Divine Word Missionaries blog will share some of the latest mission updates from around the world. The more than 6,000 Divine Word Missionaries are serving in 84 countries with a variety of provinces/regions that are then grouped into four zones, namely, the European zone (EUROPA), the Pan-American zone (PANAM), the Asia-Pacific zone (ASPAC), and the Africa-Madagascar zone (AFRAM). The zones may work as geographical sub-zones wherever this seems suitable. Check back often for real-time stories from the missions.
'Witness of Love': Saint Joseph Freinademetz SVD
Jan 24, 2017
‘Witness of love’: Saint Joseph Freinademetz SVD
On Sunday, October 5, 2003, Pope John Paul II held the canonization mass for three saints: Arnold Janssen SVD, Divine Word Missionaries founder, Daniel Comboni , Bishop, founder of the Congregation of the Comboni Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus, and Joseph Freinademetz SVD the first Divine Word Missionary sent abroad, missionary to China. Pope John Paul II reflected on the new canonized Saint Joseph saying this:
"And they went forth and preached everywhere" (Mk 16: 20). The Evangelist Mark ends his Gospel with these words. He then adds that the Lord never ceases to accompany the activity of the Apostles with the power of his miracles. Echoing these words of Jesus, the words of St Joseph Freinademetz are filled with faith: "I do not consider missionary life as a sacrifice I offer to God, but as the greatest grace that God could ever have lavished upon me". With the tenacity typical of mountain people, this generous "witness of love" made a gift of himself to the Chinese peoples of southern Shandong. For love and with love he embraced their living conditions, in accordance with his own advice to his missionaries: "Missionary work is useless if one does not love and is not loved". An exemplary model of Gospel inculturation, this Saint imitated Jesus, who saved men and women by sharing their existence to the very end.
Read the full text of Pope John Paul II’s homily on the canonization of our founder and first missionary Saint Joseph Freinademetz SVD here.