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The Liturgical Calendar: The Church Remembers

Today the church remembers Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc), Mystic and Soldier, 1431.

Joan of Arc (Jeanne d"Arc) was born in France in 1412, in the midst of the Hundred Years" War when France and England were locked in an epic struggle over who should govern portions of what is now France. The daughter of a farmer from the village of Domrémy, Joan had no formal schooling and could not write her name without someone guiding her hand, but made her mark on history and the church.

At age twelve or thirteen, Joan began to experience visions. She heard the voices of Saint Michael the Archangel (see September 29), Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and others, telling her to raise the siege at Orleans and have the Dauphin crowned king of France. Based on a successful prediction of a reversal in battle, Joan gained credibility with the court and with military leaders. Soon the Dauphin was leading armies to victory based on her mystical visions, and after a stunning victory at Orleans, he was crowned Charles VII at Reims cathedral. But after a defeat at Compiègne, Joan was captured by the Burgundian troops, sold to the English, and tried at Rouen on charges of sorcery and heresy. She was found guilty and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was just nineteen years old.

The French eventually won the war, and Joan"s conviction was annulled by the church in 1456. Joan of Arc came to be regarded as a French heroine, honored for her courage, steadfast faith, and unwavering commitment to her country.

For Joan and for all those with the gifts of mystic vision, we thank you, Lord our God. Amen.

Read the Wikipedia article here.

Holy God, whose power is made perfect in weakness: we honor you for the calling of Jeanne d'Arc, who, though young, rose up in valor to bear your standard for her country, and endured with grace and fortitude both victory and defeat; and we pray that we, like Jeanne, may bear witness to the truth that is in us to friends and enemies alike, and, encouraged by the companionship of your saints, give ourselves bravely to the struggle for justice in our time; through Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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