Saint Arnold Janssen

St. Arnold Janssen (1837–1909) was born in Germany to a large Catholic family. He was a man of simple faith who studied theology, entered the priesthood, and served as a school teacher. He had a profound devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which awakened in him an increasing desire for missionary work. This led him to found The Little Messenger of the Sacred Heart, a monthly magazine sharing news of the Church's missionary activities and encouraging German Catholics to do more to help the missions. This was during a time of anti-Catholic persecution in Germany, and many priests were expelled from the country. Arnold suggested that these expelled priests serve in the missions, and for this purpose, he founded the Society of the Divine Word, known as the Divine Word Missionaries, a religious congregation of missionary priests and lay brothers. He also founded two Orders of religious sisters associated with this missionary activity. Today more than 6,000 Divine Word Missionaries are active in 63 countries. St. Arnold was canonized in 2003 by Pope St. John Paul II. His feast day is celebrated on January 15.

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