St. Joseph Freinademetz canonized together with St. Arnold Janssen on October 5, 2003, was the very first Divine Word (SVD) missionary to China. He served the Lord in China with all the love in his heart and strength and courage of his soul. It was not an easy mission; he had to undergo many sufferings and trials, not only from the Chinese but also from his own Confreres. But he proclaimed the Gospel until death, in-season and out-of-season.
His motto: “The only language that everyone understands is the language of love” had summed up his whole life. He had learned to love China and its people; he became a Chinese to the Chinese. In one of his letters at home, he wrote: “In heaven I will be a Chinese.”
Today, January 29, we commemorate his Feast and we gratefully celebrate his being a gift to the Steyler Missionary Congregations. His example of love, fidelity, courage and perseverance in proclaiming God’s Word has been an inspiration to us, to me particularly. I could not thank him enough. When I was new here, coming from Asia, the language barrier was so big. I have asked him to help me learn the language and to adjust to the culture here – and he really did! St. Joseph Freinademetz was a real big Brother. One can go to him, ask for his intercession and experience his help. Try it!