St. Arnold Janssen, the founder of the Society of the Divine Word, was born in Goch, Germany in 1837. He has discerned that he was meant for the priesthood since he was a boy. After his ordination, Arnold spent several years in pastoral ministry doing tasks that included teaching science and Catholic doctrine.
After more than ten years of work in his diocese, Fr. Arnold felt that he need to spread the Good News beyond the boundaries of the diocese. In 1875, he established the Society of the Divine Word in Holland, which gained papal approval in 1901. It was composed of priests who took simple vows and whose focus is on missionary work. (Read: 10 Prayers from the Bible to Inspire Change in Your Life)
Years later, in 1889, Fr. Arnold founded the Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters with the Help of Blessed Maria Virgo. They are tasked to assist the Society of the Divine Word in their missionary efforts, especially focusing on the education of young girls.
By the year 1896, St. Arnold formed a contemplative brand, the Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. These sisters devote themselves to the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and prayer for priests and the success of evangelization and missionary efforts. They became known as the “Pink Sisters” due to the color of their habit.
St. Arnold died in 1909 and was canonized in 2003 by Pope John Paul II. His feast day is celebrated today, January 15. Ask for his intercession with a short prayer!
A Prayer to St. Arnold Janssen
O my God, I believe in You,
because You are the eternal truth.
O my God, I hope in You, because You are infinitely merciful, faithful and almighty.
O my God, I love You with my whole heart and am sorry for having offended You.
Out of love for me You are present in the Blessed Sacrament,
therefore I long for You, O my dearest Jesus.
From the Father send me the Holy Spirit with His seven gifts,
that I may glorify God in all things.