Jehanne La Pucelle

11 April 2009 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Beatification of Jehanne la Pucelle. Ben Kennedy author of Maid of Heaven has reminded me of this fact and has presented a glowing tribute to La Pucelle.

The official Beatification of Joan of Arc took place in April of 1909 when the Roman Catholic Church declared her to be Blessed. This was the second step on her path to being declared a Saint by the Church having been declared Venerable in 1904. The official pronouncement by Pope Pius X was issued on April 11, 1909, and a ceremony was held in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican on April 18, 1909. Below is a translation by Dylan Schrader of the pronouncement from the official Vatican record, Acta Apostolicae Sedis, for 1909.

For everlasting memory. The name of a young maiden of Orleans, noble for all time, that has already been given over to immortality and that will be inscribed officially among the blessed in Heaven, is a witness to divine power, which "has chosen what is weak in the world to confound what is strong" (1 Cor 1:27). For when in the year of our salvation 1428, civil upheavals and internal conflicts, not briefer nor less serious than a war with the English, pointed to the widespread and swift destruction of France, and no refuge or hope of rescue for the defeated seemed possible, God, who with a unique love constantly attended to this most noble of nations, called forth a woman "to free her people and gain for herself an everlasting name" (1 Macc 4:44). The whole life of the magnanimous and most patriotic Joan of Arc, called the maid of Orleans, seems to have been a fortuitous sign. Born in the town of Domremy, within the boundaries of the diocese of Toul, Joan would tend the sheep of her father near a shady grove that was once a sanctuary for the superstition of Druidism, but in that place, this uneducated and poor farm girl who had not yet completed her fifteenth year, beholding the wide view of the valley below, used to lift up her mind to him who furnished the mountains and the forests, the fields and the thickets, with such splendid adornment that they by far surpass any luxurious pomp and any lavishness of the royal purple. The only care of this girl, ignorant of the world, was to decorate the plain altar of the Virgin with flowers that she had picked, and the uproar of so terrible a war had barely reached her ears. But, when the siege of Orleans at its overthrow sapped both the town itself and the fortune of King Charles VII - for the nobles of the province of France had already yielded to the English invasion - it was, in these dire straits, to Joan attending to her usual duties in the family orchard, that the voice of Michael, the prince of the heavenly host, was heard, even as it once sounded to Judas Machabbeus, "Take up the holy sword, which is a task given by God, with which you will slay the adversaries of my people Israel" (2 Macc 15:16). This daughter of peace was roused to the things of war. At first, the maiden was astounded and afraid, but after the voices from Heaven continued, as if the divine spirit had been breathed into her, she did not at all doubt that she ought exchange the spinning wheel for the sword, and the shepherds' pipes for the sounding of trumpets.

Articles I have placed in my blog concerning La Pucelle may be found here...

The St Joan of Arc Center in Albuquerque NM. Virgina Frohlick. If is is to be known about Joan of Arc this woman knows it...

Ben Kennedy's book on Joan of Arc is listed on my blog at the bottom left hand side. Clicking his book will bring you to Amazon where it can be purchased. I highly recommend it.

As Jehanne is a Patron Saint of this Blog, I conclude with a prayer to her:

Priére de sainte Jeanne d'Arc, patronne de la France

Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, ton martyr est la grande victoire de Dieu sur nos ennemis. Intercède du Royaume des Cieux, pour que nous soyons préservés des guerres contre notre pays et des assauts contre notre foi. Que la France se souvienne qu'elle est la fille aînée de l'Eglise. Seigneur, nous te rendons grâce car Tu as béni notre pays en nous donnant Jeanne d'Arc. Suscite encore de nombreuses vocations pour garder intacte la mission apostolique de la France. Amen.

Prayer of Saint Jeanne D'Arc, patroness of France

Holy Saint Jeanne, your martyrdom is a great victory of God upon our enemies. Intercede with the Kingdom of Heaven, so that we may be preserved from wars against our country and assaults against our faith. What France remembers is that she is the elder daughter of the Church. Lord, we return to Your grace for You have blessed our country while giving us Saint Jeanne. Through Your mercy give rise again to many vocations to keep intact the apostolic mission of France. Amen.


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