the students and went about his daily tasks with holiness. . . . hurting none and forgiving all."  I reckon those of us in the satellite disciplines could do worse. 

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