Priest and Founder (1848-1918)
+ John Baptist Jordan was born into a poor family in Gurtweil, Germany. His family’s poverty prevented him from completing his studies and entering seminary and he spent some years working as an itinerant painter and laborer.
+ In time, he was able to begin seminary studies and he was ordained a priest on July 21, 1878. Father Jordan had demonstrated a proficiency with languages and his archbishop sent him to Rome to study Greek and Semitic languages.
+ Father Jordan became increasingly aware that God was calling him to establish a new apostolic work in the Church, envisioning a collaborative society of priests, religious and lay people who would promote the Catholic Faith throughout the world.
+ On December 8, 1881, Father Jordan and a small group of companions professed religious vows, establishing the “Apostolic Teaching Society.” At the time of his profession, Father Jordan took the religious name “Francis Mary of the Cross.”
+ A short time later, the Society came to include a group of religious women (this first group of sisters later became an independent community known as the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother).
+ In the years that followed, the Society Father Jordan founded was transformed into two distinct religious communities, one including priests and brothers and the other, a new community of religious sisters cofounded with Blessed Mary of the Apostles (Therese von Wüllenweber). Given a new name and now dedicated to the Divine Savior, these communities became known as the Salvatorians.
+ Father Jordan spent the remainder of his life governing the community of priests and brothers and overseeing the establishment of new missions in several countries, as well as the ongoing publishing and educational projects of the young community.
+ Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross died on September 8, 1918, in Fribourg, Switzerland, where he had been forced to relocate during the First World War. He was beatified on May 15, 2021.
+ Today, Salvatorian priests, brothers, sisters, and lay members serve in a myriad of ministries in more than 40 countries, inspired by Father Jordan’s vision of collaboration and universality.
For prayer and reflection
“Be a true apostle of Jesus Christ. Do not rest until you have carried the word of God
to all the corners of the earth. Be a true herald of the Most High!”—Blessed Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan
The priests and brothers of the Society of the Divine Savior: www.salvatorians.com
The Sisters of the Divine Savior: www.sistersofthedivinesavior.org
The International Community of the Divine Savior (Lay Salvatorians): www.laysalvatorians.com
We humbly ask you, almighty God,
that at the intercession of blessed Francis Jordan
you may multiply your gifts among us
and order our days in peace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Pastors)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.