Spirituality for Today – May 2008 – Volume 12, Issue 10

Saint of the Month

Joan of Arc, May 30

Photo of a painting of Joan of ArcWhen England and Burgundy joined forces against the French, Joan, though barely thirteen, believed she had received visions urging her to save France. She failed to persuade the French commander, Robert de Vaucouleurs, that her visions were genuine. She therefore prophesied that the French would be defeated near Orleans and in February 1429 this happened. Now Joan was granted an audience with the Dauphin. He appeared in disguise and was astonished when the maid recognized him. A group of theologians decided that Joan was divinely inspired, and she was granted permission to lead the French army against the British. Wearing white armour and carrying a banner inscribed 'Jesus, Maria' and with the symbol of the Holy Trinity, Joan led the French to Orleans and routed the English. She won a second victory at Patay and the third at Troyes. She brought the Dauphin to a sense of responsibility, and on 17 July 1429 he was crowned King Charles VII. Then, on 24 May 143O, the armies of Burgundy captured Joan near Compiegne and sold her to the English. Accused of witchcraft and heresy, she was burned to death in the market place at Rouen in 1431.

From A Calendar of Saints
The Lives of the Principal Saints of the Christian Year