Founder of Catholic religious order will be beatified in May

A detail from a portrait of Fr. Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan. Credit: Societas Divini Salvatoris.

The Vatican has decreed that Fr. Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, founder of the Salvatorians, will be beatified 15 May 2021, at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran in Rome. 

Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside over the ceremony.

The news was announced jointly by the leaders of the three branches of the Salvatorian Family: Fr. Milton Zonta, superior general of the Society of the Divine Savior; Sr. Maria Yaneth Moreno, superior general of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior; and Christian Patzl, president of the International Community of the Divine Savior.

The beatification process of the German priest opened in 1942. In 2011, Benedict XVI recognized his heroic virtues, declaring him Venerable. On June 20 this year, Pope Francis approved his beatification after recognizing a miracle attributed to his intercession.

In 2014, two lay members of the Salvatorians in Jundiaí, Brazil, prayed for Jordan to intercede for their unborn child, who was believed to be suffering from an incurable bone disease known as skeletal dysplasia.

The child was born in a healthy condition on 8 September 2014, the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the anniversary of Jordan’s death. 

The future Blessed was named Johann Baptist Jordan after his birth in 1848 in Gurtweil, a town in the modern-day German state of Baden-Württemberg. Due to his family’s poverty, he was not at first able to pursue his calling to be a priest, working instead as a laborer and painter-decorator.

But stirred by the anti-Catholic “Kulturkampf,” which attempted to restrict the Church’s activities, he began to study for the priesthood. After his ordination in 1878, he was sent to Rome to learn Syrian, Aramaic, Coptic, and Arabic, as well as Hebrew and Greek. 

He believed that God was calling him to found a new apostolic work in the Church. Following a trip to the Middle East, he sought to establish a community of religious and laypeople in Rome, dedicated to proclaiming that Jesus Christ is the only Savior. 

He named the male and female branches of the community the Society of the Divine Savior and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior respectively.

In 1915, the First World War forced him to leave Rome for neutral Switzerland, where he died in 1918.

Source: CNA