Saturday, March 26, 2011

Joan The Woman

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”


  1. When I posted something somewhere about my new novel, Beloved Pilgrim, someone cautioned me not to make my protagonist, Elisabeth, wield a sword. She said that swords were huge heavy things and women's wrists simply cannot hold them. I begged to differ.. but my favorite comment from someone was, "Did Joan of Arc go into battle wielding an embroidery needle?"

    I don't see any contact info here.. but I would love to offer this blog a copy of Beloved Pilgrim to review. Just drop me a note at hawthorne at nanhawthorne dot com or visit .


  2. Jesus Blesses Saint Joan A TRUE INSPIRATION For Every Soldier