Saints and Saintly Dominicans – 8 May

detail of the World War I War Stamps lithograph featuring Joan of Arc; by Haskell Coffin, 1918; restored by the Library of Congress; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsBlessed Joan of Arc

Every one knows the history of the shepherdess of Domremy and the mysterious voices of Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret which urged her to undertake the salvation of France. The enterprise seemed foolhardy, the instrument inadequate and unsuitable, nevertheless the success was magnificent and speedy. Still more admirable were the virtues of the heroine from her childhood to the time of her iniquitous condemnation. Father Martin l’Advenu, O.P., convinced of her orthodoxy and of her sanctity which he had studied closely, devoted himself courageously to help her till her death, and it was he who at her request held the crucifix high before her eyes, when she was burning at the stake. John of Brehal, O.P., grand inquisitor, worked for six years to bring about the rehabilitation of Joan and succeeded in procuring the proclamation of her innocence and the institution of a procession in expiation for the crime of her death. This was the beginning of the honors prepared by the Church for this virgin, whose history is quite unique in its combination of simplicity and wisdom, sweetness and valor, patriotism and faith, and in the marvellous gifts of grace and of nature bestowed upon her. The most important even in her career was the deliverance of Orleans (May 8; 1429). Among her heroic virtues those of faith, magnanimity, forgiveness of her enemies, virginal modesty and devotion to Mary shine out with special brightness (1431).


Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! – last words of Blessed Joan


Prompt and generous fidelity to the voice of grace.