Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

Blessed Jordan of Saxony (Part 2): A Thief of Souls for God’s Service

Salve Regina

One of the most beautiful traditions of the Order of Preachers is the singing of the Salve Regina to our Blessed Mother

Bl. Jordan was marked by compassion for others and a zeal for souls. Once while preaching about sin, he remembered that in the Scriptures, sin is referred to as the “doorway to Hell.” “If you saw a student sitting in the doorway, and then again tomorrow and again the next day and day after day, would not naturally suppose that the student was going to enter the Order? Are we then to believe that those who sit day after day in the doorway of Hell will not eventually enter there?”

When his own young friars were troubled with temptations, sins, and disturbances from the devil, he would seek them out individually, pray with them, lay hands on them, or intercede for them. One young friar had become so disturbed and angry after he entered the Order, he tried to assault his subprior. Bl. Jordan found him and laying his hands on his head, began to pray. Slowly, the seething rage dissipated and the young man was left in peace. Another friar was plagued with attacks from the devil. As a remedy, Bl. Jordan had the friars invoke the protection of our Blessed Mother by singing the Salve Regina every night after Compline, a tradition that is still maintained in Dominican monasteries and houses to this day.

His concern extended even to those who had been unfaithful to the Order and had returned to the world – he simply would not forget any lost or wandering sheep. In addressing a situation with one such brother, he asked a certain resolution be passed. All assembled were in agreement except one brother who resisted – the apostate brother had already caused so many problems, why should they continue to concern themselves? Bl. Jordan responded, “In truth, Brother, if you had given one drop of your blood for this unfortunate man, as Christ gave all of his for you, you would think it right to have some concern for him still.” Flabbergasted, the resisting brother prostrated himself on the ground and gave his consent.

While the biographers of the Order may record facts about his life, much of what we know about Bl. Jordan, his thoughts and spiritual life we glean through his letters addressed to Bl. Diana, a Dominican nun who vowed to St. Dominic himself to enter a Dominican monastery after hearing the friars preach. Bl. Jordan had continued to look after and care for the material and spiritual needs of the nuns of the Order, including Bl. Diana. The letters of spiritual direction he wrote to Bl. Diana are the first collection of such letters in Christian Europe addressed to a woman. Through them, we can see the profound depths of his soul, the steadfastness of his faith, and his warmth and affection for his spiritual daughters and friends.

Bl. Jordan traveled extensively to visit and encourage his friars and nuns, as well as to preach in places that had not yet been reached by the Order. It was during one such trip that he died. He desired to meet and encourage the friars in Jerusalem and drowned in a shipwreck on its return trip. He was rushing back to Naples with two other friars to preach to the students during Lent when a storm caught the ship’s crew by surprise on February 13, 1237. All on board perished and as others worked to recover their bodies which began to wash up on shore, many reported seeing a supernatural light in the form of the cross hovering over the body of Bl. Jordan. The Friars Preachers of the Priory of St. Jean d’Acre came by ship to take possession of the bodies of the three friars and buried them in their church. Sadly, a short while after, the Turks devastated St. Jean d’Acre and the Priory of Preachers was destroyed. Nothing was ever found of Bl. Jordan’s tomb or his relics.

Patron saint of Dominican vocations and dear friend and brother to the nuns, Bl. Jordan, pray for us.

Blessed Jordan -Salve Regina

Comments are closed.

Post Navigation