Monday, May 30, 2011
580 Years ago today, Saint Joan of Arc received her martyrdom
Saint "Jeanne d'Arc" Joan of Arc :Thank You madam for being a great woman and a great saint. You are the patron saint of France! remembering you on this day after 580 years today! may you rest in peace and happy feast day!
The Feast Day of Joan of Arc
Roman Rite Calendar - 05/30
Tridentine Calendar - 05/30
11 April 1905 by Pope Saint Pius X
16 May 1920 by Pope Benedict XV
Following her execution, there were many who felt that Joan of Arc should not have been burned, but honored and made a saint for her communications with God, and her hand in leading the French to freedom from the English.
Sadly, it was not for several years until she was even cleared of the charges. In 1452, the process of clearing her name would begin, and during that same time the Church declared that a religious play made in her honor at Orleans would qualify as a pilgrimage.
This set the stage for the sainthood of Joan of Arc, and the creation of a Joan of Arc day, or St. Joan of Arc feast day to honor her. The push to make her a saint and create a Feast Day of Joan of Arc would gain some steam during the 16th century when Joan of Arc became a symbol of the Catholic League.
By 1849, Monsignor Felix Dupanloup, who was the Bishop of Orleans, made the attempt for Joan of Arc's beatification and a creation of a Joan of Arc Day, until his death in 1878. Sadly, he did not live to see how the process would turn out for Joan of Arc.
Joan of Arc would finally have her beatification in the year 1909, which would lead to the creation of a Feast of st. Joan of Arc. Her official canonization would happen on May 16, 1920, with the Joan of Arc Feast Day being set for May 30. Her canonization was performed by Pope Benedict XV at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. May 30 was chosen as the day for the Saint Joan of Arc Feast Day because it was the day she was burned at the stake. In all, 489 years passed between her death and her canonization, a notoriously long period of time for sainthood.
However, since the creation of the Feast Day of Joan of Arc and her sainthood, Joan of Arc has become one of the most popular saints in the history of the Catholic Church. Joan of Arc Festival or feast is celebrated on May 30th.
Saint Joan of Arc:
nicknamed The Maid of Orléans ''Jeanne d'Arc'', (January 6, 1412 – May 30, 1431) is considered a national heroine of France and a Catholic saint. A peasant girl born in eastern France who claimed divine guidance, she led the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War, which paved the way for the coronation of Charles VII. She was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, tried by an ecclesiastical court, and burned at the stake when she was 19 years old.
Twenty-five years after the execution, Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, pronounced her innocent and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She is – along with St. Denis, St. Martin of Tours, St. Louis IX, and St. Theresa of Lisieux – one of the patron saints of France.
Joan asserted that she had visions from God that instructed her to recover her homeland from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The uncrowned King Charles VII sent her to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief mission. She gained prominence when she overcame the dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and lifted the siege in only nine days. Several more swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims and settled the disputed succession to the throne.
Honored in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 18 April 1909, Notre Dame de Paris by Pope Pius X
Canonized 16 May 1920, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome by Pope Benedict XV
Feast 30 May
Patronage France ; martyrs; captives; military personnel; people ridiculed for their piety; prisoners; soldiers, women who have served in the WAVES (Women Appointed for Voluntary Emergency Service)
Heresy was a capital crime only for a repeat offense. Joan agreed to wear feminine clothing when she abjured. A few days later she told a tribunal member that "a great English lord had entered her prison and tried to take her by force." She resumed male attire either as a defense against molestation or, in the testimony of Jean Massieu, because her dress had been stolen and she was left with nothing else to wear. In terms of doctrine, she had been safe to disguise herself as a page during her journey through enemy territory and she was safe to wear armor during battle.
The Chronique de la Pucelle states that it deterred molestation while she was camped in the field. Clergy who later testified at the posthumous rehabilitation trial affirmed that she continued to wear male clothing in prison to deter molestation and rape. Preservation of chastity was another justifiable reason for cross-dressing: her apparel would have slowed an assailant, and men would be less likely to think of her as a sex object in any case.
She referred the court to the Poitiers inquiry when questioned on the matter. The Poitiers record no longer survives but circumstances indicate the Poitiers clerics had approved her practice. In other words, she had a mission to do a man's work so it was fitting that she dress the part.
She also kept her hair cut short through her military campaigns and while in prison. Her supporters, such as the theologian Jean Gerson, defended her hairstyle, as did Inquisitor Brehal later during the Rehabilitation trial.Nonetheless, at the trial in 1431 she was condemned and sentenced to die.
Eyewitnesses described the scene of the execution by burning on 30 May 1431. Tied to a tall pillar in the Vieux-Marché in Rouen, she asked two of the clergy, Fr Martin Ladvenu and Fr Isambart de la Pierre, to hold a crucifix before her. A peasant also constructed a small cross which she put in the front of her dress.
After she expired, the English raked back the coals to expose her charred body so that no one could claim she had escaped alive, then burned the body twice more to reduce it to ashes and prevent any collection of relics. They cast her remains into the Seine. The executioner, Geoffroy Therage, later stated that he "...greatly feared to be damned.
Saint Joan of Arc, The Maid of Orleans (Jeanne d'Arc) is a recognized Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Although she was excommunicated and burned at the stake by local officials in 1431, central church officials would later nullify her excommunication, declaring her a martyr unjustly executed for a secular vendetta. Her legend would grow from there, leading to her beatification in 1909 and her canonization in 1920.
Death and 15th centuryAs with other saints who were excommunicated or investigated by ecclesiastic courts, such as St. Athanasius, St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, Joan of Arc was put on trial by an Inquisitorial court. In Joan's case, the court was controlled by the English government in occupied northern France, leading to her burning at the stake at Rouen. When the French regained Rouen in 1449, a series of investigations were launched which led to a formal appeal run by the Inquisitor-General in 1455. She was declared innocent on July 7, 1456. The Inquisitor's summary of evidence for the case describes her as a martyr who had been executed by a court which was itself in violation of the Church's rules.
She had always been considered innocent by those of her own faction. The city of Orléans commemorated her death each year beginning in 1432, and from 1435 onward performed a religious play centered around her victories. The play represented her as a divinely sent saviour guided by angels.
In 1452, during one of the postwar investigations into her execution, Cardinal d'Estouteville declared that this religious play would merit qualification as a pilgrimage site by which attendees could gain an indulgence from sin.
Not long after the appeal, Pope Pius II wrote an approving piece about her in his memoirs.
During the 16th century, Joan of Arc was utilized as a symbol of the Catholic League, a group organized to fight against Protestantism during the Wars of Religion of that era.
19th century to present
Paradoxically, it was the publication of works by secular historians in the mid-19th century which seems to have sparked widespread public efforts to ask the Church to officially canonize her. Félix Dupanloup, Bishop of Orléans from 1849 to 1878, led the efforts which culminated in Joan of Arc's beatification in 1909, held in Notre Dame de Paris. During the subsequent fighting in France during World War I, Allied troops carried her image into battle with them. During one battle, French troops interpreted a German searchlight image projected onto low-lying clouds as an appearance by Joan, which greatly bolstered their morale.
Her canonization came on 16 May 1920. Over 30,000 people attended the ceremony in Rome, including 140 descendants of Joan of Arc's family. Pope Benedict XV presided over the rite, for which the interior of St. Peter's Basilica was richly decorated (Associated Press, 16 May 1920).
A commemorative medallion made in France at the time of Joan of Arc's beatification.
Her beatification approximately coincided with the French invention of the Janvier transfer engraving machine (also called a die engraving pantograph) which facilitates the creation of minted coins and commemorative medallions. This invention, together with the already well-established French sculptural tradition, added another element to Saint Joan's beatification: a series of well-made religious art medals featuring Saint Jeanne d'Arc with scenes from her life.
Her feast day is 30 May. Although changes to the Church-wide calendar in 1968 moved many medieval European saints' days off the general calendar in order to make room for more non-Europeans, her feast day is still celebrated on many local and regional Church calendars, especially in France. Many Catholic churches around the globe have been named after her in the decades since her canonization.
She has become especially popular among Traditional Catholics, particularly in France - both because of her obvious connection to this country as well as the fact that the Traditional Catholic movement is strongest in France. This branch of Catholicism, which has refused to accept the changes made by the Second Vatican Council, has compared the 1988 excommunication of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre (one of the founders of the Traditional Catholic movement) to Joan of Arc's excommunication by a corrupt pro-English Bishop in 1431. Traditional Catholic parishes sometimes perform plays in Joan of Arc's honor.
Novena to St. Joan of Arc
(say once a day for nine days)
Glorious St. Joan of Arc, filled with compassion for those who invoke you, with love for those who suffer, heavily laden with the weight of my troubles, I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you to take my present need under your special protection...(mention here).
Vouchsafe to recommend it to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and lay it before the throne of Jesus. Cease not to intercede for me until my request is granted. Above all, obtain for me the grace to one day meet God face to face and with you and Mary and all the angels and saints praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Joan, do not let me lose my soul, but obtain for me the grace of winning my ways to heaven, forever and ever. Amen.
St. Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days)
Eternal Father, you gave us Saint Joan of Arc through your infinite love and mercy for us. We humbly ask that you send down your Holy Spirit upon us, as Your Spirit is the intermediary by which the Word goes forth from your lips and reaches the ears of the faithful. Allow me to be a witness to your Son Jesus Christ just as St. Joan of Arc was. Oh, Jesus, grant me the courage to do your will, that I may be in one accord with our Father in Heaven. I thank you for the gift of your love, which I hope to one day fully understand.
Say 19 Our Fathers, followed by "St. Joan of Arc, by your powerful intercession, hear and answer me."
When you finish, say the following prayer:
Saint Joan of Arc, patron of France, my patron saint, I ask you now to fight this battle with me by prayer, just as you led your troops to victory in battle. You, who were filled with the Holy Spirit and chosen by God, help me this day with the favor I ask [here say your intention]. Grant me by your divine and powerful intercession, the courage and strength I need to endure this constant fight. Oh St. Joan, help me to be victorious in the tasks God presents to me.
I thank you and ask you for your continuing protection of God's people.
Sweet Saint Joan, plead for me before the throne of almighty God that I may be deemed worthy to be granted the request I have asked. Help me, Saint Joan, to be more like you in the attempt to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, and mind. Through your guidance and prayer help me to be a truly devout and loving Christian, that I may both know and see the will of God. Help me now St. Joan, in my time of need. I ask that you may always be near me guiding me closer each day to Jesus. Thank you Saint Joan for having heard my prayer.
Saint Joan of Arc Novena
(say once a day for nine days)
St. Joan of Arc,
Filled with compassion,
For those who invoke you,
Filled with love for those who suffer,
Heavily laden with the weight of my troubles,
I kneel at your feet and humbly beg you,
To take my present need,
Under your special protection.
(Mention your request here).
Grant to recommend it,
To the Blessed Virgin Mary,
And lay it before the throne of Jesus.
Cease not to intercede for me,
Until my request is granted.
Above all, obtain for me,
The grace to one day,
Meet God face to face,
And with you and Mary,
And all the angels and saints,
Praise Him through all eternity.
O most powerful Saint Joan,
Do not let me lose my soul,
But obtain for me the grace
Of winning my way to heaven,
Forever and ever. Amen.
(Repeat the prayer nine times.)