Jordan of Saxony
|Blessed Jordan of Saxony, O.P.|
Fresco of the Blessed Jordan in the Dominican priory at Worms
|Master General of the Order of Preachers|
Borgberge near Dassel, Duchy of Saxony
|Died||13 February 1237
at sea, near Syria
|Honored in||Roman Catholic Church|
|Beatified||1825 by Pope Leo XII (cultus confirmed)|
|Patronage||Vocations to the Dominican Order
Faculty of Engineering
University of Santo Tomas
The Blessed Jordan of Saxony, O.P. (referred to in Latin as Jordanus, also known as de Alamania) (ca. 1190 – 1237), was one of the first leaders of the Dominican Order. Nothing is known of his life other than that he was a member of the German nobility, possibly from Borgberge near Dassel in the Duchy of Saxony. He was a student at Paris when he was received into the Dominican Order by Reginald of Orleans, one of the newly-founded Order's most effective preachers, whose preaching had inspired this move by Jordan.
Jordan was at that time about thirty years of age, and a student at the University of Paris. His reputation for sanctity, though, had preceded him into the Order. He had worn the religious habit of the Order for only two months when he was sent as a delegate to the General Chapter of the Order in Bologna, held the summer of 1219. It was there that he was to meet Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order. The following year he was appointed as Prior Provincial of Lombardy in Italy.
On 6 August 1221, St. Dominic died, and Jordan was elected as his first successor as Master General of the Order of Preachers. Like Saint Dominic, Jordan was famed as a strict disciplinarian whose commitment to the Rule was tempered with kindness.
During Jordan's administration, the young Order increased to over 300 monasteries. Through his lectures in university towns, he won many—allegedly well over 1,000—professors and students for the Order from the universities of Europe, among whom was Albertus Magnus. He is venerated as the patron of Dominican vocations. He added four new provinces to the eight already existing. Twice he obtained for the Order a chair at the University of Paris and helped to found the University of Toulouse. He established the first general house of studies of the Order.
Additionally, Jordan was a spiritual guide to many, including one of the first Dominican nuns, the Blessed Diana degli Andalò, O.P. Somewhere in his busy lifetime he found time to write a number of books: a life of St. Dominic and several other works. Among them was the Libellus de principiis Ordinis Praedicatorum ("Booklet on the beginnings of the Order of Preachers"), a Latin text which is both the earliest biography of Saint Dominic and the first narrative history of the foundation of the Order.
Jordan died in a shipwreck on his return from Palestine, where he was visiting the local monasteries of the Order. The shipwreck occurred off the coast of Syria on 13 February 1237. Jordan was buried in the Dominican Church of St. John in Akko, in present-day Israel. His feast day is 13 February.
A section of a work by Friar Gerald de Frachet describing the lives of the first Dominicans, the Lives of the Brothers (Vitae fratrum), is dedicated to describing his character, virtue, and miracles. All of the first chroniclers of the Order describe Jordan's kindness and personal charm. He had the ability to console the troubled and to inspire the despondent with new hope. He is credited with introducing the practice of singing the Salve Regina at the end of Compline, done, it is recorded, to calm the spirits of the Brothers, who were being tried by the Devil.
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (December 2012)|
Dominic de Guzman
|Master General of the Dominican Order
Raymundo de Peñafort