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Joan Of Arc: The Heart Of A Queen Lies In The Waters Of The Seine River Forever

Friends, today I remember Joan of Arc, queen, virgin and martyr. On a day like today, May 30 of 1431, Joan was being burned alive in Rouen, France after a fixed trial. In spite of the fury of the fire at the stake, her heart, untouched by the flames, was ordered to be thrown in the waters of the Seine rivers by her enemies, so that no tangible remain of her could stay for posterity.


Joan of Arc, as painted by Albert Lynch in 1903. Photo Credit: Doyon Art. Copyright Doyton Art.
Joan of Arc, as painted by Albert Lynch in 1903. Photo Credit: Doyon Art. Copyright Doyton Art.

Queen for a day, Joann asked from Charles VII, king of France on June 21 of 1429 for a gift.

“Ask. I’ll grant you whatever you want” said the king.

“I want you to offer me the kingdom of France as a gift”, she replied.


Few weeks before, Joan had accomplished the remarkable task of liberating the city of Orléans, seized for over 6 months by the invading English troupes, and thus allowing the dauphin to be anointed as the legitimate king of France at the Reims Cathedral as was the custom with the the French monarchs.


Not only remarkable is the fact that she was the one who lead and accomplished the liberation of the city of Orléans but that she was only 17 years of age at the time, illiterate, had never rode a horse prior in her life or carried a sword. Prior to that she was dedicated to weaving with her mother back in Domrémy, Lorraine. More remarkable yet is that she was a woman, something that astonished the dauphin and her battle mates, at a time when women were the least expected to take part in these kind of endeavors. Yet, she knew exactly what to do and how to do it. She affirmed however that she was not acting in her own name, and that she rather had some “help”.


Her help came from above, and her “lord” was God. The character and importance of her mission, as well as all of her movements were dictated and guided by supernatural appearances of St. Michael Archangel whom from age 13 started preparing her for what she needed to do. She also had other two woman saints who according to her were part of her counsel: St. Margaret of Antioch and St. Catherine of Alexandria. The mission entrusted to her was clear from the beginning: a temporal one, “to free the siege of Orleans and to consecrate Charles VII as the king of France”, and a spiritual one: “to declare Jesus Christ as the true King and Lord of France, and the French monarchs as his lieutenants.”


That day of June 21 of 1429 the king, a bit astonished, accepted the request of Joan and offered her his kingdom. In this event, which Joan asked to be notarized, she solemnly transferred the kingdom of France, who now belonged to Joan, to the hands of God Almighty. After a few moments, invoking the name of God, she re-vested Charles VII with his French kingdom.


Joan was later captured by Frenchpeople who sympathized with the English cause and all the fury of the enemies of King Charles VII fell onto her. She was trialed and condemned to the cruelest death: to be burned alive at the stake. Her trial, full of vices, lies and injustices, and whose tainted nature was later proved by witnesses, had only one objective: de-legitimize the supernatural character of her visions and in that manner de-legitimize the declaration of  Charles VII as King of France. They were not able to make her retract of her visions, so they finally judged her and condemned her to death for wearing men’s clothes during her battle campaigns, which she did to avoid unrequested advances and attention from her battle mates, since she had consecrated her virginity to God.


Witnesses to the burning of Joan of Arc said that at the time of her death while she was burning at the stake, she kept calling the name of Jesus, and a white dove emerged from the flames as she exhaled her last breath.


Learning about Joan of Arc is a favor that we all can do to ourselves, since her life, mission, and death can teach us so much. There are many movies out there but none truly depicts the full reality and significance of her life on earth. Therefore I do not recommend to watch movies about her if the objective is to know the truth, since they are misleading and most don't have all the facts. One must remember that they focus more on entertainment than anything. To learn more about this remarkable saint and heroine is best to read books that capture the full account of all the witnesses of her trial, her process of rehabilitation done 50 years after her death, and her later canonization. I am sharing the book that I read, of recent publication: “Santa Juana de Arco”. (2017) Marie de la Saguesse Sequeiros.


Joann of Arc was declared Saint close to 500 years after her death on May 16 of 1920.


Watch the video with captures of my moments at Rouen, France, Joanne's place of death.

Music: "O Monialis", a 12th Century Monastic Song recorded by Paul Hillier and the Theater of Voices (1998)


The video above is from my last visit to France, when I had the blessing to visit Rouen, the city where she was trialed and executed, visit the church built in her honor, and leave a floral offer at the place of her death.

Lots of love.

Raquel


Reference:

“Santa Juana de Arco”. (2017) Marie de la Saguesse Sequeiros.

Ed. Katejon. (Spanish Edition).





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