Saturday, 30 May 2009

St Joan of Arc

Today is the feast day of Saint Joan of Arc.
She was born on January 6, 1412, at Domremy. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
At first the messages were personal and general however in May, 1428, her voices told her to go to the King of France
and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and taking up even more French territory.
After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the siege of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.
In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English. The French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by the infamous Peter Cauchon,
Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.
Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of
God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries.

1 comment:

em2histbuff33 said...

Thanks for remembering St. Joan of Arc on her feast day, the anniversary of her death. You might like to visit
a page the celebrates her life on her feast day.