Monday, January 26, 2015

St. Joan of Arc & the Truth about Snipers & Why Tyrants like Hitler Always Hate Them

In recent days I have been amazed and sickened by some of the vicious comments I have heard directed at Chris Kyle, the soldier portrayed in the new movie American Sniper, and I felt I could help people better understand the truth about snipers and why they are so feared and hated by the kind of people making the negative comments.  In St. Joan of Arc’s army soldiers that functioned as snipers were as important to her military success as they are today to the success of modern military operations.  One man in particular in St. Joan’s army known as Master John the Culveriner became legendary precisely because he was so deadly at long range with a weapon called the hand culverin which was the medieval forerunner to a long range rifle.  In the famous Journal of the Siege of Orleans he is recorded as being particularly hated by the English for picking off so many of them with his weapon.  There were also many men in St. Joan’s army that carried crossbows which was of course the weapon that William Tell became famous for using as a sniper. Considering that St. Joan of Arc has been hailed by military historians as the very flower of chivalry if St. Joan had felt that the function of a sniper was in any way illegal, unethical or contrary to honorable warfare then she would have put an end to the practice immediately since she had no tolerance for evil down to the point of even forbidding swearing among her men.  Obviously St. Joan considered snipers to be an honorable part of warfare that aided and protected her own men and ultimately helped to defeat the enemy and put an end to warfare as soon as possible which was always her greatest goal in war.
“Why did Schiller have to immortalize
that Swiss sniper [William Tell]!”
- Adolf Hitler

If snipers were considered a proper part of warfare by someone as pure of heart and close to God as St. Joan of Arc then let us consider exactly who it is and why it is that certain people hate snipers so much and go to such lengths to denigrate them.  The most famous portrayal of a sniper in all of history is of course that of the Swiss sniper William Tell.  Of the many versions of the story that have been written the one by the Poet of Freedom Friedrich Schiller is particularly inspiring because it shows how one patriotic individual can effectively fight back against a tyrant and win.  This message is extremely disturbing to tyrants like Adolf Hitler who, despite his great desire to want to use the intellectual legacy of Schiller to legitimize his Nazi regime, had Schiller’s play about William Tell banned in 1938.  Today’s tyrants and their agents are no different than Hitler and will do anything and everything they can to try to keep people from learning the truth about snipers exactly because they are such a lethal threat to their maintaining control.  Ultimately in condemning brave soldiers like Chris Kyle the haters are really revealing their true colors and what they really stand for which is the suppression of freedom.  It is too bad that these kind of people can not learn the lesson from Hitler’s failed attempt to control the world because despite all their efforts they will never defeat freedom loving people precisely because there will always be heroic snipers like William Tell and Chris Kyle to prove dramatically to the world that one individual can effectively fight back and win.

As an addendum let me explain to all the loyal readers of this blog that this article is a prime example of why the Maid of Heaven Foundation was begun which I introduced to everyone earlier this month on St. Joan’s birthday.   In keeping with our mission to inspire people to Love God and Live Free like St. Joan of Arc this article is a lot more than just a history lesson.  I will of course continue to write articles specifically about Joan of Arc’s history but I feel that the greatest way that I can ever honor St. Joan and every soldier like her that has ever fought for freedom is to do everything I can to make sure that the world we live in is as free as possible.  RIP Chris Kyle!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Celebrate Joan of Arc's Birthday: THE Saint for our troubled times!

At a time such as this when evil seems to be running rampant in our world there is no better hero of the faith than St Joan of Arc to provide an example of how to properly resist evil.  Born into troubled times when a terrible war was ravaging her homeland the way that Joan responded to all the evil attacking her society can serve as model for everyone.  LOVE GOD  While Joan was growing up she developed a deep and passionate love for God which is the great lesson to learn from her life.  The greatest commandment as Jesus said to "love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind" is also the best way to respond to any crises in life which Joan well understood. By drawing close to God He will draw close to you and give you the power to overcome any evil that you may face in the world.  This is the one and only difference that Joan exhibited when she was growing up that she had a much deeper devotion to God than anyone else around her which is the true explanation for the amazing power that she demonstrated in successfully combating evil in her own time.  LIVE FREE  It is only natural that Joan possessed a great passion for freedom since the ultimate freedom is to be found in Jesus Christ: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, then you shall be free indeed."  And the closer anyone becomes to God then the more they will want everyone that they love to not only find the ultimate freedom given through Jesus but to also live as free as possible in this present world.  This is what drove Joan to sacrifice everything and leave home at the young age of sixteen to lead the armies of France because Joan simple refused to accept anything less than complete freedom for the people that she loved.  Everyone that is a Christian should learn to have the same passion as Joan possessed for freedom and be willing to fight and resist whatever evil is encountered in the world that seeks to take away any of our freedom.

The great example of St. Joan of Arc's life is so powerful that it can not only help everyone to learn how to best resist evil but can also help anyone to develop the kind of deep love for God that Joan possessed which was the key to her success.  I am pleased to announce that in 2015 a charitable foundation is being established to honor St. Joan by teaching her true history in a way that will help instill in all people the same values that made her one of the greatest and most admired people in all of history.  To learn more please visit the Maid of Heaven Foundation

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Joan of Arc: A Saint for All Soldiers

As we remember our soldiers this year during Memorial Day Weekend let us also remember that Saint Joan of Arc is the patron saint of all soldiers for good reason.  I can think of no better person to be the patron saint of soldiers than Joan because her own military career gave her intimate knowledge of what it means to live and die as a soldier.  While everyone seems to remember Joan’s great military victories few seem to know that she also suffered the agonies of war having been wounded on three separate occasions as well as having been captured and kept as a POW for over a year before she was executed.   Because of her own experiences as a soldier Joan can truly empathize with what all soldiers go though during war.   One episode from Saint Joan’s life that best demonstrates her own great love and compassion for soldiers and demonstrates why she is indeed the perfect person to be the patron saint of all soldiers occurred just after her greatest victory at the Battle of Patay. Coming across a mortally wounded enemy soldier Joan dismounted from her horse and held the man’s head in her lap and comforted him as he died. In reflecting upon this incident from her life one can only wonder as to the mysteries of God and how through His grace the likelihood that Saint Joan has continued to comfort dying soldiers on many battlefields down through the years in a similar way as their loving patron saint. This year on Memorial Day let us remember Saint Joan and her example as the ultimate soldier: strong yet merciful, courageous yet loving. A true soldier of God!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Joan of Arc's Victory at Orleans on May 8th

On Sunday May 8, 1429, Saint Joan of Arc achieved complete victory at Orleans and fulfilled the promise she had made only few months earlier to liberate the city.  On the morning of May 8th following the previous day's spectacular storming and taking of the fort Les Tourelles by the French, the English defenders remaining around Orleans left their siege positions and assembled in order of battle in an open field near the city.  The French forces came out of Orleans to oppose the English and for an hour the two armies faced each other.  During this time Joan called for mass to be held.  A citizen of Orleans, Jean de Champeaux, later testified as to what happened next:  "The masses completed, Joan said to look and see whether the English were facing them.   'No, the English are turned towards Meung' someone replied.  'In God's name,' Joan replied, 'They are going. Let them go, while we go give thanks to God and pursue them no farther, since today is Sunday."  And thus total victory was achieved at Orleans as the English retreated away from Orleans.  Joan and her army returned to Orleans and celebrated with the citizens of Orleans, a celebration that is renewed every year on May 8th in honor of the "Maid of Orleans."
Video of Annual Celebration in Orleans honoring Joan

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

St. Joan of Arc, Easter and Communion

“At least in your final hours, you once again enjoyed the Church’s
mercies in preparing your soul.” from book Maid of Heaven 

Thursday is traditionally the day during Holy Week of Easter when Christians remember the “last supper” of Jesus by receiving communion so I thought I would share a personal story that helped me to better understand just how important communion was to Saint Joan of Arc and how every Christian should value the “Eucharist” just as she did as one of our Lord’s greatest gifts and blessings. While I was writing the final part of Maid of Heaven several years ago about Joan’s imprisonment and trial I was asked to help serve communion at the little church where I attended services. As I helped to serve the bread I began to think about Joan and how she had been denied communion during all those long months she had been alone in prison. She had repeatedly asked the priests who helped guard her to receive communion but they had been ordered by the chief judge at her trial Pierre Cauchon to refuse her requests probably as a way to further punish and torment her while she was on trial. As I passed out the bread during our service I thought about how desperate Joan had been to receive what I so easily received and took for granted. I really felt like crying when I thought about how special communion was to Joan and how much it had hurt her to not be able to receive the Lord’s body. Finally, during her final hours after she had been condemned to death and shortly before she was sent to the stake, she was allowed to receive communion. What joy it must have brought to Joan even though she knew she was to die just a short time later. Martin Ladvenu was the Priest who served Joan her last communion and he later described it in this way: “On the morning of Joan's death, by permission and order of the judges…I heard Joan's confession and administered our Lord's Body to her, which she received with such humility, devotion, and copious tears as I could not completely describe.”

May God Bless everyone with a great Holy Week and Easter this year.


Friday, January 3, 2014

St. Joan of Arc & The Epiphany

I have spoken before about the many spiritual lessons I have learned from St. Joan of Arc but one that is very dear to me is how I learned to more fully celebrate Christmas because of St. Joan's own birth on the Epiphany.  Like many Christians at Christmas I had focused primarily on Christmas day without understanding that the full celebration lasts until Twelfth-night or the Epiphany.   The reason the Epiphany is so important is because that is when we celebrate the actual revelation of God to man in human form in the person of Jesus Christ.  It is on this day that the three wise men following the star in the sky arrived in Bethlehem and found the baby Jesus which completed the revelation to the world that the savior to mankind had been born.  One of the most detailed descriptions I have ever seen about the full story of the birth of Christ including the Epiphany is contained in the first 59 pages of the famous novel Ben Hur and I would encourage anyone wanting a more complete understanding of the full Christmas story to read these pages as I have now begun doing every year to celebrate Christmas.  You can find this book online at:

And to better understand about the significance of St. Joan of Arc's own birth on the Epiphany I would recommend reading a paper I wrote two years ago to celebrate her 600th birthday titled:  Saint Joan of Arc: A Brilliantly Shining Light of God - The Significance of Joan of Arc's Birth on the Epiphany

Thank you once again St. Joan for teaching me more about the great God that you love and serve so well as one of His Saints.