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Jordan of Saxony Reflects on Dominic - 1233

Jordan of Saxony, a notable Dominican leader.


Jordan of Saxony was one of the early leaders of the Dominican Order, founded by Dominic of Guzman. The order’s emphasis was on the intellectual defense and advancement of Catholicism. Among its great theologians were Albertus Magnus and Thomas Aquinas. Jordan of Saxony wrote a letter to the Dominicans extolling the life of Dominic when his body was transferred to a new tomb. The letter is thought to date from this day 25 May, 1233, the day after the transfer.


 “To my very dear sons in Christ Jesus, all the brethren living in the province of Lombardy, Brother Jordan, their unprofitable servant, wishes health and fervor of the spirit.

“Charity invites me and practicality persuades me that, since I cannot be present with you, as I would like, I should visit you at least by some sort of letter, the opportunity now offering itself.….

“We think that our venerable father Dominic, of holy memory, was one of these [i.e. saintly exhorters]. While he lived with us in the flesh, he walked in the spirit. Not only did he not fulfill, but rather extinguished the lusts of the flesh (Gal. 5:16), exemplifying true poverty in his food, dress, and way of life. He was incessant in prayer, remarkable in compassion, fervent in shedding tears for his children, that is, in his zeal for souls, courageous in undertaking difficult things, strong in overcoming adversity. His greatness among us here on earth was proclaimed by his deeds, testified to by his virtues and miracles. What he is now before God was made manifest by signs and shown by miracles during these recent days, when we transferred his sacred body from the place where it was first interred to a venerable place, as, I trust, will become more fully known to you from other sources.

“For this reason we must praise our Redeemer, the son of God, Jesus Christ, who has designed to choose such a servant for Himself and make him a father to us, so that his institution of the regular life might mould us and the example of his luminous holiness inflame us….”


Jordan of Saxony. “Encyclical Letter” in Saint Dominic Biographical Documents, ed. with an introduction by Francis C. Lehner.

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