Today is the Feast of my heroine, St. Joan of Arc. Her story and life can be found here:
I strive to follow her courageous and heroic example in doing my small part to fight the spiritual foes of our time, the Modernists who have infiltrated our Holy Church to destroy Her.
A Book Analysis I wrote on the “Personal Recollections of St. Joan of Arc” by Mark Twain:
In the story Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain, St. Joan, the heroine of the story, is granted the God-given mission of restoring the king of her country, France, to his rightful throne and saving France from the English. St. Joan of Arc, great military leader of the French, was a simple, peasant girl who was called and guided by the Saints of God to lead the armies of France against the English during the Hundred Years War. Easily obtaining the acclaim of all of France as a military heroine, she succeeded in victory, but it cost her martyrdom by being burned at the stake as a heretic. Throughout the story, she never ceases to be a brave, courageous, religious and militant girl with the strength of a true soldier of extraordinary strength and fearlessness. Throughout the story, St. Joan of Arc demonstrates the traits of simplicity, courage and piety.
As a peasant girl growing up in Domremy, Joan’s life was one of simplicity. For example, her parents were simple laborers. She helped them like any normal girl of her time, tending to her father’s animals. In her childhood, she was light-hearted and even believed in fairies. She was a bashful girl and was so easily embarrassed in the presence of strangers that she was nicknamed Bashful. Compare this to her combat in war and one sees the simplicity of Joan of Arc before her transformation into a soldier. She, who was not able to read, understood the complex arts of war, only through the grace and help of God. She was simple in modesty of voice and manners. The simplicity of St. Joan of Arc proves that even the simplest peasant girl can confound the proud and do great things.
In addition to her simplicity, St. Joan of Arc was given extraordinary courage which was required of her to be victorious over the enemies of France. First and foremost, her courage was seen in accepting the call of the Saints to lead the armies of France. St. Joan knew that God was calling her and did not hesitate to obey Him, despite her simplicity, littleness and ignorance of the ways of war. Throughout the story, her courage proves that she is forgetful of herself and was only concerned about the preservation of her people, the king and her country. Once, she led an assault and made the Duke stand out of the way when cannon-balls were flying to save his life. This proves that she was courageous because she did not fear for her own life, but instead put her own life at risk to save another. Every battle of St. Joan required much courage. Finally, her courage was shown most admirably when she was condemned, tortured and shamed at her trial. She who was the heroine of France was humiliated to the level of a heretic and traitor. Her courage won her the martyr’s crown. Truly, courage was her greatest trait that saved her country and won her reward, martyrdom.
St. Joan’s simplicity and courage was joined with her Catholic piety which was demonstrated throughout her short life as a peasant and leader of the armies of France. For example, her respect for the priesthood was shown when she stood with a reverent attitude, with her head down in reverence before great church dignitaries. They stood before her as no friends, but wanted to hear the message that she had for the King alone. Secondly, she obeyed the will of God for her, to lead the armies of France to victory. She exhibited a submission to the will of God. Her army was guided by God to victory. Once, she rode to the cathedral to give thanks to God with the people following her example. All throughout her life, she was nurtured in her Catholic faith and it alone gave her strength to accomplish the difficult tasks that God handed her. Her Catholic piety was demonstrated in the banner that she carried into battle, depicting an image of Jesus and Mary. Catholic piety or love of God and the Church was her primary strength, especially in her mission of saving France.
In conclusion, St. Joan is proven to be consistently courageous, simple and pious. The extraordinary work required of her to save France and the Dauphin required extraordinary courage which God so generously endowed her with. St. Joan’s simplicity kept her humble so as not to glory in her mission, which was extraordinary as it was great. Most of all, her Catholic piety shown throughout the story proves her great love of God and the Church, which gave her the strength to fight to the death. St. Joan of Arc is a witness of what a true, militant Catholic should be, for she displayed the Church Militant in action.
Personal Recollections of St. Joan of Arc, by Mark Twain, presents the theme that Christian warfare, driven by prayer and courage, is a duty for any good Catholic. The main character, Joan, is a young peasant girl with a deep devotion to Christ and the Church who was called upon by God for a mission that required extraordinary courage. Through internal conspiracies and fierce battles, she proved herself to be a courageous leader, endowed by God with wisdom and piety beyond her years. She fought like any true soldier and her life is symbolic of the Church Militant. Whether it was the victory at Patay or her final trial, her perseverance and courage was her crowning glory throughout the book. Fueled by prayer as she was wont to do before every battle, God gave her the victory, just as He will a faithful Catholic with a similar devotion to God and prayer that she had. She stood by her country and Faith, even at the cost of her life. The matter of Christian warfare applies to a Catholic’s everyday life, for Christian warfare is to fight sin that comes from the world, the flesh and the devil with courage, grace and utmost devotion, just as Joan fought literal battles with the same. Her example and virtues can be imitated by all. For a young girl, she proves that the small do confound the proud, for humility is preferable over pride. The last proof of her courage was in her martyrdom at the hands of her enemies. This story encourages the practice of the virtues of prayer and courage, especially pertaining to the spiritual life and the dangers one has to face as a member of the Church Militant.
Let us ask the intercession of St. Joan of Arc that she would help us in the Church Militant to fight against sin, the principalities of this world, evil in the Church, innovation and error, the Modernists, and finally the deadly synthesis of all heresies itself, Modernism.
St. Joan of Arc, ora pro nobis!
~Damsel of the Faith