Divine Word Missionaries
Mission House St. Michael's

Bl. Hendrina Stenmanns - Mother Josefa

celebration of the beatification on 29 june 2008 in Steyl/Tegelen
Portrait of Hendrina Stenmanns

Hendrina Stenmanns was born in Issum, in the German Lower Rhineland, in 1852, the eldest of seven brothers and sisters. At a young age she developed a compassionate heart and helping hand for the poor and needy, the sick and the dying. Diverse factors in the contemporary situation prevented her from realizing her wish to become a Franciscan nun, so she joined the Franciscan lay movement and led a spiritual life in the midst of an ordinary daily life. From her modest means she gave aid wherever she could and is, therefore, still known in Issum today as “a great benefactress of her home village”. Contact with an apprentice of her father who wanted to become a missionary in Steyl in the Netherlands, kindled the missionary fire in her own heart. In 1884 she also made her way to Steyl. At first she worked with other women as a maid in the young Mission House that Arnold Janssen

had established in 1875. It took him until 1889 before he finally decided to found the present day Mission Congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit. Hendrina was given the religious name Sister Josepha. Together with Mother Maria, Helena Stollenwerk, she became a cornerstone of the young community of sisters. Her practical nature and talent for organization were put to good use in the management of the constantly growing household.

Above all she was a gifted educator; she had an inherent ability to introduce young women to the religious life with great sensitivity. Sisters and guests alike encountered in her a warm heart, friendliness, availability and kindness. In 1898, following the transfer of M. Maria to the Adoration Branch, she became superior. The sisters loved, esteemed and revered her.

M. Josepha kept up correspondence with sisters who had been sent to various foreign countries. Nothing was too small or too insignificant to her. That is why all felt accepted, secure and understood by her. Towards the end of 1902 her long and painful final illness began, leading to her death on May 20, 1903. The process for her beatification began in 1950, culminating in the celebration of her beatification in Tegelen/Steyl, NL, on June 29, 2008.


Fotos of the beatification 2008

Holy Spirit Sisters from India
4000 visitors from all over the world
procession in honor of the new blessed
Sisters carrying the shrine of the blesses
painting of mother Josefa
veneration of the eucharist
the "Doolhof" of Tegelen
visitors from around the world

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• born 1852 in Issum/Lowerrhein, Germany
• died 1903 in Steyl
• beatification 2008 in Steyl/Tegelen 

• Hendrina Stenmanns and Helena Stollenwerk foundet together with Arnold Janssen in 1889 the congregation of the Servants of the Holy Spirit. 

EN: Zal. Helena Stemanns Sel. Hendrina Stenmanns Bl. Hendrina Stenmanns