Society of the Divine Word (SVD – Societas Verbi Divini)
It was founded by St. Arnold Janssen in 1875 and is popularly called Verbites or the Divine Word Missionaries, and sometimes the Steyler Missionaries. It is the largest Mission Congregation in the Catholic Church composing of priests and brothers. (Wikipedia)
Back then, no one had agreed with him to found a Mission House. When Arnold approached the Bishop of Roermond to talk about it, the later was surprised and said to one of his priests: “This man is either a fool or a Saint.”
St. Arnold Janssen
Founder (SVD, SSpS, SSpSAP)
November 5, 1837 – January 15, 1909
Arnold Janssen was born on November 5, 1837, in Goch, a small city in the lower Rhineland of Germany. The second of ten children, he was raised by devoted catholic parents who taught him to consider the worldwide missionary needs of the Church.
The family’s prayer, which would come to guide Arnold in his life’s work, included a nightly rosary followed by the reading of the Prologue of St. John’s Gospel, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…”.
Recounting our history is essential for preserving our identity, for strengthening our unity as a family
and our common sense of belonging. To tell our story is to praise God and to thank him for all his gifts.