Society of the Divine Word

Also known as

  • Divine Word Missionaries
  • Societas Verbi Divini
  • Verbites


Clerical religious congregation founded on 8 September 1875 at Steyl, near Tegelen, Netherlands, by Saint Arnold Janssen, for the propagation of the Catholic religion among pagan nations. It is composed of priests and lay brothers. The founder did not intend originally to create a congregation; he wished a simple association without vows; but in 1885 the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, were adopted. The congregation received papal approbation on 25 January 1901.

The Society has houses in Europe, and missions in China, Oceania, Africa, and America. Its missionaries study carefully the racial and social traits, and customs of the peoples whom they seek to evangelize, and they have made notable contributions to the science of ethnology and comparative religion. Their publication Anthropos is a leading anthropological journal containing articles in various languages; Our Missions covers the Society‘s activities for a general audience.

See also