Dominican Saints 101: Bl. Jordan of Saxony
February 12, 2012
Mothers hid their sons when Bl. Jordan of Saxony came around (1190-1236, feast – Feb. 13). The successor to Holy Father Dominic as Master of the Order, Bl. Jordan was known to draw men to the Order in great numbers. It is said that during his time as Master of the Order, well over 1000 men entered the Dominicans (including a “German” believed to be St. Albert the Great). In the Vitae Fratrum, Jordan is depicted as drawing so many men to the Order that priories would make habits in advance of his arrival:
During his stay the convent resembled a bee-hive from the numbers which swarmed in and poured out to join the different provinces of the Order. He would often have a number of habits made in advance, feeling sure that our Lord would not be long in sending him subjects to wear them, a result which came about directly he resumed his preaching: nay, it often happened that so many thronged in at one time that habits could not be provided as fast as they were required. On one memorable occasion tears were shed by every eye on his receiving twenty-one students at once in Paris; for on the one hand the brethren wept for joy, while on the other those present bewailed the loss of their friends.
Among other notable qualities, Bl. Jordan also had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. To honor the Most Holy Name of Mary, he composed a little Office of 5 psalms, each of which began with a letter of her name (M – the Magnificat, A – Psalm 120, R – Psalm 119:17-24, I – Psalm 126, A – Psalm 123). He began this Office with the Ave Maris Stella, and concluded the Psalms with an Ave Maria instead of the usual Gloria Patri. Moreover, he also had various visions of the Blessed Virgin who would either sprinkle the friars with heavenly water or enjoin her Son to bless them Himself. May we too follow Bl. Jordan’s example of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and may the Queen of Heaven intercede for us to her Son and beseech Him to send us an abundance of priestly and religious vocations so that through them many souls may be saved. O God, who made Blessed Jordan wonderful for zeal in the saving of souls and for grace in the extending of religion, grant that, by his merits and intercession, we may ever live in the same spirit and find glory laid up for us in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.