St. Joan of Arc (Feast Day – May 30th)


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St. Joan of Arc is the patron saint of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to into a pious peasant family in France. At a very early age, she heard voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.

In May 1428, the voices “of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret” told Joan to go the Kng of France and help him reconquer his kingdom.

After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army. She 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, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais.

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. 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.

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