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celebrating my patron

May 30, 2012

Today is the Feast of St. Joan of Arc, my confirmation saint.  In celebration of her feast day, I am re-posting an article I wrote several years ago about my beloved patron.

a holy woman: st. joan of arc

Joan of Arc has been of the most misrepresented saints of late.  Modern day feminists like to put her up on a pedestal of confused interpretations.  They rally around the manipulated, blurred image and praise Joan for overcoming gender barriers.  This, of course, makes women who are striving for true femininity shy away from Joan and the inconsistencies surrounding her life.

Yes, Joan was called by God to lead the army of France because she was a woman, but it was not to prove that a woman could lead the army to victory where a man could not.  It was because the men of France had lost sight of who they were.  After years and years of humiliating defeats, their pride was gone, as well as their motivation.  Joan, in her purity and femininity, was called to restore her countrymen’s dignity and masculinity.  No man could inspire his fellow men to overcome such odds – it was a task at which only a holy, honorable woman could succeed.

Joan was a sharp contrast to the crassness and vulgarity to which the men had fallen.  She was gentle, innocent and beautiful.  Her womanly and unwavering faith in God and in the men of France inspired the downhearted soldiers, and they strove to be who Joan believed them to be.  They heard her challenge and fought heart and soul for Joan, a messenger of God.

One of the biggest hang-ups and sources of confusion about Joan of Arc is regarding her clothing.  Joan wore men’s clothing when she was in camp with the army and when she was in prison.  Bra-burning feminists would like everyone to believe this was done in defiance of the standards of those times, but it wasn’t.  She wore men’s clothing to protect her femininity, not to deny it.  The clothing protected her purity, modesty and virginity, and in doing so, she also protected the purity of the men around her.  The respect Joan had for her own body influenced those around her to do the same.

St. Joan of Arc is an amazing example of the great things that can happen when a woman holds fast to her integrity.  She didn’t begin her task with the mindset of using her power over men to force them to follow her every whim.  Joan simply followed the path God had set for her.  The Lord knew the impact she would have on the whole of France by remaining faithful to who God made her as a woman.

Joan detested war and violence.  She was known to have said she would have preferred staying at home to cook and clean alongside her mother.  But she was obedient to the tasks God revealed to her.  The humble and truly feminine Joan of Arc changed the course of history and restored the dignity of manhood in her country.

Is it any wonder I chose this holy woman as my Confirmation saint?

~

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!

Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage

My favorite stop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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