Monday, April 26, 2010

Joan Begins Her Holy War

On April 26, 1429, Joan of Arc led her army out of Blois to relieve the besieged city of Orleans. I wrote about this grand event in Maid of Heaven as follows:

“Once made chaste by your shining example,
the army marched toward Orleans as planned.
What a procession is must have been, with
singing priests leading the way for four thousand.
Gleaming in your armor while holding your
banner, you cheerfully exhorted your command.”

One of the priests no doubt leading the way was Joan’s personal chaplain Father Pasquerel who later described the departure in picturesque detail:

“The day we quitted Blois to go to Orleans, Joan had all the priests gathered around the banner and they lead the march with the soldiers following. We marched out of the city by the side of the Sologne assembled in that fashion while we sang Veni Creator Spiritus along with several other anthems.”

For Joan this was the day she had long been waiting for, to finally take command of her army and lead them forward to fulfill her God given mission. Veni Creator Spiritus indeed!