How Can Saint Joan Play a Role in Our Lives Today?
In my humble opinion I believe Saint Joan of Arc is even more important for us today
than she has ever been
since the time of her Canonization.
Saint Joan of Arc stands for TRUTH. To paraphrase Saint Paul, "She spoke the truth
whether it was in season or
out of season. In other words, whether the people liked what she said or not,
she was always truthful.
Saint Joan of Arc stands for COURAGE. She had the courage of her convictions and was
willing to stand
by them no matter what it cost her, even her life....
Saint Joan of Arc stands for FAITHFULNESS AND LOYALTY.
- She was faithful and loyal to King Charles even though he was ungrateful
her to the enemy.
- She was faithful and loyal to Holy Mother Church even though some of its
prelates were cruel
and unjust to her and ultimately betrayed her to the hideous death of being
burnt alive! She went so far as
to forgive these churchmen just before she was burned to death.
- Most importantly she was faithful and loyal to GOD and the MISSION that HE
gave her. She did
this by "never taking her hand from the plow," but strove to the utmost of her
ability to serve HIM all the
days of her life, even during her oppressive imprisonment, until the day of her
Saint Joan of Arc stands for LOVE. Love was the underlying message of her life.
- She loved the oppressed people of France. She showed her love by striving
to end the long standing
Hundred Years' War which caused the people so much suffering. She did this by
first begging the English
to leave France peacefully without further bloodshed. It was only after the
third English rejection of her
request that Joan resorted to force of arms.
- She showed her love in the way she fought. She never prolonged a battle
any longer than was
necessary. She did not "play at war" as the knights of the time were in the
habit of doing. (They were more
interested in ransoms than in winning a battle.)
- She showed her love to the enemy by never allowing the wanton murder of
captured English soldiers.
She cried over and prayed for an Englishman as easily as she did for any
- She showed her love for the poor and needy by always giving generous alms
to all who asked.
- She showed her love by never being short or angry to the throngs of people
that would press in on
her or who brought their little children for her
- She showed her passionate love for the Church and the Sacraments by
attending Mass every day and,
when her work allowed, by spending long hours in personal prayer. She
passionately loved to receive the
sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) and did this almost daily, but in
Joan's time a person could
receive Our Lord in Holy Communion normally only once a month. (When she had
her own personal
chaplain, Father Jean Pasquerel, she received Holy Communion as often as he
almost daily.) I believe the worst torture she suffered in the Rouen prison
was her inability to go to
confession and receive Our Dear Lord in Holy Communion.
These virtues that I have spoken of are seriously lacking in our world today.
When the time of persecution comes, will we be able to speak the TRUTH and
have the COURAGE,
FAITHFULNESS, LOYALTY and LOVE to remain faithful to Jesus and the Church?
Mr. Lawrence Johnson of Bozeman, Montana added this point to my
comments on Saint Joan's holiness which I feel is very appropriate.
"The story of Joan of Arc provides a powerful, historically
verifiable example of how a person (in this case a woman) can
hear and respond to God's command, and in so doing, change history.
I believe that God speaks to each of us if we will only listen,
and that we are all called to play a part in establishing God's
Kingdom here on earth. Joan of Arc's experience was a spiritual
"mountain top" that few are blessed with during the
course of history. Yet we can all learn and find courage and a
fresh resolve in her example."
Thank you Mr. Johnson for that insight.
This web page is being maintained by The Saint Joan of Arc Center