About Our Stained Glass Windows
Saint Joan of Arc
1412 – 1431
At Domremy on the Upper Meuse was born on January 6, 1412 the illustrious heroine of all time, St. Joan of Arc. Taught by her mother from earliest years to pray each night “O God, save France”, she could not help but conceive that ardent love for her country which later consumed her life. While the English were overrunning the north of France, their future conqueror, untutored in worldly wisdom, was peacefully tending her flock, and learning the wisdom of God at a wayside shrine. But hearing Voices from heaven and bidden by St. Michael, who appeared to her, to deliver her country from the enemy, she hastened to the King and told her story.
Ordinary prudence demanded that trial be made of Joan’s claims. Joan thrilled the court with the defense she made of herself and her divine calling. The learned doctors who were her judges, were fully convinced that she was sent by God.
Six weeks lated the king approved of her mission, and was ready at last to use her for France. She was given a suit of white armour which she was to wear, but she refused to take the sword from the King. Because all soldiers must wear some sort of a sword, Joan took the one that buried behind the shrine of St. Catherine. Scarcely did her banner, inscribed “Jesus, Mary”, appear on the battle field than she raised the seige of Orleans and led Charles VII to be crowned at Rheims. Later, abandoned by her King, she fell into the hands of the English, who gave her a mocked trial and held her prisoner for six months. Joan was chained by the neck by her feet and by her hands. She was roughly treated and poorly fed, yet she accepted all this torture for the love of God.
The day of Joan’s execution, May 30, 1431, brought her one great consolation. She was allowed to make her confession and receive Holy Communion for the first time in six months. At nine o’clock in the morning she was brought to the Old Market Square and fastened to the stake. Ten thousand people, most of them weeping with compassion, watched the flames rise around her. A priest held out a procession cross to her and pressed it to her lips. Soon the dreadful scene was over. “We have burned a saint” came from the lips of the King’s secretary.
Twenty-five years later Joan’s cause was once more judged. Her first trial was pronounced illegal and her innocence and loyalty to the Church openly declared. From that time on she was venerated and in 1920 Joan of Arc was enrolled in the Army of Christ as a saint.