Barb Finnegan's September 15, 2001 Presentation
My Dear and Good Friends,
It has been five hundred and seventy years ago since my Voices said to me, "Take everything calmly, heed not your martyrdom. In the end, you will gain Paradise!"
What has been my "secret"? What has been my appeal to my fellow Frenchmen, and even the admiration of my former foes, and even of my newest friends, you Americans? Is it my love and care for my family and friends in Domremy? Is it the determination that my Voices gave me to accomplish my mission? Is it the inspiration and military leadership that I gave my comrades-in-arms to turn defeat into victory, such as at Orleans? Is it in the answers I gave my judges at my trials at Rouen? Is it in the courage I showed at my death, as I called on the Name of Jesus and fixed my gaze on the crucifix? Was it my great suffering that admitted me into His Paradise?
Yes, it is all this, and more. The "secret" of my life is this: "God chooses the weak things of this world, to shame the strong".
This was a "speech" I gave at the start of a "multi-media" presentation I did on St. Joan in September of this year. The presentation was titled, "ST. JOAN OF ARC-570 YEARS IN GLORY", and I did it in commemoration of the 570th anniversary of her death. For this presentation I "incarnated" Joan by wearing the costume you see in the photo above-I rented it from a store in Syracuse, NY.
My love for St. Joan dates back to the time of my confirmation when I was 11 years old back in 1966. I learned about her in my sixth-grade history class, and I was HOOKED. I've seen several of the movies on her, and I've read many books on her. And in May, 1985, I fulfilled a life-long wish and made a St. Joan pilgrimage, attending her Festival in Orleans, seeing her birthplace in Domremy, and going to Rouen. Last year, I revisited Orleans and Rouen.
Virginia and I have gotten to be very good friends in the two short years since I've visited her website. I used a lot of her material for my first presentation in June, 2000, and have purchased items from her as well. She has a wonderful website, and I hope that others will take advantage of her knowledge and love of St. Joan and visit it often.
St. Joan has always appealed to me for her courage, her determination to fulfill the mission God gave her, her compassion for those who suffer and for her sense of humor. She is definitely one of those "little ones" whom God has chosen throughout history to accomplish His designs.