Joan the woman, Cecille B. de Mille 1917

A film of Joan of Arc by Cecille B. De Mille 1917


Jehanne by Antonin Mercie

Under a staircase on the ground floor of the Art Institute of Chicago is hidden the bust of The Maid by Antonin Mercie. I found this quite by accident on afternoon as I was visiting the Institute for a Mary Cassat Impressionist exhibition several years ago. At the time I paused for a second, gave it a glance and continued to the exhibition. Weeks later the bust reappeared in my mind and I called my sister who works near by and asked her to run over on her luncheon and take some photos for me. I present this now, La Pucelle. (simply The Maid).

Jhesu + Marie

Thanks to Diane

Jehanne la Pucelle, what did she look like?

Yesterday, May 7, marked the anniversary of the recapture of Les Tourelles, a small bastion which lay astride of the main route into Orleans. Orleans was a large City on the Loire River which supprited the King of France, but which lay inside of the territory held by the English. The Duke of Orleans, had been held by the English since his capture by the English at the battle of Azincourt in 1415. It was considered contrary to the laws of chivalry to besiege a city, and held it's Lord a prisoner at the same time.

What did Jehanne look like? I have often wondered this. I am pretty sure she didn't look like Mila Jojovich, Ingrid Bergman, or Lee Lee Sobieski. No existant portraiture exists. Although I have published an article about Bermont, I cannot say with out a doubt that it was her (I believe it is, but that is my opinion). Contemporaries remark that she looked like anyone else, no one special. In the Trial of Rehabilitation the referance of her commoness are repeated so often as to make it annoying.

She is said have been about 5 feet, 2 inches in height. Her eyes were set far apart, and protruded somewhat, she was reaonably good looking, yet not pretty. She had a stocky build (as a healthy 15th century farm woman should have). Behind her left ear she had a red birth mark. Her complexion was dark. Her hair was black.

How do we know her hair was black? A letter writen to the people of the city of Riom which was found in their archives during 1844 was found to contain a 1st class relic of the Saint. A single black hair had been pressed into the wax of the seal by a finger. ...The custom whereby the writer of a letter plucked a hair from his head and pressed it into his seal was frequent at the time; it was an additional guarantee of the authenticity of the document; so it may be taken as reasonably certain that the hair came from Jeanne's head, which gives additional confirmation to the tradition that she was ´black and swart`...(1) Unfortunately the strand of hair has since disappeared which is a pity. It would be the most cherished of all relics of a French Saint. (The finger print, if it were hers, is a relic in it's own right.)

Contrary to the myth Jheanne did not dress in mens clothes constantly, only when she was in the presence of her soldiers did she adopt male dress. Opinion here... I believe that she adopted male dress to allow the men to focus more on the mission and less on the miss. She repeated asked her accusers at her trial to send her some womens clothes. Their refusal to do so, says more about their desire to accuse her than to find the truth.

This must have been some woman, who Kings and hardened soldiers followed, and for whom the English held such animosity. sometimes we are known the best by our enemies.

We could use another Jheanne now.


(1)Scott, W. S: Jeanne d'Arc-Her Life, Her Death, and the Myth
(2)Virginia Frohlick has had many discussions with me over the web concerning Joan. She is a true Companion of the Maid. I have never written an article without her help. See her site here...

A short Biography of "la Pucelle"

« En nom Dieu, les hommes d'armes batailleront et Dieu leur donnera la victoire. »
"In the name of God the men (at arms) will fight, and God will provide the victory"
Jehanne à Poitiers, mars 1429 (Joan at Poitiers, March 1429)

A Short Biography of Saint Joan of Arc

Many us were inspired by the CBS film on Joan of Arc with Lee Lee Sobieski. Though in my mind it is the best version of the life of Joan many of the fact were distorted or left out to keep the plot going along and making a dramatic film. A good point with this actress is that she was just about the right age which of course the Ingrid Bergman film couldnt quite pull off. Additionally, in the Bergman film, the script was parallel to the book by Mark Twain and the play by Bernard Shaw. The Lee Lee version was identifiably taken from her trial statements and the rehabilitation.

My friend Virginia Frohlick has placed on her site this short biography. I add it to whet the appitite, because, this is just a small portion of the most complete English language site dealing with the Maid. Virginia is the expert on Joan. The link above will transport you to her site.

Saint Joan was born on January 6, 1412, in the village of Domremy to Jacques and Isabelle d'Arc. Joan was the youngest of their five children. While growing up among the fields and pastures of her village, she was called Jeannette but when she entered into her mission, her name was changed to Jeanne, la Pucelle, or Joan, the Maid.

As a child she was taught domestic skills as well as her religion by her mother. Joan would later say, "As for spinning and sewing, I fear no woman in Rouen." And again, "It was my mother alone who taught me the 'Our Father' and 'Hail Mary' and the 'Creed;' and from none other was I taught my faith."

From her earliest of years Joan was known for her obedience to her parents, religious fervor, goodness, unselfish generosity and kindness toward her neighbors. Simonin Munier, one of Joan's childhood friends, tells how Joan had nursed him back to health when he was sick. Some of her playmates teased her for being 'too pious.' Others remembered how she would give up her bed to the homeless stranger who came to her father's door asking for shelter.

Joan was 'like all the others' in her village until her thirteenth year. "When I was about thirteen, I received revelation from Our Lord by a voice which told me to be good and attend church often and that God would help me." She stated that her 'Voices' were Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. At first her 'Voices' came to her two or three times a week but as the time for her mission drew near (five years later), they visited her daily telling her to 'Go into France' to raise the siege of Orleans, conduct the Dauphin Charles to Reims for his crowning and to drive the English from the land.

Joan went to the neighboring town of Vaucouleurs, which means Valley of many colors. There she spoke to the loyal French governor by the name of Sir Robert de Baudricourt. After many rejections he finally agreed to send her to the Dauphin who at the time was living at the castle of Chinon.

On the evening of February 23, 1429, she began her mission for God. In the company of six men, she rode through the Gate of France on her way to Chinon. Joan reached this town on March 6th, but was not received by the Dauphin, Charles, until the evening of March 9th.
After being accepted and approved by a Church council headed by the Archbishop of Reims, Joan was allowed to lead the Dauphin's army. This part of her career was meteoric. She entered Orleans on the evening of April 29th and by May 8th the city had been freed. The Loire campaign started on June 9th and by June 19th the English were driven out of the Loire valley. The march to Reims started on June 29th and by July 17th Charles was crowned King of France in the cathedral of Reims.

From this time on, for reasons know only to King Charles, the king no longer valued Joan's advice and guidance. She had always told him that God had given her 'a year and a little longer' to accomplish His will but the king seemed to take no notice of it. For almost a year he wasted what time remained to Joan, until in frustration, she left the court. Her last campaign lasted from the middle of March until her capture at the town of Compiegne on May 23rd, 1430. Her 'year and a little longer' was over.

Abandoned by her king and friends, she started her year of captivity. As a prisoner of the Burgundians she was treated fairly but that all changed when on November 21st, 1430, she was handed over the English. How she survived their harsh treatment of her is a miracle in itself.

The English not only wanted to kill Joan but they also wanted to discredit King Charles as a false king by having Joan condemned by the Church as a witch and a heretic. To obtain this goal the English used those Church authorities whom they knew to be favorable to them and the staunchest of these was Bishop Cauchon.

Joan's trial of condemnation lasted from February 21st until May 23rd. She was finally burnt at the stake in Rouen's market square on May 30th, 1431.

Twenty-five years later the findings of Joan's first trial were overturned and declared 'null and void' by another Church court, who this time was favorable to King Charles. It was not until 1920 that the Church of Rome officially declared Joan to be a saint. Her feast day is celebrated on May 30th.

Note of Caution, Many writers have distorted the Story of this Saint, they have added calumny to her memory. You may find them on the net I will not place them here. I recommend all of these sites, as well as the books and CD rom. I recommend the Lee Lee version of the film and do not recommend "The Messenger" with Mila Jojovich, it is garbage. Here is a link to a silent film called the "Passion of Joan of Arc" from 1928...

Joan of Arc's Companions in Arms, English, French
The 'Companions' of Jeanne d'Arc and Others, short biographies
SteJeannedArc.net entirely in French only
Maison de Jeanne d'Arc in French only
Allen Williamson's site on the maid

Joan of Arc: Her Story at Amazon.com
Joan of Arc by Maurice Boutet de Monvel, the narritive is a bit slanted and written for the youth of France but the illustrations are superb
CD Rom: this is a great resource, find it here
Maid of Heaven, The story of Joan of Arc. here...

My Favorite quotes of the Maid,

"Je me attens a Dieu, mon createur, de tout; je layme de tout mon cuer..."

"Au France et au Roi, Mon ambition sera à servir. "...


New Style Currency for a Monarchist America

The photo below is a nickle of the new Monarchist currency being developed for the new American Monarchy. It will be called the "Joannie" after Joan of Arc.


Reprint from my first year in blogging

A nation of thugs

As the recreation coordinator among my other duties in a North Carolina Prison I can say is the jungle rules basketball these guys play would shame inmates.

The coach is to blame for his inability to fully instruct this fellow in good sportsmanship, and the referees should be fired. There is not excuse for this blindness. Is it any wonder that we have players in the NBA like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Damon Stoudamire, Ruben Patterson, Bonzi Wells, Sam Mack, Glenn Robinson, and Allen Iverson, all of which have complaints filed for assaults. The time to squash this is while he is young.

We are raising a nation of thugs. The desire to win at any cost has it's consequences.


This video went viral the day it was posted.


A new film

A remarkable feat for so young a cast.

Dieu le Roy!

The trailer for the new film, "The War of the Vendee", from Navis Pictures.
For more information, please visit http://www.navispictures.com/


Why Southerners eat Blacked Eyed Peas on New Years Day

The story of eating black eyed peas on New Year's Day

Black Eyed Peas

"The Real Story is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war, military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs. This is an unhealed wound which remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today.

The story of The Black EYED Pea being considered good luck relates directly back to Sherman 's Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by Major General William T. Sherman. The Civil War campaign began on 11/15/1864 when Sherman 's troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia
and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864.

When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the blue belly aggressors that had looted and stolen everything of value and everything you could eat including all livestock, death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors.

There was no international aide, no Red Cross meal trucks. The Northern army had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman ’s Bummers(1) had left silos full of black eyed peas.

At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as the thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten.

Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat. From New Years Day 1866 forward, the tradition grew to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck."


(1) "Bummers" is a 19th century term used to describe General Sherman's foraging parties. Bummers would desent like locusts and remove anything of value, including family silver, dresses, mirrors, money as well as foodstuffs. Shermans Army cut a swath of destruction 200 miles long and 80 miles wide. The penalty for being caught was summary execution.

Today this would be a war crime.

Ste Geneviève

January 3rd is the Feast of my youngest daughters patron Saint, Ste Geneviève. When she was little and growing up we celebrated this day by doing something special. She went to St Francis of Assisi School in Jacksonville, N.C. We would send cupcakes to her class to help her celebrate the feast day with her class. Early on both my wife and I looked to this dear Saint to guide our treasure and preserve her.

Sainte-Geneviève is often forgotten now, except maybe by the French. The magnificent Church dedicated to her,was allowed to run into decay, was restored by Louis XV, then desecrated by the mob in 1791 and was renamed the Pantheon, a name by which it is now more commonly known. Her bones were shattered and destroyed, burned in the police yard. Yet some of her relics still exist and continue to provide cures to the lame and infirm who come to ask her blessing and intersession.


She is Patroness of Paris, born at Nanterre, about 419 or 422; and died in Paris, 512.

Her feast is kept on 3 January. She was the daughter of Severus and Gerontia; popular tradition represents her parents as poor peasants, though it seems more likely that they were wealthy and respectable townspeople.

In 429 St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Lupus of Troyes were sent across from Gaul to Britain to combat Pelagianism. On their way they stopped at Nanterre, a small village about eight miles from Paris. The inhabitants flocked out to welcome them, and St. Germain preached to the assembled multitude. It chanced that the pious demeanour and thoughtfulness of a young girl among his hearers attracted his attention. After the sermon he caused the child to be brought to him, spoke to her with interest, and encouraged her to persevere in the path of virtue. Learning that she was anxious to devote herself to the service of God, he interviewed her parents, and foretold them that their child would lead a life of sanctity and by her example and instruction bring many virgins to consecrate themselves to God. Before parting next morning he saw her again, and on her renewing her consecration he blessed her and gave her a medal engraved with a cross, telling her to keep it in remembrance of her dedication to Christ. He exhorted her likewise to be content with the medal, and wear it instead of her pearls and golden ornaments. There seem to have been no convents near her village; and Genevieve, like so many others who wished to practise religious virtue, remained at home, leading an innocent, prayerful life. It is uncertain when she formally received the religious veil. Some writers assert that it was on the occasion of St. Gregory's return from his mission to Britain; others say she received it about her sixteenth year, along with two companions, from the hands of the Bishop of Paris. On the death of her parents she went to Paris, and lived with her godmother. She devoted herself to works of charity and practised severe corporal austerities, abstaining completely from flesh meat and breaking her fast only twice in the week. These mortifications she continued for over thirty years, until her ecclesiastical superiors thought it their duty to make her diminish her austerities.

Many of her neighbours, filled with jealousy and envy, accused Genevieve of being an impostor and a hypocrite. Like Blessed Joan of Arc, in later times, she had frequent communion with the other world, but her visions and prophecies were treated as frauds and deceits. Her enemies conspired to drown her; but, through the intervention of Germain of Auxerre, their animosity was finally overcome. The bishop of the city appointed her to look after the welfare of the virgins dedicated to God, and by her instruction and example she led them to a high degree of sanctity.

In 451 Attila and his Huns were sweeping over Gaul; and the inhabitants of Paris prepared to flee. Genevieve encouraged them to hope and trust in God; she urged them to do works of penance, and added that if they did so the town would be spared. Her exhortations prevailed; the citizens recovered their calm, and Attila's hordes turned off towards Orléans, leaving Paris untouched. Some years later Merowig (Mérovée) took Paris; during that siege Genevieve distinguished herself by her charity and self- sacrifice. Through her influence Merowig and his successors, Childeric and Clovis, displayed unwonted clemency towards the citizens. It was she, too, who first formed the plan of erecting a church in Paris in honour of Saints Peter and Paul. It was begun by Clovis at Mont-lès-Paris, shortly before his death in 511. Genevieve died the following year, and when the church was completed her body was interred within it. This fact, and the numerous miracles wrought at her tomb, caused the name of Sainte-Geneviève to be given to it. Kings, princes, and people enriched it with their gifts. In 847 it was plundered by the Normans and was partially rebuilt, but was completed only in 1177. This church having fallen into decay once more, Louis XV began the construction of a new church in 1764. The Revolution broke out before it was dedicated, and it was taken over in 1791, under the name of the Panthéon, by the Constituent Assembly, to be a burial place for distinguished Frenchmen. It was restored to Catholic purposes in 1821 and 1852, having been secularized as a national mausoleum in 1831 and, finally, in 1885. St. Genevieve's relics were preserved in her church, with great devotion, for centuries, and Paris received striking proof of the efficacy of her intercession.

She saved the city from complete inundation in 834. In 1129 a violent plague, known as the mal des ardents, carried off over 14,000 victims, but it ceased suddenly during a procession in her honour. Innocent II, who had come to Paris to implore the king's help against the Antipope Anacletus in 1130, examined personally into the miracle and was so convinced of its authenticity that he ordered a feast to be kept annually in honour of the event on 26 November. A small church, called Sainte-Geneviève des Ardents, commemorated the miracle till 1747, when it was pulled down to make room for the Foundling Hospital. The saint's relics were carried in procession yearly to the cathedral, and Mme de Sévigné gives a description of the pageant in one of her letters.

The revolutionaries of 1793 destroyed most of the relics preserved in St. Genevieve's church, and the rest were cast to the winds by the mob in 1871. Fortunately, however, a large relic had been kept at Verneuil, Oise, in the eighteenth century, and is still extant. The church built by Clovis was entrusted to the Benedictines. In the ninth century they were replaced by secular canons. In 1148, under Eugene III and Louis VII, canons from St. Victor's Abbey at Senlis were introduced. About 1619 Louis XIII named Cardinal François de La Rochefoucauld Abbot of St. Genevieve's. The canons had been lax and the cardinal selected Charles Faure to reform them. This holy man was born in 1594, and entered the canons regular at Senlis. He was remarkable for his piety, and, when ordained, succeeded after a hard struggle in reforming the abbey. Many of the houses of the canons regular adopted his reform. He and a dozen companions took charge of Sainte-Geneviève-du-Mont, at Paris, in 1634. This became the mother-house of a new congregation, the Canons Regular of St. Genevieve, which spread widely over France. Another institute called after the saint was the Daughters of St. Genevieve, founded at Paris, in 1636, by Francesca de Blosset, with the object of nursing the sick and teaching young girls. A somewhat similar institute, popularly known as the Miramiones, had been founded under the invocation of the Holy Trinity, in 1611, by Marie Bonneau de Rubella Beauharnais de Miramion. These two institutes were united in 1665, and the associates called the Canonesses of St. Geneviève. The members took no vows, but merely promised obedience to the rules as long as they remained in the institute. Suppressed during the Revolution, it was revived in 1806 by Jeanne-Claude Jacoulet under the name of the Sisters of the Holy Family. They now have charge of over 150 schools and orphanages.

For Geneviève Suzanne Thérèse-Bernardette, notre chou d'Amour.


Tomb of Ste Geneviève

Portrait by by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 1821


Happy New Year

A Happy and Joyous New Year to all. It is about 11:12 PM, and the New Year has already had it's ball drop in New York. I will be going off to the house tomorrow. Peace to all.