Friday, February 13th, 2009
He announced the good news;
the hand of the Lord was with him.
From the website of the Irish Dominicans:
Blessed Jordan was born in Saxony into the family of the Counts of Eberstein. While a student in Paris, he met St Dominic but did not immediately enter the Order of Preachers.
When Blessed Reginald of Orléans arrived in Paris in 1220 and caused many students of the university of Paris to enter the Order, Blessed Jordan was among those who received the habit on Ash Wednesday.
He was subsequently appointed first provincial of the province of Lombardy, and was later elected to replace St Dominic as Master General. It is said that his preaching caused over one thousand men to join the Order.
He was also author of the Libellus de principiis Ordinis Praedicatorum (Booklet on the beginnings of the Order of Preachers). This text offers the first history of the foundation of the Order as well as the first life of St Dominic. The now traditional Dominican practice of singing the antiphon “Salve Regina” after Compline each night was established by Blessed Jordan at Bologna.
He died in a shipwreck near Syria in 1237 while returning from Palestine where he had visited priories of the Order. His body was recovered and was buried in Akko, in present day Israel. He was beatified in 1825 and his feast is observed on 13th February.
Again today the Office of Readings has us reflect on Blessed Jordan’s written description of the beginnings of the Order. In the lesson we read yesterday for the feast of Blessed Reginald, Jordan tells of his mentor’s grace-filled reception of the habit. Today we hear Jordan describe his own entrance into the Order under Reginald’s inspiration.
From Blessed Jordan of Saxony’s Libellus on the Beginnings of the Order of Preachers:
Brother Reginald, of happy memory, came to Paris and began his energetic preaching. I was moved by divine grace to conceive within myself a desire to join his Order, and I made a promise to this effect in my mind, thinking that I had found precisely the safe way to salvation which I had often thought about, even before I got to know the friars.
Once my own mind was made up, I began with all eagerness to try to entice my friend and companion to join me in my purpose, seeing that both his natural gifts and his gifts of grace would make him a very useful preacher. He resisted, but, far from giving up, I redoubled my efforts to persuade him.
When the day came on which the imposition of ashes reminds the faithful of their creation from the dust and their return to the dust, we decided that it was a suitable occasion for us to begin our life of penance, and to fulfill what we had promised to the Lord.
Click below to hear today’s episode of “Word to Life.” Joining me on the show were Fr. James Sullivan, OP, pastor of St. Dominic’s Church in Youngstown, OH, and Fr. James Cuddy, OP, associate pastor of St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville, KY.
“Word to Life” airs live every Friday afternoon at 1:00 PM eastern on The Catholic Channel, Sirius 159 and XM 117.