By Amedeo Lomonaco
"The charismatic intuition of Blessed Francis has guided many women and men of different nations and languages to following the Gospel and thanks to the work of the Salvatorian family has contributed to the spread of the message of salvation in more than 50 countries." Cardinal Vicar of Rome Angelo De Donatis underscored this point during the Mass celebrated in the Basilica of Saint John Lateran with the Rite of Beatification of Father Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour and the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour.
Three dimensions and two verbs
Cardinal De Donatis, recalling the testimony of the new blessed, pointed to three dimensions. "The first is meditating on Scripture": only by “getting to know” scripture, reading and meditating on it, "does one acquire spiritual wisdom for proclamation." The second dimension is the missionary work of Blessed Francis of the Cross: "Proclaim to everyone in order to save everyone." The third dimension he highlighted is apostolic communion, "the unity to which are called to witness in life." The cardinal then dwelt on the two verbs that recur many times in the texts of Blessed Francis: “proclaim” and “save”, words that must also resonate today, which needs "an announcing of love, a perspective of salvation, a gaze towards heaven, towards eternity, to overcome emptiness, boredom, apathy, indifference, superficiality".
A life dedicated to mission
Fr. Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan spent his life with a mission: that of bringing and making known the words of Jesus. Born on June 16, 1848, he entered the seminary at the age of 29 and was ordained a priest in 1878. While in the Holy Land, he was inspired to found a work completely dedicated to spreading the faith. On December 8, 1881, he started the Society of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorians) in Rome. Seven years later he founded in Tivoli, Italy, the Congregation of the Sisters of the Divine Saviour (Salvatorians). In 1893 the Congregation of Propaganda Fide entrusted the apostolic prefecture of the mission of Assam in India to the Salvatorians. At the first General Chapter of the Society of the Divine Saviour in 1902, he was elected Superior General for life. With the outbreak of World War I, he moved to Fribourg. He died on September 8, 1918, in Tafers, Switzerland.
Inspired by the works of the first apostles
Cardinal De Donatis focused his homily also recalling specific moments in the life of Francis Mary of the Cross Jordan, noting how the new Blessed had fully understood "the evangelizing power of apostolic communion, of harmony among people who proclaim the Gospel."
Founding the Apostolic Society of the Divine Saviour for the purpose of proclaiming Christ as the Revealer of the one true God who saves, he wanted to unite together priests, consecrated men and women and lay people. He was inspired to create a group, a society of people in which all charisms and ministries would shine and be expressed and carried out. He desired that in sharing the one charism, the members of the Apostolic Society would be inspired by the witness, words and works of the first apostles.
The Salvatorian Family
"Today the witness of Blessed Jordan's holiness," Cardinal De Donatis said in conclusion, "is passed on into the hands of each of us. It is entrusted to the Salvatorian family. The Society of the Divine Saviour is an international religious congregation. Today, members of the Society are engaged in apostolic activities in 40 countries around the world. The Sisters of the Divine Saviour are present in various regions and are committed to building bridges of charity and justice with peoples throughout the world.