Arnold Janssen

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Saint Arnold Janssen
Arnold Janssen.jpg
Born (1837-11-05)November 5, 1837
Goch, Germany
Died January 15, 1909(1909-01-15)
Steyl, the Netherlands
Honored in
Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 19 October 1975 by Pope Paul VI
Canonized 5 October 2003, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope John Paul II
Feast 15 January

Saint Arnold Janssen, S.V.D. (November 5, 1837 – January 15, 1909) was a Roman Catholic priest and missionary who is venerated as a saint. He founded the Society of the Divine Word, a Roman Catholic missionary religious congregation, also known as the Divine Word Missionaries, as well as two congregations for women. In 1889 he founded in Steyl, Netherlands the Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit and in 1896 at the same place the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters. He was canonized on October 5, 2003, by Pope John Paul II.

Life and work[edit]

Janssen was born in Goch, in the Rhineland, Germany, not far from the Dutch border, one of eleven siblings. He developed a deep, simple faith. His first school was the Catholic Augustinianum High School in Gaesdonck, which is near his birthplace. He did his college degree, then studied theology and was ordained to the priesthood on 15 August 1861.

For a while worked as a high school teacher in Bocholt, Germany, teaching physics and catechism. His real passion, however, was the mission. In 1867 he became the director of the Apostolaat des Gebeds for Germany and Austria and founded a scientific institute in Mödling, near Vienna. He also founded already in 1874 the German language journal "Kleiner Herz-Jesu Bote" (Little Messenger of the Sacred Heart), which looked to enlist the faithful in prayer and support for the mission.[1]

The Kulturkampf, however, hampered his efforts, and Janssen purchased land in Steyl, the Netherlands to begin his seminary, dedicated in 1875 as the "St. Michael the Archangel Mission House". Within a few years, many seminarians, priests and brothers were preparing for missionary service there, and the first two missionaries, Joseph Freinademetz and John Anzer, were sent to China. Janssen also founded two congregations of Religious Sisters: The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters (members known as "Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit") on December 8, 1889, and the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters ("Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration") on September 8, 1896.

Honors[edit]

In his hometown of Goch, the Arnold-Janssen-Church and the Arnold-Janssen-Community are named after Saint Arnold. His birthplace can be visited in the Arnold-Janssen-Street.

The St. Arnold neighborhood in Neuenkirchen, Westphalia, has an Arnold-Janssen High School. It was founded 1929 by his religious community, but since 1996 it has been administered by the Diocese of Münster. The Arnold-Janssen High School in Sankt Wendel, Saarland, is also named for him, as is the Arnold-Janssen-Hauptschule in Bocholt.

Sainthood[edit]

He and Joseph Freinademetz were canonized on October 5, 2003, by Pope John Paul II, as was Daniele Comboni, an important missionary in Africa. Janssen was canonized after the healing of Pamela Avellanosa, a Filipina teenager living in Baguio who fell down on a bike and was not expected to recover from a head wound. According to her relatives and the Church, she was healed miraculously following prayers to Janssen.

Arnold Janssen statue (Sacred Heart Parish Kamuning, Philippines.)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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