Father Jordan - Founder of the Salvatorians

P. Jordan

Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan was born on 16th June, 1848 in Gurtweil near Waldshut / Black Forest and received the name of John the Baptist in baptism. He first learned the trade of painter. After the usual apprenticeship and journeyman years, he later fetched the Abitur with 26 years of age. Then he studied philosophy and theology at the University of Freiburg in Germany. In 1877, he entered the Seminary of St. Peter and was ordained to the priesthood on 21st July, 1878. Because of the "Kulturkampf" that time, he was sent for further studies in Rome, where he dealt with the languages of the Near East.

After a study tour to the Orient, he founded the "Apostolic Teaching Society" which in the first stage should include men and women who live the evangelical counsels. The day of foundation of the male branch became the 8th December, 1881. Shortly after that, he reorganised it to religious congregation with the name "Society of the Divine Savior" (Salvatorians). The purpose was the outer and inner mission; he himself assumed the name Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan.

Together with Baroness Therese of Wüllenweber from the castle Myllendonk (near Mönchengladbach), he founded the order of the "Sisters of the Divine Savior" (Salvatorians) on 8th December, 1888. His attempt to gather academics in a second stage to defend the faith did not succeed; but especially in the German-speaking area, he could gather believers who should work apostolically in their living environment.

Already 1890, he began to spread out the two religious communities to Assam (Northeast India), then to several countries in Europe and finally to North and South America. He himself cared about the spiritual guidance and apostolic formation of the young confreres.

Together with the generalate, he had to move to Fribourg in Switzerland because of the First World War in 1915. In the same year, the 3rd General Chapter of the Order met his desire to resign from the government of the society. It assigned the government of the Salvatorians to Father Pancratius Pfeiffer (1872-1945). Father Francis of the Cross died after a long illness on 8 September 1918 in Tafers in Fribourg (Switzerland) in the reputation of a saint. His remains were transferred to the Mother House in Rome in 1956.

The process for beatification was started in 1942 and approaches toward completion.