Friday, April 16, 2010

Free Spirit Friday ~ Saint Joan of Arc ~ The Maid of Orleans

  • In 1412 a girl named Jehanne was born. She was born in eastern France on a farm. She loved to spin wool and hear the tolling of the church bells. When she was young she began having visions of angels directing her. She recalls these visions as "a white light and a tender voice of an angel".  She was 12 when she had her first vision. She said that she cried when the voices left because they "were so beautiful". These angels directed her to force the English out of France and bring the Dauphin to Reims to be coronated. This was near the end of the Hundred Years' War. When she was 16, she asked a relative to bring her to the garrison commander to receive permission to visit the French Royal Court. He scoffed at her request, but this did not deter her. She persisted in her desire to help her country recover. She dressed in armor and ended up leading the French army in several important victories and she was indirectly responsible for the coronation of Charles VII.

She was captured, sold to the English, tried by a court, and burned at the stake when she was 19. Twenty four years later, Pope Callixtus III reviewed the courts decision and found her innocent. He also declared her a martyr.
I have been inspired by Jehanne for many years. I recall hearing or reading about her at a young age. I hope other women are inspired to follow the leading of God and follow His direction and will for their lives. There are so many simple things we can do to make a difference in our own lives. Love our neighbors, care for the orphaned, show compassion to the needy and widows.
Jehanne was a remarkable girl. She followed her heart and changed the course of history. She is one that I admire.
Do you have a woman in your life ,or in history, who you admire?

1 comment:

Trishia said...

Rebecca, Joan of Arc has always held a special place in my heart, too. I visited the site in Rouen where she was burned at the stake. An incredible church has been built next to it, awesome architecture. Not the typical church style. I have personal issues with the Catholic church's treatment of her, but that aside, her story is incredible and makes one want to know more and more. I happen to have a "Jeanne d'Arc" candle sitting on my desk!