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Saint Joan of Arc - endlessly fascinating

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by empther, Mar 4, 2003.

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  1. empther

    empther New Member

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    I'd like to start a thread on one of the most amazing persons who ever lived, and will update it if there is interest.

    What? You 'know all about Joan' because you saw "The Messenger: the Story of Joan of Arc"? Then you know nothing about Joan. That movie was so full of "errors" I lost count in ten minutes. Joan was nothing like that.

    Here is what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: "Joan is a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind, that she finds no equal in a thousand years". ( Birth of Birth)

    Was Joan that outstanding? Yes. If anybody else had set out to do what she did they would have failed miserably. But Joan was a genius in the highest rank. Old generals admitted she knew more about strategy then they did.

    Here are some questions and answers to stimulate your interest.

    Q.  Who were the Voices that spoke to Joan?
    A.  Not Dustin Hoffman! They were St Michael the Archangel, and two Saints from the early centuries, Catherine and Margaret. Cynics note that the two female saints were removed from the Church calendar because of uncertainties about their life histories, but that doesn't mean they didn't exist.

    Q. Was Joan of Arc a schizophrenic?
    A. No. The medical profession has carefully outlined criteria for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Joan met none of these criteria. I have fuller explanations if there is interest.

    Q. What can we really know about someone who lived nearly six hundred years ago?
    A. We probably know more about Joan than of any person before the 20th Century.   The collection of original contemporary documents fill five volumes.   We have the transcript of her three month trial, and the transcript of the investigation into her life conducted by the Pope 20 years after her death.   In this investigation, 150 people who had known her in all phases of her life told under oath all they knew about Joan.   We know a lot about Joan!

    Q.   Why was Joan killed?

    A.    That's a very complicated issue which involves the political situation of the time.   I can say this:  the Catholic Church as such had nothing to do with Joan's death.   Pope Eugenius most likely didn't know of Joan's existence.   The "Church officials" who tried and condemned Joan were actually allied with a faction that was trying to wrestle power away from Rome.   I can discuss this in great detail if there is interest.

    Q.   What kind of personality did Joan have?

    A.    A very attractive one.   She apparently won over everybody who met her.  God picked a winner.

    Q.   Why would God take sides with the French in a worldly war?

    A.    To end the war!   It had been going on for 91 years before Joan was ready to join in (at 17!).   The war had killed at least hundreds of thousands  and perhaps millions of French from economic disruptions, starvation, and so forth.   God said "Enough already!"

    Q.  Where did Joan learn to fight?

    A.   Nowhere.   She was a totally uneducated peasant girl from an a tiny village on the Eastern border of France.   She'd probably never seen a soldier before going off to war.   But she was so brilliant she learned the most complicated subjects instantly.

    Q.   Was the rape and murder of her sister the reason Joan went to war?

    A.    That's a total fabrication of the "Messenger" movie.  Nothing like that happened.   The historical records say nothing about Joan's sister.   The sister's name appears in Church records and then is never mentioned again.   In those days one out of three people got sick and died in childhood.    Actually, Joan testified at her trial that when the Voices told her to go into France and save the nation, she would have preferred to stay home spinning wool with her mother!

    That should peak your interest.   There are internet forums out there that are dedicated exclusively to Joan of Arc.   Serious people  investigate details of her life year after year.    Tired of television and formula movies?  Turn your attention to a real heroine.

    Norman Boutin
     
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  2. KC Catholic

    KC Catholic Everybody's gone surfin'...Surfin' U.S.A

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    empther -

    First, welcome to our forum, we're glad you're here!

    Second, very interesting post.
     
  3. Pure_Catholic

    Pure_Catholic Member

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    Catholic
    empther...St. Joan of Arc is an awesome person!! She's one I pray to when i need courage to stand up and defend my faith when it isn't the easiest thing to do. Thanks for posting that, it was interesting! :)

    And, welcome to the Forums!!

    Your sister in CHrist,
    Erin
     
  4. Didymus

    Didymus can t spell--can t type

    +8
    Protestant
    I am not catholic but i have always regarded Joan as one of my favorite women. i read the landmark series bio of her when i was about 8. At the time I was interested because she was a girl soilder and rode a big white horse. Now i admire her for her courage. i am also part french-canadian and so that may be part of it too.
     
  5. empther

    empther New Member

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    Dear Erin,

    Joan’s courage was one of her most outstanding features. Even the threat of torture on the rack ( not carried out ), and the stake couldn’t make her budge an inch from her principles.

    We call this type of courage “fortitude”. It is one of the moral virtues and a gift of the Holy Spirit. The great theologian Saint Thomas Aquinas said that man cannot persevere to the end without fortitude. Clearly Joan persevered to the end. You recall that St Paul in one of his letters feared that after leading so many to Jesus he might himself fail in the end.

    Fortitude is generated by the love for God of which Joan had a great deal. She obeyed the order to persue the IMPOSSIBLE MISSION of saving France not because she wanted to, but because she loved God.



    Dear Didymus,

    Anybody, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Moslem, Buddhist, Hindu, even atheist, can get some benefit from studying Joan’s example. The principles which she demonstrated so superlatively are universal.

    We know nothing about Joan’s theology. The religious questions that were asked of her at her trial were very elementary and could have been asked of a young child. What Joan thought about deeper “Catholic” issues, if she thought of them at all, is unknown.

    Joan was illiterate and never read the Bible. I doubt she could quote a single verse. She probably never saw a book in her life except the book used to record the transcript of her own trial. But her heart was all she needed.

    I see no need to discuss Joan’s theology beyond what I mentioned in the note to Erin above. God presented us with Joan of Arc as an example of the possibilities of a human spirit who trusts Him. This has nothing to do with denominations.

    You’re all welcome to get acquainted with Joan.

    By the way, I’m Franco-American myself. All my great-grandparents were from Quebec.

    Norman Boutin
     
  6. Didymus

    Didymus can t spell--can t type

    +8
    Protestant
    Bon Jour !! Proud to be French ! I am getting tired of the French bashing I ve been hearing lately. I wonder what Joan would have done during WWII. I can see her in the resistence.
     
  7. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

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    Were the saints dead? Dead people talked to her? If so, it raises many questions..

    Please excuse my ignorance btw ;)
     
  8. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

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    I think Joan was a perfect example of someone that gave their whole life to be used by God! She is a model to be followed by us all i should hope.. Someone who was quite willing to die for her Lord, i hope when the time comes, that i have faith like she did!
     
  9. Didymus

    Didymus can t spell--can t type

    +8
    Protestant
    yeah I have had a problem with the voices.thing. I guess we should look at what they said and if they ever said anything against God or scripture. still they did not tell Joan to worship them or set up a different religion that did like Joseph Smith and the Mormons.
     
  10. S Walch

    S Walch -

    +162
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    Joan was definantly the most couragus woman in history.

    I would like to think that She was just told by Angels and/or God, not saints.
     
  11. empther

    empther New Member

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    People's worries about the the Voices being Saints, what they may have said to Joan etc etc caught me by surprise. There's no problem with this.

    1. Joan called them the "Voices" because to her they were the voice of God, which in a way they were. She didn't just hear them. She could see them, talk to them, ask them questions which they answered, and even touch them. Sometimes Joan called for them when she was distressed and they appeared to her.

    2. The Voices didn't do this on their own. They didn't get together and say, "Let's go down and visit Joannie." It was all done by God's infinite power. They were God's messengers, just like Gabriel appearing to Mary to pre-announce Jesus, or many other examples in Scripture. If the saints could visit earth on their own all our dead relatives would drop in once in while. God's infinite intellect foresees that this would not be a good idea.

    3. Having the beatific vision of God in Heaven, it would be just as impossible for the Saints to want to say something against God or doctrine as it would be to want to leave Heaven permanently and go to hell instead. It can't happen. Once the human soul "possesses'", so to speak, the infinite goodness of God, it cannot turn away.

    4. The Voices ( Micheal the Archangel was the leader ) first appeared to Joan when she was about twelve. Thereafter, two or three times a week until they gave her the MISSION around her seventeenth birthday. At first they simply told her to be a good girl, attend Mass frequently, the usual stuff. Gradually they told her she would do something for France, then they told her she would be involved in the war effort. Finally, they told her she would have to be in charge of the whole shebang. They had to treat her gently like this because after all she was just a young girl and this had to be the most demanding mission God ever asked a human being to do.
    5.   At her trial, Joan was constantly asked what the Voices told her.   She answered some of their questions but not all of them.   Joan explained that she was not permitted to repeat some of the things she discussed with the Voices.   

          I think the Voices told her things about the future which was none of the trial judges's business.

           Early in the trial, Joan told the judges that within seven years of her death the French would achieve a major victory against the English.   It happened!   Six years and eight months after Joan's death, the French finally liberated Paris from the English.   This crushing defeat by the English  was essentially the end of the Hundred Years's War and the remaining years were just a mopping up exercise.

         What else did the Voices tell Joan about the next six hundred years of European history, the next five hundred years of New World history, and Joan's own influence on all this?    We can only guess.


    6.   When Joan was in prison the Voices visited her up to three times a day to console and encourage her.   Joan saw only males in prison.   She didn't see a living female face for months.   Saints Catherine and Margaret thus served this important need of the young girl.

    Norman Boutin
     
  12. Theresa

    Theresa With Reason

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    Catholic
    Have you seen that other Joan of Arc movie with Leelee Sobieski? I really enjoyed that one. The Messenger was horrible.

    Theresa
     
  13. empther

    empther New Member

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    Dear Theresa,

    Yes, "The Messenger" was disgusting. Speaking about this movie, a prominent Los Angelos movie critic said, "I have never used the word vulgar to describe a movie, until now". It's incredible what 'freedom of speech' allows people to do.

    I depend only on the historical records for my information about Joan. Leelee's version of the story was much better. I have the DVD. Leelee did a good job, although the producers minimized the religious aspects of Joan's story. Have to be politically correct, you know.

    But even in this movie there were some amazing changes to the true story. Back in the village of Domremy there was something about Joan's father threathening to drown her when she was an infant. Complete nonsense. Nothing like that in the historical records. Then the movie showed Joan giving herself up to the enemy. More nonsense.   Joan faught like a tiger to avoid getting captured but the situation was hopeless.    Then there was the nonsense about Bishop Cauchon prosecuting  Joan in revenge for something Joan said back in a dinner they both attended with the King of France back in Chinon.   Never happened!    Joan never met Cauchon until the trial began. 

    I will always tell the historically accurate truth about Joan to the best of my ability.   On other websites, which I hope you will avoid because some are associated with witchcraft,  what you get depends on the website owners's agenda.   Always ask yourself, "What are these people trying to sell me?"

    For reliable historical information by someone who has a genuine love for Joan see the website of the 'Joan of Arc Center'  maintained by Virginia Frohlich of New Mexico.   There, you will find tons of really good stuff about Joan,  including something written by me.

    Norman Boutin
     
  14. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

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    Have a vote, and be blessed! Your first 4 posts have been exceptional!

    God bless
    Chris
     
  15. ZooMom

    ZooMom Thanks for the memories...

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    ;) The Saints aren't dead. They are alive in Christ. There's no such thing as a 'dead' Saint.

    Peace be with you. :)
     
  16. Axion

    Axion Senior Veteran

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  17. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

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    I'd loooove to get some biblical backing for that ;)
     
  18. empther

    empther New Member

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    OLDoMININ cited the following quote:

    “The Saints aren't dead. They are alive in Christ. There's no such thing as a 'dead' Saint. “
    .

    And then OLDoMINION gave this followup:

    “I'd loooove to get some biblical backing for that”


    Dear OLDoMINION,

    How about some PHYSICAL EVIDENCE?

    The day before Joan fought in her first battle, at Orleans, she predicted that she would be wounded. She was.; She was hit by an arrow a few inches above the breast and incapacitated for a few hours. Of course the Voices ( Saints Michael etc ) had told her about this so they must have had some kind of life.

    There was a Flemish ( modern day Brussels ) diplomat visiting at the time. He wrote a letter to his home country talking about Joan’s wounding at Orleans.

    The letter was written three weeks BEFORE THE EVENT! The letter still exists.

    Didn’t I tell you Joan was endlessly fascinating?

    Norman Boutin
     
  19. OLDoMiNiON

    OLDoMiNiON Senior Member

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    OK, interesting. But i wasn't disputing that ;)

    I was simply asking if there is any biblical backing for Saint being "Alive in Christ" - aren't we all saints??!?? Does your dead grandmother come and talk to you at night?
    I do believe that Joan was used extensively by God, however, i wonder about the "voices"..
     
  20. isshinwhat

    isshinwhat Pro Deo et Patria

    +605
    Eastern Orthodox
    First, thank you sir for your fine posts on St. Joan of Arc. I have learned a lot from them. :)

    OLDoMiNiON, the Second Book of Maccabees records both the Prophet Jeremiah and the High Priest Onias speaking to Judas Maccabeus on behalf of God.

    Also, one of the elders in the throneroom of Heaven speaks to John during his vision.

    Nor can we forget the apperance of deceased saints of God shortly after the death of our Lord to his people on Earth.

    Those are in addition to the many times angels of the Lord appeared to His faithful on earth to help them in times of need or hurt; Gabriel to Mary, the angels to Lot, Joseph, Peter, Raphael as recorded in Tobit, etc.

    All of this is possible because we are One Body[/b] in Christ. The Church is not divided or conquered, even by death, because Jesus conquered death, and through Him we have eternal life. The same Holy Spirit that lives in me, lives in all the saints. It is that Holy Spirit that dwells within in each of us that holds us together in a holy unity. The Saints who have gone before us are perfectly sanctified and behold the face of God in all of its glory, as I hope to one day do. All faithful Christians are saints, and I can ask any saint to pray for me, you included.

    All you Holy Saints in Heaven, pray for us!

    Neal
     
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