Collège Champittet
22 March, 2023

120 years of Champittet #3: the creator of the Olympic Games motto featured on the stained glass windows of the school chapel


This year marks the 120th anniversary of Collège Champittet. Follow us and discover, each month, the events that have shaped the history of Collège Champittet.

The stained glass windows of the school chapel may seem like mere decorations, but they tell a story that connects St. Thomas Aquinas, Father Henri Didon, and the modern Olympic Games with the Champittet values.

These stained glass windows were brought from another church in France and the identity of the saints depicted in them is unknown. However, the artist depicted them in the guise of his contemporaries.

One of the stained glass windows, the first one on the left near the altar, attracts particulary our attention. It depicts St. Thomas Aquinas, in the guise of Father Henri Didon (1840-1900), a modernist Dominican priest and teacher who promoted school trips and sports in schools, two new concepts at the time.

Stained glass_Chapel

In 1891, he met Baron Pierre de Coubertin (1863-1937), founder of the modern Olympic Games, who wished to invite young people from religious schools to tournaments with students from secular schools. The two visionaries became friends and the Olympic Movement took up the motto invented by Henri Didon, altius citius fortius (higher, fa

ster, stronger), which he created for the flag of his school during these tournaments.

What can we learn from this story? Our integral educational approach of places travel and sports at the center of our educational project. The openness to the world and nature characterizes Champittet, and sports and competition are practiced in balance with the values of fair play and team spirit.


Read also:
The founding of the school and its DNA
Our logo, a wonderful mistake