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Maid of Orleans

November 29, 2020

“Joan of Arc” by Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1882), Author/Source Fitzwilliam Museum/University of Cambridge (Accession No. 685) (PD-Art, PD-Old)

We live at a time when terrorists (foreign and domestic) pride themselves on taking the lives of innocent men, women, and children then style themselves “martyrs” engaged in a holy war.

It may be worth recalling what devotion meant in the day and age of a real martyr.

During the Hundred Years War, an untutored peasant girl led a small French force to victory against a larger English army, lifting the siege of Orleans.  It was from this battle that Joan of Arc derived her title as the Maid of Orleans.

Captured by the English in 1430, Joan was placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft.  Questioned by church officials, Joan responded with amazing insight and unfailing faith.  Despite that, she was burned at the stake at the age of nineteen.

Her testimony, however, was preserved.  Here are a few excerpts:

A:  I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this Voice, I was very much frightened; it was mid-day, in the summer, in my father’s garden…

Q:  This Voice that speaks to you, it is that of an Angel, or of a Saint, or from God direct?

A:  It is the Voice of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. Their faces are adorned with beautiful crowns, very rich and precious…

Q:  What was the first Voice that came to you when you were about thirteen?

A:  It was Saint Michael; I saw him before my eyes; he was not alone, but quite surrounded by the Angels of Heaven…

Q:  Do you know if you are in the Grace of God?

A:  If I am not, may God place me there; if I am, may God so keep me. I should be the saddest in all the world if I knew that I were not in the grace of God.  But if I were in a state of sin, do you think the Voice would come to me?  I would that everyone could hear the Voice as I hear it…

Q:  Do you know if Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret hate the English?

A:  They love what God loves; they hate what God hates.

Q:  Does God hate the English?

A:  Of the love or hate God may have for the English or of what He will do for their souls, I know nothing; but I know quite well that they will be put out of France, except those who shall die there, and that God will send victory to the French against the English.

Q:  Was God for the English when they were prospering in France?

A:  I do not know if God hated the French; but I believe that He wished them to be defeated for their sins, if they were in sin…

Q:  If the Church Militant tells you that your revelations are illusions, or diabolical things, will you defer to the Church?

A:  I will defer to God, Whose Commandment I always do…In case the Church should prescribe the contrary, I should not refer to anyone in the world, but to God alone, Whose Commandment I always follow.

Q:  Do you not believe you are subject to the Church of God which is on earth, that is to say to our Lord the Pope, to the Cardinals, the Archbishops, Bishops, and other prelates of the Church?

A:  Yes, I believe myself to be subject to them; but God must be served first…

“ ‘But when they arrest you and deliver you up, do not worry beforehand, or premeditate what you will speak. But whatever is given you in that hour, speak that; for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit’ ” (Mark 13: 11).

Originally posted 5/17/15


  1. Thank you Anna for sharing this! I’ve always appreciated Joan of Arc.

  2. What a great illustration of the promise in that verse. Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Nice post sir..

  4. Hi, Anna,
    I just reread this, because I had saved the email I received when you posted it 3 years ago. I am impressed, again, by Joan’s replies.


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