Saint Arnold Janssen
About Saint Arnold Janssen
Saint Arnold had a hectic life while growing up. He had ten other brothers and sisters! Can you even imagine that? Saint Arnold Janssen was born on November 5, 1837 making him the second oldest in his family's bevy of children. His family lived in Germany.
Arnold grew up and was sent to school by his parents, but ever since he was young he had felt a bond with God. So, St. Arnold became a priest rather early on in his life at the age of twenty four. Arnold taught young children at a local school while still being a priest. He was given a high ranking director's post in the diocese in a very short amount of time.
Arnold loved helping out the members of his parish and the children he taught at school, but he felt as though he was selling himself short. He thought he needed to be helping people on a more large scale basis than he was at that time. Arnold started a newsletter called the Little Messanger of the Sacred Heart. In the letter, that was sent to the masses periodically throughout the year, Arnold told people where their missions were being sent and what they were doing to help people once they got there. This was important and made people more willing to give alms once they saw what a good thing they were truly doing.
Arnold had always struggled being a Christian in Germany. The Christians were persecuted and hated by most of the country. The head of the nation, Otto von Bismarck, was the leader of the anti-Christian clique that was growing faster by the day. Arnold tried to convince any priest of religious figure who was exiled from Germany or tormented to go abroad and help out programs in other countries. However, not too many priests were interested in this.
This lack of enthusiam from his peers opened Arnold's eyes. He realized that he should go and start programs abroad if nobody else would. So Arnold organized a headquarters in Holland and began sending others, as well as traveling himself, to foreign lands to spread God's word.
Once the program had begun, Arnold gained a lot of support from plenty of other people who were willing to help him out. Arnold would help a women's version of his own headquarters get started up and make their first journey to South Africa.
Saint Arnold's life would come to an end on January 15, 1909, and was canonized just a few years ago in 2003.