Day 2- The Brave Soldier: Joan Of Arc
My favorite person in history is Joan of Arc. My Aunt bought me the book that I still have, at eight years old.
I am not sure if everyone is familiar with her story, but it was definitely one that spoke volumes.
Joan was born in Lorraine, France. She led the common life- was raised to follow the example of her mother. As all women at that time were called to take care of the house and family- Nothing more.
She learned the prayers of the Saints with her mother. Attended church every Sunday as a family.
A year before Joan was a teen-ager, her life changed dramatically.
She started to hear voices.
The voices were clear at what was demanded, ” Save France from England.”
We are asked to stop for a moment, especially if we have heard the story before.
Think on this, Joan was about 12yrs old, that’s about 6th grade for most children.
She was called by God to save France…let that sink in a little.
What was asked of you at that age? Probably not even close to that demand!
Something interesting to add here; Joan’s father, had a dream all of this would happen,
He saw her in the dream dressed up for army.
How do you think he took that? Knowing it was going to come true?
He vowed in front of her brothers that he would drown her out of disgrace.
God was calling her, and her family was completely against it.
“ If the world hates you, keep in mind it hated me first.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
Joan decided to go stay with her cousin who was about to give birth.
She started to not just hear voices, but see visions of past Christian martyrs labeled as Saints.
When she knew the time came to carry out the mission and was being questioned by her own family, this was her reply.
“ Since God commanded it, had I 100 fathers and mothers, if I were born a King’s daughter, still I would have departed.”
Imagine for a moment, besides her family, the people she knew and loved for years started to question her sanity.
Afterall, how normal was it, and is it, to hear voices?
When Joan was 17yrs old, she went to appear before Robert de Baudicourt, the lord of her local district. She asked for her own army.
He was of course skeptical, but was impressed, and believed God had sent her.
She found herself on a journey to meet with Charles, the son of Charles VI. He would be the next King.
Of course her request to fight for her country’s freedom, and get him to the crown; it little more than disturbed him.
He wasn’t respected enough to become King, and telling them that he found someone to lead his army, but also heard voices…wouldn’t be something of a plus.
He got the church involved, they questioned her, and they too were impressed with her passionate faith, and believed then also that God had sent her.
A girl that at one time used to wear dresses, and bake bread, now wearing a suit of armor.
“ The Party of the King of Heaven” was a banner given to her, and one that would help lead the way as a public declaration.
Joan was naïve, she was afraid, but through her fears, she just kept her trust that God knew what He was doing. I wonder if she woke up every day with the thought,
“ What am I doing?”
She went to war, not always taken seriously, but not to be known as just an ornament of war.
She helped save France, and Charles was crowned King.
She not only saved her France physically, but God worked through her to restore them all emotionally.
In 1430, Joan was captured. Her claims of being able to hear God were seen as demonic.
She lived 8 months in prison.
Found guilty of idolatry for hearing voices, and wearing men’s clothing.
May 30, 1431, Joan walked in chains to her death, she requested that a cross be placed where she would be burned.
She cried out “ Jesus” over and over, the fire overcame her, it was a slow and agonizing death, her spectators who once believed that she her God, now saw her as a heretic.
Joan died at the age of nineteen.
Legends soon followed. Some say they saw a dove swoop over her hair at the stake.
Others said her heart would not burn, but remained in the ashes.
No matter what the legends said, one thing was clear, one ordinary girl, was given an extraordinary calling, and stayed devoted to it until her death.
What a way to die.
“ For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world, and against spiritual forces of evil in
the heavenly realms. “
1. “ Since God commanded it, had I 100 fathers and mothers, if I were born a King’s daughter, still I would have departed.”
How would you have reacted to this whole situation with friend and family? Have you been in this kind of situation before? Explain.
2. Do you know what your calling is? And is it anything like you would have imagined? Explain why or why not.
3. If you were Joan, and you had that moment where you knew no matter what you did or said, that you would be seen as a heretic..
How would you have handled it, What things would be in your mind?
Okay guys, made it easier this week:)