Joan of Arc, Super Hero Saint {May 30}

Friday, May 30, 2014

Most people have heard of Joan of Arc, but few know that she is a Catholic saint.  Hers is an unbelievable story of courage and faith.

If I think back to when I was in my teens, I spent most of my days driving around with friends, playing lacrosse or field hockey, perusing malls, eating Little Debbies, and talking on the phone (a house phone at that).  Well in her preteens, Joan of Arc, a peasant girl from the countryside, started hearing voices...the voices of saints:  St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret.  By her teens, the voices told her to go to the King of France and help him reclaim much of his kingdom from the English, during the Hundred Years' War.  And she did.  Just a girl from the countryside, going to chat with the King of France.  What?!

Here is a quote of her explaining the voices:

"I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this Voice, I was very much frightened; it was mid-day, in the summer, in my father's garden. I had not fasted the day before. I heard this Voice to my right, towards the Church; rarely do I hear it without its being accompanied also by a light. This light comes from the same side as the Voice. Generally it is a great light. Since I came into France I have often heard this Voice. … If I were in a wood, I could easily hear the Voice which came to me. It seemed to me to come from lips I should reverence. I believe it was sent me from God. When I heard it for the third time, I recognized that it was the Voice of an Angel. This Voice has always guarded me well, and I have always understood it; it instructed me to be good and to go often to Church; it told me it was necessary for me to come into France. You ask me under what form this Voice appeared to me? You will hear no more of it from me this time. It said to me two or three times a week: 'You must go into France.' My father knew nothing of my going. The Voice said to me: 'Go into France !' I could stay no longer. It said to me: 'Go, raise the siege which is being made before the City of Orleans. Go !' it added, 'to Robert de Baudricourt, Captain of Vaucouleurs: he will furnish you with an escort to accompany you.' And I replied that I was but a poor girl, who knew nothing of riding or fighting. I went to my uncle and said that I wished to stay near him for a time. I remained there eight days. I said to him, 'I must go to Vaucouleurs.' He took me there. When I arrived, I recognized Robert de Baudricourt, although I had never seen him. I knew him, thanks to my Voice, which made me recognize him."

In 1429, at 17, Joan of Arc was suited in armor and fighting on the battlefield at Orleans.  She was a part of what are often deemed miraculous military successes, and saw the crowning of King Charles in part of France that had been heavily occupied by the English.  

However, after those couple years of success, Joan was captured and tried by the English for heresy.  She was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431 at  just 19 years old.  

Of course, that is a very short summary of her life.  More information can be found at Catholic Culture and Maid of Heaven.  

Besides her story, Joan also left us with some awesomely inspiring quotes.  These are a few of my favorites:

joan of arc quotes | joan-of-arc-quote  My Pregnancy, labor & delivery mantra!
Genius Quotes

Lifehack Quotes
St Joan of Arc
Screaming Catholic.tumblr

What I love so much about St. Joan of Arc is her sheer obedience to God.  She followed His will even if it meant leaving all she knew, risking her life, and inevitably dying.  She showed great courage in doing what seemed to be impossible, especially being a girl from a poor family in that time period.  She is an example of faith and trust in God.  I want to be more like her!  And I want to show my 5 year old, Grace, examples of strong women who follow God.  

Here are a few ideas I've found to teach kids about this amazing saint:

Color pictures of St. Joan of Arc

saint joan of arc coloring
St. Joan of Arc Coloring Pages
Catholic Playground

Learn about her battle standard (battle flag).

St. Joan carried three "flags" into battle with her:  the battle standard (above), pennon, and banner.  A description of each can be found at the St. Joan Center.  These pieces tell a lot about Joan's faith.

I am planning on having Grace make her own standard, and I'll include that in an upcoming post.

Check out the Joan of Arc Activity and Resource Book

The Animated Heroes Classics Activity and Resource Book for Joan of Arc has over 40 pages of activities, such as coloring pages, games, crosswords, quiz questions, and discussion questions that you can print out and use.  I particularly like the coloring pages with descriptions of her life events, as well as activity suggestions like creating a coat of arms or flag  (like above).  

"Whatever thing men call great, look for it in Joan of Arc, and there you will find it."
- Mark Twain

No comments:

Post a Comment