Father Jordan Statue

Father Jordan - Founder of the Salvatorians

Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan was born on 16 June 1848 in Gurtweil near Waldshut /Black Forest and received the name Johann Baptist in his baptism. At first he learned the trade of a painter, then, after the usual years of apprenticeship and travelling, he took his Abitur at the age of 26 and then studied philosophy and theology at the University of Freiburg im Breisgau. In 1877 he entered the St. Peter's seminary and was ordained priest on 21 July 1878. Because of the "Kulturkampf" that was going on at the time, he was sent to Rome for further studies, where he studied the languages of the Near East.

After an educational journey to the Orient, he founded the "Apostolic Teaching Society", which in the first stage was to include men and women who lived according to the evangelical counsels. The founding date of the male branch became 8 December 1881, which he transformed a little later into a religious community with the name "Society of the Divine Saviour" (Salvatorians). The purpose was external and internal mission; he himself took the name Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan.

On 8 December 1888, he founded the Order of the "Sisters of the Divine Saviour" (Salvatorian Sisters) with Freifrau Therese von Wüllenweber of Myllendonk Castle (near Mönchengladbach). His attempt to gather academics for the defence of the faith in a second stage did not succeed; but he was able to gather believers, especially in German-speaking countries, who were to have an apostolic effect in their circle of life.

As early as 1890, he began to spread the two religious communities, first in what was then Assam (north-east India), then in some European countries and finally also in North and South America. He himself endeavoured above all to provide spiritual guidance and apostolic formation for the young confreres.

In 1915, because of the First World War, he had to move with the Generalate to Fribourg in Switzerland. In the same year, the 3rd General Chapter of the Order agreed to his wish to resign from the leadership of the Society and entrusted Father Pancratius Pfeiffer (1872 to 1945) with the leadership of the Salvatorians. Father Francis of the Cross died after a serious illness on 8 September 1918 in Tafers near Fribourg (Switzerland) in the call of sanctity. His mortal remains were transferred to the Salvatorian Motherhouse in Rome in 1956. .