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Venerable Francis Mary Jordan

Founder of the Salvatorians


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Founder of the Society of the Divine Savior and Sisters of the Divine Savior: 1848-1918

His life

+ John Baptist Jordan was born to a poor family in Gutweil, Germany. Although he desired to be a priest, his family’s poverty led him to spend time serving as an itinerant artisan and laborer.

+ As Jordan traveled throughout Germany, he saw firsthand the devastating effects the Kulturkampf had on the life of the Church and the faith of the people.

+ Inspired by the needs he saw, Jordan finally began his studies for the priesthood and was eventually ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Freiburg. A gifted linguist, his bishop sent him to study Greek and Semitic languages. During this period, he discerned that God was calling him to serve the Church in a new way.

+ Father Jordan envisioned a new society that would bring together priests, religious, and lay men and women from all walks of life to work for the spread of the Gospel throughout the world and also for the renewal of the faith in nominally Christian countries.

+ On December 8, 1881, Father Jordan and two companions pronounced vows as the first members of the newly formed Apostolic Teaching Society. Around this time, he adopted a religious name: Francis Mary of the Cross.

+ Although Father Jordan did not intend to establish a formal religious community, the following years saw his vision evolve and, in later years his Society came to include two separate religious communities: a community of priests and brothers known as the Society of the Divine Savior and a community of religious women known as the Congregation of the Divine Savior. Both communities are more commonly known as “Salvatorians.”

+ Father Jordan wanted his religious sons and daughters to be “Apostles for our times” and their mission was to make known the “loving kindness of the Savior” by all ways and means.

+ Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan died in Tafers, Switzerland, on September 8, 1918. He was declared Venerable in 2011.

+ In the 1970s the lay branch of the Salvatorian Family was re-established and the three branches of the Salvatorians work in close collaboration in more than 40 countries throughout the world.

Spiritual bonus

The Baroness Therese Von Wüllenweber became the first and only female member of the “first grade” of the Apostolic Teaching Society and, with Father Jordan, helped establish the Sisters of the Divine Savior. Known in religious life as “Mary of the Apostles,” she died in 1907 and was beatified in 1968.


“As long as there is one person on earth who does not know God and does not love God above all things, you dare not allow yourself a moment’s rest.”—Venerable Francis Mary Jordan

To learn more about the priests and brothers of the Society of the Divine Savior, visit:

To learn more about the Sisters of the Divine Savior, visit:


God our Father, you called Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan to be your apostle, to make you known and loved by all people everywhere, using all the ways and means your love inspires.

You filled him with universal apostolic zeal, with the goodness and the kindness of the Divine Saviour, with a deep trust in God’s loving providence, with a profound spirit of prayer, with a sincere devotion to Mary, Mother of the Saviour, and with the courage to follow you, even into the mystery of the Cross.

Grant us, by his intercession, and according to your will, the graces we ask you …..,
hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. 

We make this prayer through Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(Prayer for the Beatification of Ven. Francis Mary Jordan)


Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

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