Here at the University of St. La Salle when we hear the name Solomon we don’t mean the King of Israel, we mean the Building sandwiched between Cody Hall and Miguel Hall which houses the Liceo de La Salle Senior High School classrooms. But where did the name of the building come from? Well let me introduce you to… St. Brother Solomon. Say hello!
St. Brother Solomon died during the French Revolution as a martyr of the Catholic Church. He was the Secretary to the Superior General, Brother Agathon. The French Revolution sprung a movement called ‘dechristianisation’, which aimed to excise religion from French society. In order to continue to function, priests and religious were forced to take an oath to support the constitution. Most of the Brothers refused and so were forced gradually to abandon their schools and communities. Brother Solomon refused to take an oath and lived alone in Paris in secrecy. The Mother House in Rome still has copies of letters sent by him to his family the last one dated August 15, 1792. The date he was arrested. He was imprisoned together with other priests and bishops at the Carmelite Monastery and on the faithful day of September 2 of the same year he killed by a sword in the monastery’s garden. St. Brother Solomon is the first of our martyrs and the first Brother to be beatified. His feast is celebrated on September 2 with the other Brother martyrs of the hulks of Rochefort, who died 2 or 3 years later.
90 years after he was beatified, Brother Solomon will be canonized at St. Peters square together with four other martyrs on October 16, 2016, 10:00 AM (Local Time) by Pope Francis. Br. Robert Schieler, FSC, Superior General wrote in his July 19 letter addressed to the Brothers and all Lasallians, “Together, let us thank the Lord. The example set by our Brother must push us to follow Christ day after day. Although we are not called to give a bloody witness we are called anyway to do this in the ‘terrible day to day task’ of our apostolic life.”
In the run up to Br. Solomon’s canonization the University of St. La Salle together will hold a Triduum Mass starting October 12, 2016 Wednesday until October 14, 2016 Friday and a Community Mass on Saturday, October 15, 2016 5:30 PM at the Main Chapel.So whenever you pass by the Solomon Building on your way to and from your classes, rushing home or just enjoying a nice walk around the University, think about this humble Brother who for his love for the Institute and the young sacrificed his life and be inspired.