Arnold felt an early call to the priesthood, and was ordained in August 1861. Well educated, he taught science and catechism for twelve years. Chaplain and director of the Ursuline convent at Kempen in 1873. Director of the diocesan Apostleship of Prayer in 1874. Editor of a journal about missionary work in 1873.
He established the religious congregation Society of the Divine Word in Steyl, Netherlands in 1875; it received papal approval in 1901. The Society, which soon had houses in the Netherlands, Austria, and Germany, was composed of missionary priests who worked in Tonga, New Guinea, Japan, Paraguay, and throughout North America.
In 1889, Arnold founded the Missionary Sisters, Servants of the Holy Ghost to assist the priests in their mission. The Sisters serve as teachers in mission lands, especially of young girls. With the help of Blessed Maria Virgo, Arnold formed the sisters a contemplative branch named Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration who devote themselves to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, and prayer for the success of missionary efforts. These sisters are nicknamed Pink Sisters because of the color of their habit.
- “Saint Arnold Janssen“. CatholicSaints.Info. 7 August 2012. Web. 30 May 2015. <>