The Life of Father Jordan

The Life of Father Francis Jordan

Father Francis Mary-of-the-Cross Jordan, was born as John Baptist Jordan, on June 16, 1848, in Gurtweil, Germany, a small town in the Black Forest area of the southwestern part of the country, only a few miles from the border of Switzerland. Even in his youth, Jordan was known to be a devout young man and he often spent time in private prayer.

While working as a laborer and painter-decorator traveling throughout his homeland, Jordan became keenly aware of the difficult spiritual situation of the people in his homeland. Because the Church had been limited in its mission by the government (in what became known as the Kulturkampf) people were turning away from God and the practice of their faith. This only strengthened Jordan's faith and he began to sense a call to the priesthood. On July 21, 1878, he was ordained a priest in Freiburg, Germany, and, because he was known to have a talent for languages, he was sent to Rome by his bishop for advanced language studies. He became fluent in Syrian, Aramaic, Coptic, Arabic, Hebrew and Greek.

But Jordan was sensing that something else was in store for his future. He began thinking about ways to combat the growing disinterest in spirituality and religion. In September 1880, Jordan met privately with Pope Leo XIII in the Vatican, where he outlined his plan to begin a society devoted to spreading the teachings of the faith. The Pope gave Jordan his blessing to begin creating such an organization. On December 8, 1881, Father Jordan witnessed the Profession of Vows made by his first followers.

This marked the beginning of the Society of the Divine Savior. After working several years with Therese von W├╝llenweber (now known as Blessed Mary of the Apostles after her beatification in 1968), they founded a community of women in their shared cause, and on December 8, 1888, Jordan witnessed her Profession of Vows. She was known in the community as Mother Mary. This marked the beginning of the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Savior.

Together, the members of their communities became known as "Salvatorians" - from the Latin word < salvator > meaning "Savior." The original plan of Father Francis and Mother Mary was to bring lay men and women into the work and mission of their community as well, but this didn't fit the vision of the Church at the time, so it wasn't permitted. Only after the completion of the Second Vatican Council was the dream of Father Francis and Mother Mary fully realized when, in the early 1970's, the first Lay Salvatorians made their formal commitment. Finally, the Salvatorian Family was complete.

The Motherhouse of the Society is just down the street from St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The Motherhouse of the Sisters is nearby, atop one of the great hills of the city. Today, more than two thousand Salvatorians around the world continue the mission of Father Francis and Mother Mary:"To proclaim the goodness of kindness of Jesus, the Divine Savior, by all ways and means the love of God inspires."

On September 8, 1918, he died in Tafers, Switzerland, and he was buried in the local church. In 1956, his body was transferred to Rome and is now entombed in a special chapel in the Motherhouse of the Society. On March 19, 1999, Pope John Paul II visited the community and prayed at the tomb of Father Jordan.

In 2011, the Vatican published the Decree on the Heroicity of His Virtues and declared Father Jordan "Venerable." On June 19, 2020, Pope Francis officially approved the promulgation of the decree acknowledging the miracle attributed to our Founder - Fr. Francis Jordan. The beatification ceremony will be on May 15, 2021 at the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome.

Mission Statement
Founded in 1881 by Father Francis Jordan, the Society of the Divine Savior is a Roman Catholic religious community, praying and working to share the love and mercy of our Savior, Jesus Christ, through all possible means.


Salvatorians answer this calling through
many diverse ministries, including-
-Feeding the Poor
-Hospital, nursing home and prison ministries
-Campus Ministries
-Pastors in parish ministry
-Ministering to the marginalized
-Supporting communities under duress
-Camp counselors
-Anti-human trafficking
-Shipping medical, food and supplies to missions
-Foreign missionaries
-Support to at-risk youth
-Teachers and administrators