Blessed Jordan and Joyful Poverty
February 6, 2014
Day 2: Blessed Jordan and Joyful Poverty
When the Order of Preachers was established, it was a strictly mendicant order: the friars could only obtain their basic necessities through begging. Blessed Jordan was confident that divine Providence would provide whatever the brothers needed. An early story illustrates this profoundly:
“When Father Jordan was traveling with many brothers to the General chapter at Paris, one day he sent the brothers around a town to beg for bread for their lunch, telling them to gather back at a nearby fountain. When they brought a piece of a coarse loaf that would hardly be enough for four, the saint broke out in exultation and praise, and by word and example urged the brothers to do the same. A woman who was standing there and saw this was shocked; she said, “If you are religious men, why are you merry-making at this early hour?” When she learned that they were rejoicing in the Lord because they lacked bread and were poor, she ran home and brought them plenty of bread, wine and cheese, and recommended herself to their prayers.”
Perhaps Bl. Jordan remembered the words of St. James, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials” (James 1:2). Bl. Jordan showed that he was like the apostle Paul, that great preacher who said, “I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want” (Phil 4:12). From the beginning, St. Dominic understood that poverty was a great witness to the Gospel: men who were poor showed in their lives their total dependence on God. Now, through Bl. Jordan’s intercession, let us beg God to raise up many poor friars to preach for the salvation of souls.
Blessed Jordan of Saxony, worthy successor of St. Dominic, in the early days of the Order, your example and zeal prompted many men and women to follow Christ in the white habit of Our Holy Father. As patron of Dominican vocations, continue to stimulate talented and devoted men and women to consecrate their lives to God. Through your intercession, lead to the Order of Preachers generous and sacrificing persons, willing to give themselves fervently to the apostolate of Truth. Help them to prepare themselves to be worthy of the grace of a Dominican vocation. Inspire their hearts to become learned of God, that with firm determination they might aspire to be “champions of the Faith and true lights of the world.”
Image: John Singer Sargent, A Marble Fountain at Aranjuez, Spain