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Saint Joan’s Topicality

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Essay title: Saint Joan’s Topicality

A topicality of Saint Joan’s example

Saints are always different from everyday people, thus no one understands them in their lives, only a lot of years after their death. Joan of Arc was a saint like this as well, she was too far ahead of her times and was killed by her fellow men, because they didn’t know what else to do. She was canonized in 1920, after 489 years of her death. In my opinion, she was not only a saint, but meant to be an angel and showed a good example to all of us, how to behave ourselves in the name of honour, honesty, and glory.

Joan was a very simple, faithful country girl. Until a day God called upon her, to fight in his name against the invading English. At that moment, Joan was chosen a messenger of God. Joan's first encounter with her voices occured when she was around thirteen years old. At her trial she described this as a vision of St. Michael:

"I saw him before my eyes; he was not alone but quite surrounded by the angels of heaven"

It was her destiny and the fulfillment of prophecy that a maiden girl from Lorraine would perform a miracle to save France. From that day something changes in her personality. She reveals her true face, what she could turn into in danger. Her character divides in two parts: Into a soldier, a physical being, only flesh and blood, and into a saint, a spiritual being, who represents a higher power. When she protested that she had no experience in such forms of leadership, that she knew nothing about riding and warfare, her voices reassured her that she would be led to operate quickly and effectively among those who held authority. She would succeed in convincing them to allow her access to the long disabled royal court and French army. Upon her arrival at Chinon, she identified the dauphin who tried to hide his identity from her, then six weeks later, took the staff of leadership from his chiefs of war. She convinced Charles, his advisors, soldiers and comrades that if she were allowed to lead the French army and regain control of Orleans quickly, nothing would stop them from going all the way to take back Paris. French victory would come swiftly she said, empowered by God, but dependent upon her army’s faith. Jeanne d’Arc believed that the English invasion of France must come to an end, in order for peace to return. Although she has been criticized for not attempting passive resistance, in letters sent to English leaders, she offered them opportunity to go back to their own country, immediately or face imminent destruction by her army. The plan she carried out was effective. Her voices constantly reminded her that she was the only human being capable of fulfilling this particular assignment, and that it had come directly to her, from God. She could not say "no."

As she heard voices, she always knew she was right. She got instructions directly from God, that’s why she could be so convincing, that everybody gave in to her. While she attributed all her successes to God there is no doubt that her own qualities were a substantial part of her successes. Her words and personal presence had the effect of spiritually and physically electrifying others, charging them with renewed faith and limitless energy. When she appeard, it was hightime to have somebody who breaks the everyday life, as after 80 years of war, fighting became an everyday routine, and peolpe didn’t wanted to fuss about it. And that time comes this girl with enthusiasm and self-confidence. Joan had power over destiny and chose not to save herself by showing all the truth of her special relationship with God. As people believed in her, and that God was with her, they followed her into the battles, because they believed that they couldn’t lose the war if Joan leads them. She gave trust to soldiers, and ispired them not only with words but with her own examplary as well. She had charisma, cared for her troops, was confident and courageous and sure of her belief that God was behind her. Once Orleans had been won after the hopeless situation it had previously been in people came to believe in her mission. What army is not going to give all they can when they believe God is backing them? She never wanted to give up her dreams, she felt this war as her own duty. While she did lead battle charges and rally the men in battle she found these events extremely distressing and always carried her standard to avoid killing anyone. Rather than fight she prefered to first seek a peaceful solution and was content to let the English retreat whereas her men would rather have gone after the English.

Joan had visions of and spoke to St. Catherine and St. Margaret as well, both virgin-martyrs, who were similarly persecuted and executed because they refused to deny their Christian faith. They

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