French Friday: St. Joan of Arc

Friday, May 29, 2015


[Joan of Arc statue Place des Pyramides, Paris - photo taken in 2013]

May 29, 2015 {149/365} Sainte Jeanne d'Arc

Tomorrow is the feast of St. Joan of Arc, "The Maid of Orléans" (La Pucelle d'Orléans). At the age of thirteen, Joan professed visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine. Her apparitions directed her to help liberate France from English domination near the end of the Hundred Years' War and to establish Charles VII, the uncrowned heir (le dauphin), to the French throne. Joan was sent to Orléans where, after only nine days, the seige was lifted, leading Charles VII's coronation at Reims in 1429 and ultimately, the French victory in 1453.

On May 23, 1430, nineteen-year-old Joan was captured at Compiègne by a pro-English Burgundian faction. She was handed over to the English, charged with a variety of crimes including heresy and sorcery, declared guilty, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.

Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court, authorized by Pope Callixtus III, examined the trial, dismissed the charges, pronounced Joan innocent, and declared her a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920, becoming one of the nine patron saints of France. In 2012 on the 600th anniversary of her birth, The History Channel published this fascinating article: 7 Things you Didn't Know about Joan of Arc. 

As a Catholic woman, a francophile, and a Marquette University alumna, St. Joan of Arc is a hero of mine. As an undergraduate, I attended countless Masses in the beautiful, little French chapel that bears her name and years later, this place of reflection and solace remains an inspiration to me.

Sensory Memory

Thursday, May 28, 2015

May 28, 2015 {148/365} Lilacs

For me, the lovely blossoms and intoxicating perfume of lilacs conjure involuntary Proustian memories of restless anticipation -- the promise of longer days free of alarm clocks, plaid skirts, and homework. Working in academia, I still look forward to "summer vacation," although now, I'mhappy with an extra hour of sleep, time to reflect and plan, and the occasional day off campus. The blissful, languid days are gone, but the the anticipation of a change of pace remains in the lilacs' compelling fragrance.

Dish it out

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 27, 2015 {147/365} On my plate

"Leadership is ... being able to take it as well as dish it out." ~ Larry Bird. During these final weeks of school, we're all feeling overwhelmed. I'm not sure if I have too much on my plate or if I just need a few more plates (and bowls and cups...)!

Wild Strawberries

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 26, 2015 {146/365} Wild Berry Blossoms

I love spotting pretty little blossoms where I don't expect them, and I always leave them for others to discover too. Although, once these beauties yield their luscious red berries, I might not be as benevolent!

Beacon

Monday, May 25, 2015

May 25, 2015 {145/365} Beacon

America has stood as a beacon of hope and freedom and so many have fought bravely to defend her ideals. Thank you to all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our liberty. Your light will forever shine brightly upon us.
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