St. Joan of Arc
St. Joan of Arc is probably one of the most popular saints. Plenty of movies have been made to ‘inform’ us of her good deed to France and her calling to do so by God. I’m sure many recall the 1999 film titled ‘The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc’. There are dozens of books and there is a ton of information on her. Her services to the King of France were praised and for years after her execution, many remembered her as a hero. In brief, she saw visions at an early age of 12. When she was 17, she was told to help the King of France reclaim his land in the name of God. She succeeded in helping him do so. Later, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English. She was not rescued by the French and was burned at the stake as a witch and heretic.Please check out these links for a more indepth history:
When I decided to take her name for my Confirmation , I made sure to pray long and hard. I was afraid that in taking her name it was a lazy option because I knew a lot about her from movies and only a little light reading. I felt a calling to research her further, though. I felt proud the day of my confirmation. I prayed every night for her intercession. I was so inspired by her story. A warrior woman from God was pretty epic. Now, 7 years later as a much more informed Catholic and more in love with the faith, I see so much more in her as a woman of God than ever before.
She gave a Yes to God to obey His commands to help the king reclaim France. Determined, she ventured into battle at the command of God. A woman on the battlefield was absurd! She had to wear armour, carry a sword and banner, and abandon her life. God transformed her into a warrior to fight for His name and for France. God’s will took precedence over her own. Humbly, she agreed and set forth.
“Trust in God. Make Confession, and be shriven, for so God will help you. Be shriven, you shall have the victory, by Gods help.” – St. Joan to her soldiers during the march from Blois to Orleans
She was victorious. King Charles was able to re-enter France and he was crowned. She stood by his side. During an attempt to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English.
No one came to her aid. The French did nothing. Charles did nothing. She was betrayed. After all her years of service, she was left on her own in the hands of enemies. But she never lost hope. Her trust was always in Christ. She was imprisoned for many months, and eventually was put on trial for being a heretic and a witch at the age of 19. While she was being led to her execution, she asked priests to say a mass for her. And at the stake she said:
“ I pray you, go to the nearest church, and bring me the cross, and hold it up level with my eyes until I am dead. I would have the cross which God hung be ever before me eyes while life lasts in me. Jesus, Jesus!”
Her dying wish proved her loyalty to God never ceased. Even though she was put at the stake for death, she offered it to God. She begged only for Christ even in her last moments.
It wasn’t until 30 years after her death that her trial was reexamined. She was given the title of a martyr. In 1920 she was canonized by Pope Benedict XV. Her feast day is May 30th.
Her ability to keep focused on God’s command to her is astounding. even in a prison cell she did not lose hope, rather she prayed that she would be graced to be in Paradise. She was always focused, always concentrating on God’s will over her own. She said:
“But since God commanded me to go, I must do it. And since God commanded it, had I had a hundred fathers and a hundred mothers and had I been a king’s daughter, I would have gone.”
We need to be courageous in todays culture. We have a King to fight for. That King is Jesus Christ. He calls us out from our lives to fight for him. Our prayers and steadfast love of God are our swords and shields. In this present day, the Culture of Death and Satan that is behind it, is our enemy. Stand tall. Take up your sword. Lift up your prayers. Fight for God.
“Hope in God. If you have good hope and faith in Him, you shall be delivered from your enemies”
Saint Joan of Arc: Pray for us!
All the quotes on the quotes I used on this post were from Joan of Arc: In Her own Words. The link is below for more information on how to get the book. It’s fantastic! =D