Saturday, May 30, 2009

Celebrate Joan of Arc's Feast Day Today

Today, May 30th, is St. Joan of Arc's Feast Day which is an official day of remembrance and celebration for Roman Catholics. You don’t have to be Catholic, however, to also celebrate the life of Saint Joan on this special day every year. Joan’s Feast Day is also the anniversary of her death when she was burned at the stake by the English on May 30, 1431. In order to remember Saint Joan and celebrate her amazing life maintains a special page about her Feast Day at:
Joan of Arc Feast Day
This year I added some statements by Church officials that were present when she died. I tried to pick those that really reflected Joan’s great faith and how well she showed her faith as she died. I was most touched by the statement of the court bailiff, Jean Massieu, that "even several of the English, were moved by this to great tears and weeping, and indeed several of these same English, recognized God's hand and made professions of faith when they saw her make so remarkable an end."
Even after all my study and all I know about St. Joan she still continues to amaze me.

Jehanne d'Arc
Born January 6, 1412
Died May 30, 1431

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Anniversary of Joan of Arc's Capture Today

The anniversary of Joan’s capture on May 23, 1430, is not one I really like to remember but I thought I would use it this year as an opportunity to clear up a big misconception that exists about her capture. It seems that most movies and even many books blame her capture upon the closing of the gates of the city of Compiègne however it was actually the raising of the drawbridge over the river Oise that caused Joan to be cut off from Compiègne and safety. As Joan herself later testified at her trial: “And the river lay between Compiègne and the place where I was taken. And there was only between the place where I was taken and Compiègne just the river, the boulevard, and the moat of the said boulevard.”

There are some good pictures of Compiègne and the river Oise and drawings of where Joan was captured online at:

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Joan of Arc's Canonization Anniversary Today

Today is the anniversary of Joan of Arc's canonization ceremony at the Vatican in 1920 that officially made her a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. There is a page at about the ceremony that contains the official pronouncement of canonization. The pronouncement is interesting to read and greatly compliments St. Joan. You can read it by going to Joan of Arc's Canonization

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joan of Arc Liberates Orleans

"Trust in God. God will aid the city of Orleans and expel the enemy."

On May 7, 1429, Joan lead her forces against the strongest fort held by the English at Orleans called Les Tourelles. Joan had been wounded in the initial attacks upon the fort and had to be removed to the rear to have her wound treated. Without Joan leading the army the French captains lost confidence and decided to call off the attack on the fort as daylight dwindled. Joan made a miraculous recovery and regaining her white banner yelled for her men to resume the attack. The army seeing her waving her banner rallied and charged en masse upon the wall of the Tourelles. The ferocity of the attack and the fear of the English in seeing Joan again coming against them led to the fort being overrun in a matter of minutes. All this occurred 580 years ago today. The liberation of Orleans was completed the next day as the English withdrew all of their forces from Orleans. The liberation is still celebrated in Orleans every May 8th as shown on the video below:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Joan of Arc and the Scots

I was recently contacted by David Kerr, a reporter with the BBC, about Joan of Arc and her connection with soldiers from Scotland who fought against the English alongside the French in her army. David wrote an excellent article for the Scottish Catholic Observer that details the proud history of the Scots who helped Joan of Arc defeat the English. To read this article go to:
Joan of Arc And The Scots Connection