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, and is venerated as a saint. He is best known for founding 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.

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.

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. Motto: May The Holy Triune God Live In Our Hearts,And In The Hearts Of All People....... 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. 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.

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.)

Literature[edit]

  • Hermann Fischer, Life of Arnold Janssen. Founder of the Society of the Divine Word and the Missionary Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Ghost, translated by Frederic M. Lynk, Mission Press S.V.D.: Techny, Illinois/USA 1925, 520 pp.
  • Frederick M. Lynk SVD, Father Arnold Janssen a Modern Pioneer in Missionary Work, Westminster, London: Alexander Ouseley, 1934.
  • Francois Heines S.V.D., Le Serviteur de Dieu. Le Père Arnold Janssen. L'homme de la providence, Editions De Kogge, Bruxelles 1939, 156 pp.
  • E. Görgen – H. Sandkamp, The Spirituality of Our Founder. Techny, Illinois 1948, 258 pp.
  • E. J. Edwards, S.V.D., Herald of the Word, Mission Press, S.V. D., Techny, Illinois (USA) 1951, 234 pp.
  • Fritz Bornemann SVD: Father Arnold Janssen and his successors in office, in: Verbum SVD 1 (1959) 322-335.
  • Fritz Bornemann, Arnold Janssen: Founder of Three Missionary Congregations, 1837-1909: a Biography. (Analecta SVD 35), Apud Collegium Verbi Divini, Romae 1975, 516 p.
  • J. Alt, C. Pape and others (eds.), Arnold Janssen: His Mission, Our Mission, Drawings : Jean Retailleau, Editions Sadifa : Strasbourg-Lingolsheim 1984, ISBN 2-903793-16-6
  • Franz-Josef Eilers - Heinz Helf, Arnold Janssen 1837-1909. A Pictorial Biography. Photographs and Documentation from His Life, 2nd ed., Steyler Verl. - Editoral Verbo Divino, Nettetal (Germany) - Estella (Spain) 1987, 104 pp., ISBN 3-8050-0189-4. - ISBN 84-7151-557-1.
  • Cartas de Arnoldo Janssen a America del Sur, Tomo I: 1890-1899, (Analecta SVD 66/I), LV + 956 pp., Editorial Verbo Divino: Estella (Navarra) Spain 1992, ISBN 84 7151 848 1 84
  • Cartas de Arnoldo Janssen a America del Sur, Tomo II: 1900-1902, (Analecta SVD 66/II), XVII + 533 pp., Ed. Verbo Divino: Estella 1993, ISBN 84 7151 936 6
  • Cartas de Arnoldo Janssen a America del Sur, Tomo III: 1903-1904, (Analecta SVD 66/III), XVII + 501 pp., Ed. Verbo Divino: Estella 1994, ISBN 84 8169-019-8
  • Cartas de Arnoldo Janssen a America del Sur, Tomo IV: 1905-1908,(Analecta SVD 66/IV), XIX + 485 pp., Ed. Verbo Divino: Estella 1997, ISBN 84 8169 181 X - ISBN 84 71 51 936 4 (obra completa)
  • Charles D'Souza SVD, Arnold Janssen: "Père, Guide, Fondateur", Provincialat SVD du Zaire, L'imprimerie de Steyl, Venlo (Pays Bas) 1995, 107 pp.
  • Josef Alt, The Contribution of Arnold Janssen to the SVD Mission in New Guinea, in: Divine Word Missionaries in Papua New Guinea, 1896-1996, Festschrift. Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 1996, 11-40, ISBN 3-8050-0380-3. - et in: Verbum SVD 37:1-2 (1996) 11-40.
  • Cartas de Arnoldo Janssen a los Estados Unidos de America, Obra editada y comentada por Josef Alt SVD, Traduccion al espanol e Indice de materias: Eduardo Saffer SVD, (Analecta SVD-74), Edtorial Verbo Divino, Estella (Navarra) Spain 1999. ISBN 84-8169-345-6
  • Josef Alt (ed.), Arnold Janssen SVD, Letters to the United States of America, English Edition Translated by Robert Pung SVD, and Peter Spring, (Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD 58), Steyler Verlag: Nettetal 1998, 552 pp., ISBN 3-8050-0405-2.
  • Josef Alt (ed.), Arnold Janssen SVD, Letters to New Guinea and Australia, (Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD 77), Steyler Verl., Nettetal 2001, LXII + 466 pp., ISBN 3-8050-0467-2.
  • Josef Alt, El mundo en un meson. Vida u Obra misionera de Arnoldo Janssen, Editorial Verbo Divino, Cochabamba/Bolivia 2002, 1149 pp., ISBN 99905-1-020-2.
  • Josef Alt, Journey of Faith. The Missionary Life of Arnold Janssen, (Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD 78), Steyler Verlag, Nettetal 2002, XVIII + 1078 pp., ISBN 3-8050-0471-0.
  • Josef Alt (ed.), Arnold Janssen SVD, Letters to China. Vol. I: 1879-1897, (Studia Instituti Missiologici SVD 80), Steyler Verl., Nettetal 2003, 544 pp., ISBN 3-8050-0490-7.
  • Richard Hartwich (ed.), Arnold Janssen and Joseph Freinademetz. Correspondence between two Saints (1904-1907), Analecta SVD - 91, Apud Collegium Verbi Divini. Romae 2008, 287 pp.

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