|"Joan of Arc at the Coronation|
of Charles VII"
by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres
When Joan was born in France around 1412, her country was a mess. For about 100 years, the English had been trying to take control over the country. Even thought Joan was just a farmer’s daughter, she received visions telling her to take France to victory. She managed to get an audience with the King, and he gave her permission to go with an army. Joan turned the conflict into a religious war. She took part in the siege of Orléans, and whether she carried a sword or a standard (banner), the French army won. Even though she was just a teenage girl, Joan convinced the king and dukes to follow several of her military ideas and France was successful. Then Joan was captured and put on trial. The trial was not fair, and she was executed. However, only 25 years later, good people looked into Joan’s case and corrected the record. Now everybody knows she is a saint.
During her trial, some of the people tried to trick Joan so they could declare her a heretic. They asked her if she knew she was in God’s grace. If she had said yes, that would have meant she is a heretic because none of us can know if we are or aren’t. If she had said no, she would have been condemned for saying she had seen heavenly visions. Joan said, "If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me.” Today, before you go to bed, make Joan’s words your nighttime prayer: “If I am not in Your grace, Lord, put me there. And if I am, may You so keep me.”
Saint Joan of Arc, pray for us!
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