Today's saint is the valiant warrior Saint Joan of Arc, French national heroine, who was born in Domremy, France, 1412 and died in Rouen, France, 1431.
When she was about 13 years old, Joan began to hear the voices of Saints Michael the Archangel, Margaret of Antioch, and Catherine of Alexandria, urging her to free her country from the English. Joan’s visions told her to find the true king of France and help him reclaim his throne. She resisted for more than three years, but finally went to Charles VII in Chinon and told him of her visions. After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, she was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429. Carrying a banner that read “Jesus, Mary”, she led the troops into battle.
She followed the famous campaign of the Loire during which the English were decisively beaten, and Charles was crowned at Rheims, on July 17, 1429.
When she was captured by the Burgundians during the defense of Compiegne, she was sold to the English for 10 thousand francs. She was then put on trial by an ecclesiastical court conducted by Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, a tool of the English. Although she astounded her judges by her answers, she was condemned to death as a heretic, and burned at the stake on May 30. In 1456, her case was re-tried, and Joan was acquitted (23 years too late). She was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
St. Joan is the patroness of: France, imprisoned people, martyrs, prisoners, people ridiculed for their piety, rape victims, soldiers, Women's Army Corps, WAVES, and Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service.
“About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.”
~ Joan of Arc, as recorded at her trial
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