House Colour: Yellow
Feast Day: May 30
Biography of St. Joan
St. Joan of Arc- Patroness of soldiers and France- was born on January 6, 1412 to pious parents of a French peasant family. Joan was born in the village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. Prior to May, 1428, Joan would hear the voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
Her strongest calling though came in May of 1428. At that time the English king wanted to seize the throne of France, and he had found an ally in the Duke of Burgundy who claimed more and more French territories. It was the epoch of despair for the French king. The voices of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret ordered Joan to visit the king, and help him repossess his kingdom. Joan hastened to obey and set off to lead the French army.
At first, she met much resistance, for it was unbecoming of a woman to be involved in the army, and women were of course the weaker vessel and belonged at home. However, the seventeen year old girl was able to overcome the opposition that she met from churchmen and so she was given a small army. With this army she was able to besiege Orleans on May 8, 1429. Following this, Joan had a series of military successes, and so with Joan at his side the king was able to enter Rheims and be crowned.
One year later, while attempting to relieve Compiegne, Joan was arrested by the Burgundians and sold to the English. She received no defense from Charles or the French. Consequently Joan was brought to trial at Rouen by a tribunal that was presided over by Bishop of Beauvais, Peter Cauchon.
Joan had little knowledge of theory, and through her trial she made damaging statements which led to further condemnation. It was felt that Joan’s statements about being led by the saints of God to justify her actions were characteristic of heresy, sorcery and adultery. As a result she received the death penalty and was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. Joan of Arc was nineteen years old.
Thirty years later, Joan was absolved of all guilt and blame. In 1920, she was canonized a saint. This was no news as people had known for centuries that Joan of Arc was a saint.
On St. Joan’s feast day stanzas i and vi of the national anthem of France are also sung as St. Joan was french and led the french army.
written and composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, 1792