Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

February 13 | Pilgrims and Tourists

Blessed Jordan of Saxony

A.D. 1190–1237

A pilgrimage is a sacred journey. For almost thirty years, Dynamic Catholic has been hosting pilgrimages to the Holy Land; Fatima, Lourdes and Paris; Rome, Assisi, and Florence, and the Camino. On the opening night as we welcome the pilgrims, we always ask them the same question: Are you going to be a pilgrim or are you going to be a tourist? 

Tourists want everything to go exactly as they have planned and imagined it. They rush around from one place to another making sure they cram everything in. Tourists go sightseeing. Tourists count the cost.

Pilgrims are very different. They look for signs. If a flight gets delayed or canceled, they ask, “What is God trying to say to me?” Pilgrims are not concerned with seeing and doing everything, just the things they feel called to see and do. They are not obsessed with shopping. They are aware of the needs of others. Pilgrims go looking for meaning. Pilgrims count their blessings. 

Blessed Jordan of Saxony was a pilgrim. He went looking for meaning.

As the second Master of the Dominican Order (after Saint Dominic himself), Jordan traveled all across Europe and the Middle East. He wasn’t going just to see new things. Jordan’s purpose in these pilgrimages was spiritual: to establish new Dominican communities and care for their needs.

Blessed Jordan approached all of life with the mindset of a pilgrim. He cared about what was most important to others and to God, not just his own needs. He counted his blessings, and he did not count the cost. His whole life was one great pilgrimage, and he died in a shipwreck on the way home from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in 1237.

Life is a pilgrimage. We are just passing through this place we call earth. At every turn we are tempted to be tourists, but we are pilgrims. 

May Jesus give you the grace to adopt the heart and mind and soul of a pilgrim.

Do I have the attitude of a tourist or a pilgrim? How would my life change if I treated it as one great pilgrimage toward Heaven?

I am a pilgrim and my destination is Heaven.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Beatified: 1825

Beatified By:  Pope Leo XII 

Patronage: Vocations to the Dominican Order

Feast Day: February 12

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