NAZARETH – On Sunday, May 9, 2021, Bishop Yousef Matta, Archbishop of Acre, Haifa, Nazareth and the entire Galilee of the Melkite Greek Catholics, presided over a Holy Mass in preparation for the beatification of Fr. Francis Jordan, founder of the Salvatorian religious order, on Sunday, May 16 in Rome. The Holy Mass was celebrated at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church of St. Joseph in Nazareth, at the invitation of the Salvatorian Sisters in Nazareth.
Concelebrating were Bishop Boulos Marcuzzo, Latin Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, Bishop Yasser Ayyash, Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchal Archeparchy of Jerusalem, Fr. Abdel Masih Fahim, Latin parish priest of Ramla, Fr. Semaan Jarayseh, Greek Catholic parish priest of Nazareth, Fr. Masoud Abu Hatoum, and Fr. Sharbel Banna from Nazareth.
In his homily, Bishop Yousef Matta spoke of the life of Fr. Francis Jordan and his relationship with the Middle East and the Holy Land in particular, where he spent an entire year, during which he visited its monasteries and became acquainted with their various needs. Following this, and after founding the religious order of the Salvatorian Sisters in Tivoli (Rome), he encouraged the Salvatorian Sisters to visit the Holy Land and build a school there.
After the Holy Mass, the Salvatorian Sisters presented to the attendees a candle and a book in Arabic about the life of Fr. Francis Jordan.
The Salvatorian Sisters own the Salvatorian Sisters School in Nazareth, in addition to a home for elderly people in Qubeibeh, and a Pastoral-Social care center for migrants in Amman. Sr. Miriam Göksun, sds is the superior provincial of the Salvatorian Sisters in Nazareth and the Middle East.
Fr. Francis Jordan was born in Waldshut-Tiengen city in Germany in 1848. He was ordained a priest for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Freiburg on 21 July, 1878. Fr. Francis had a growing conviction to found a new religious community, in order to spread and defend the Catholic faith throughout the world, especially following his visit to the Middle East in 1880. Therefore, he founded the Salvatorian Fathers and Brothers religious order on December 8, 1881. In 1888, Fr. Francis, along with Sr. Maria Therese von Wüllenweber (Sr. Maria of the Apostles), founded the Salvatorian Sisters religious order in Tivoli (Italy). Thus, Sr. Mary of the Apostles became the first female member of the order. She was beatified in 1968.
Fr. Francis Jordan passed away in Switzerland in 1918. His beatification will be celebrated on Sunday, May 16, at the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.