19 August 2009

Blessed Jordan of Pisa, Friar and Priest

19 AUGUST 2009. Today is the optional memorial of Blessed Jordan of Pisa. Blessed Jordan was Dominican friar and priest who was beatified in 1838

According to the Dominican Supplement to the Liturgy of the Hours, Blessed Jordan was born in Pisa around 1255 (although some sources say 1260) and entered the Order there. He served as a lector in several houses of the Order and was known for his eloquent preaching throughout the region of Pisa and Florence. His fame was for his pioneering use of the vernacular Tuscan, instead of Latin, for preaching and lecturing--his use of Tuscan was said to be musical, but not ornate.

Blessed Jordan is the founder of the Confraternity of the Holy Redeemer, whose constitution survives to this day. In his time, Blessed Jordan was also renowned for his knowledge of the Breviary, the Missal, the Bible (and its marginal notes), and the second half of St. Thomas' Summa Theologiae, all of which he had reported memorized. Reportedly, however, Blessed Jordan was quick to point out that learning alone does not make a preacher; what is needed is holiness of life.

Blessed Jordan died in 1311 of natural causes in Piacenza while on his way to teach in Paris. Blessed Jordan's relics are today venerated in the church of Saint Catalina in Pisa, Italy.

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