SAINT JOAN OF ARC
Feast Day: May 30
Dates: circa 1412 - 1431
Patron of soldiers and France.
A simple country girl who could neither read nor write, Joan, at age 14, had visions of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine of Alexandria coming from a blazing light telling her to “save France” from English domination. Joan gained prominence in the Siege of Orleans. In a later battle, she was taken prisoner, betrayed, abused, and sold to the English. Overcoming many obstacles, Joan did save France, dressed in white armor while riding at the head of French troops.
Charles VII was then crowned King of France, Joan standing at his side. Alone and with great courage, she attempted to defend herself against complex political and religious accusations. She was burned at the stake, calling out the name of Jesus as she died.
Within twenty-five years, her innocence was proclaimed by the Holy See, but she was not canonized until 1920. Joan is a martyr and an example of heroic faith and courage.
The shining armor she is depicted in is what she wore while leading French troops into battle. The Fleur-de-lis on her banner and armor is a symbol of France.
Saint Joan of Arc
"The Maid of Orleans"