Arnold Janssen was born on November 5, 1837 in the town of Goch, in lower Germany. He was one of 10 children raised in a religious family.
He was ordained a priest in August, 1861 and served the Diocese of Münster, teaching science and maths to schoolchildren. He was renowned for his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and was named diocesan director for the Apostleship of Prayer.
He soon developed a missionary concern for the wider Church, and in 1873 resigned as a teacher and founded a magazine called Messenger of the Sacred Heart, to publicise the work of missionaries.
By that point, Bismarck had introduced Kultur-kampf, involving a series of anti-Catholic laws resulting in the expulsion of priests and Religious and the imprisonment of bishops.
Arnold suggested that some of these expelled priests should go to the foreign missions; he then discovered that God was calling him to support this task.
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