WOMAN of ACTION
Courage of Faith in the Divine Feminine
Joan of Arc
Joan was born the daughter of Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle Romée in Domrémy, a village which was then in the duchy of Bar (later annexed to the province of Lorraine and renamed Domrémy-la-Pucelle). Joan’s parents owned about 50 acres (20 hectares) of land and her father supplemented his farming work with a minor position as a village official, collecting taxes and heading the local watch. They lived in an isolated patch of eastern France that remained loyal to the French crown despite being surrounded by Burgundian lands. Several local raids occurred during her childhood and on one occasion her village was burned.
Joan said she was about 19 at her trial, so she must have been born around the year 1412. She later testified that she experienced her first vision around 1424 at the age of 12 years, when she was out alone in a field and saw visions of figures she identified as Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, who told her to drive out the English and bring the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation. She said she cried when they left, as they were so beautiful.
At the age of 16, she asked a kinsman, Durand Lassois, to bring her to nearby Vaucouleurs where she petitioned the garrison commander, Count Robert de Baudricourt, for permission to visit the royal French court at Chinon. Baudricourt’s sarcastic response did not deter her. She returned the following January and gained support from two men of standing: Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy. Under their auspices, she gained a second meeting where she made a remarkable prediction about a military reversal near Orléans.
When she was a girl, she had visions of the angels asking her to free France from the clutches of the English army. ….
Joan of Arc rejected the cautious strategy that characterized French leadership during previous campaigns. During the five months of siege before her arrival, the defenders of Orléans attempted only one aggressive move and that ended in disaster. On 4 May the French attacked and captured the outlying fortress of Saint Loup, which she followed on 5 May with a march to a second fortress called Saint Jean le Blanc, which was found deserted.
The next day she opposed Jean d’Orleans at a war council where she demanded another assault on the enemy. D’Orleans ordered the city gates locked to prevent another battle, but she summoned the townsmen and common soldiers and forced the mayor to unlock a gate. With the aid of only one captain she rode out and captured the fortress of Saint Augustins. That evening she learned she had been excluded from a war council where the leaders had decided to wait for reinforcements before acting again. Disregarding this decision, she insisted on attacking the main English stronghold called “les Tourelles” on 7 May.
Contemporaries acknowledged her as the heroine of the engagement after she was wounded in the neck by an arrow but returned to lead the final charge.
Joan of Arc – You have heard Her Name, Do you really know Her Story? Joan (Jeanne d’Arc) was a young women born in eastern France in 1412 who dramatically changed the world in the short nineteen years that she lived. MaidOfHeaven.com is dedicated to Saint Joan and to teaching the complete story of her life and contains hundreds of pages of information and resources all related to Joan of Arc. MaidOfHeaven.com also contains information about the new biography Maid of Heaven: The Story of Saint Joan of Arc which is written entirely in verse and beautifully covers the complete life and legacy of Joan of Arc. Authored by Ben D. Kennedy who has become known as the “Poet of Freedom” this new book about Joan is a sparkling tribute to one of the greatest freedom fighters in all of history.
“MAID OF HEAVEN WILL TAKE YOU ALONG ON AN EPIC JOURNEY AND MAKE YOU FULLY UNDERSTAND WHY JOAN OF ARC TRULY DESERVES TO BE CALLED A SAINT!”
Shortly, the King of France sent Joan with a French army to Orleans. Here for the first time, the French defeated the English.
With her help, the French won more battles against the English.
However, she failed in capturing Paris, only because her army was not given ample supply of resources.
Her victories made it possible for Dauphin to be crowned as King Charles VII.
She was later burned to death at the stakes.
In May 1920, the Catholic Church of Vatican gave her Sainthood.
When people picture Joan of Arc they generally see her as either the great warrior or the inspired saint, both of which she certainly was, however she was also at her core a simple young woman and really probably more accurately just a girl. I recently acquired an engraved plate of the picture of Joan above that I really love because of the way that the artist portrays Joan. According to the information I found about this artist, Henrietta Ward, she was inspired to paint this scene by the words below by the nineteenth century English writer Philip Henry Stanhope (Lord Mahon) who said of Joan: “Her young heart beat high with enthusiasm for her native France, now beset and beleaguered by the island strangers. Her young fancy loved to dwell on those distant battles, the din of which might scarcely reach her quiet village, but each apparently hastening the ruin of her fatherland. We can picture to ourselves how earnestly the destined heroine-the future leader of armies-might question those chance travelers whom, as we are told, she delighted to relieve, and for whose use she would often resign her own chamber, as to each fresh report from the changeful scene of war.”
When I look at Joan in this picture I see in her face a look of consternation and concern for the beaten down soldier of France which reveals the deep love and compassion that she possessed for the people of her country. It reminds me of the words that Joan’s own mother later spoke about her: “Because the people suffered so much, she had a great compassion for them in her heart and despite her youth she would fast and pray for them with great devotion and fervor.”
This picture also reminds me just how young Joan was: only sixteen when she left home for good and only a few months into her seventeenth year when she led the armies of France to victory. As I contemplate all that this exquisite picture conveys I am left with the thought:
“With God, all things are possible.”
Long Version: http://www.maidofheaven.com/
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Rest in Peace, St. Joan of Arc
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June 18, 2012 by Leave a Comment