Saint Joan of Arc (Patron of France)
"About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter." – Saint Joan of Arc, as recorded at her trial
Saint Joan of Arc was born to a peasant family of five children, which she was the youngest. Joan was an unusually pious child never formally educated. Saint Joan deeply loved praying and the poor.
During her teenage years, Joan experienced what was later believed to be Divine or supernatural voices guiding her. She never answered back to these voices, and authorities were never able to determine that she was insane. Saint Joan vehemently denied that she heard voices but on one account, she stated that at one point she did see some sort of supernatural being like she could see the average person. One of the supernatural beings that she had seen was written to be Saint Michael the Archangel.
Saint Joan of Arc in and around the year 1430 A.D. was receiving voices ever more intense. The voices were telling her to ride against the forces that would threaten France. The King of France at this time was Charles and his military situation was grim. Through the persistant effort of Joan to convince Charles to allow her to join his army (Joan would be the only woman in his army) he agreed. Joan donned a male outfit to protect her chastity in rough war camps. Saint Joan had one final request to the King as he handed her a sword. That she would be allowed to salvage an ancient sword that the visions had instructed her to find. Given the exact location by her Divine guides, it was found behind alter of the Chapel St. Catherine de Fierbois. The sword had the inscription "Jesus, Maria and God the Father"
St. Joan of Arc did not single-handedly defeat the English but her presence was strogly felt by the outnumbered soldiers who miraculously were able take over the English forts that had encircled them. The French at this point were able to push back the English outside a strategic position they had lined up to attack Paris. The English attacked Paris in vein anyway but suffered a staggering defeat on their way there as Joan was in the battle and could not seem to lose. In the battle, Joan was shot in the leg by a crossbow shortly before the English retreated.
Partly because of English loses and partly because of Patron Saint Joan of Arc, a peace treaty was signed between the Kings of Enland and France. Inside of this treaty however was the handover of Joan. King Charles quickly agreed and now Joan of Arc was a war prisoner by England. The King of England, now realizing Joan was a woman, could not have put Joan of Arc to death because it would have been a great embarressment to have had his great army bested by a single woman. Instead, the King had her labeled as a heretic and witch. Saint Joan of Arc was Martyred by being burned on a stake, holding her Crucifix and saying the name of Jesus continually until she could speak no more.
Memorial: May 30th
Born: January, 1412 – France
Died: May, 1431 – France
Beautified: April, 1905 – Pius X
Cnonized: May, 1920 – Pope Benedict XV
Additional Patronages: Women of the Military
Why she is venerated by the Holy Roman Catholic Church:
Visions of several Saints
Holy Protector of France
Zealot of the Church and Jesus Christ
Martyred by burning at the stake
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