Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Joan of Arc Page of The Day

Check Back Each Day for a New Featured Page about St. Joan

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.