Soldier, (1412-1431) [May 30]
Having full command of France’s military at the age of seventeen, Joan of Arc’s historical biography is presented to us through records of a court trial, making hers "the only story of a human life which comes to us under oath." From the age of 13, Joan followed the prompting of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, sent as God’s messengers to guide Joan’s great mission: to find the true king of France and aid him in reclaiming his rightful throne. "It is God who commands it," the saints assured the young Maid of Orleans. Joan carried her sword into battle merely as a symbol of authority. Her banner pictured God the Father enthroned with angels at his feet with the inscription "Jesus, Mary" on the one side, the crown of France and angels on the other. Though her miraculous military victories set King Charles VII on his rightful thrown, the French nonetheless betrayed Joan into the hands of the English who tried Joan as a witch and ordered her to be burned at the stake. Twenty-three years later, her cause was acquitted. Beatified by Pope St. Pius X in 1905, she was canonized 15 years later and is the patron saint of soldiers.
The Son of God made man was invited to enter His own world through a back door. Exiled from the earth, He was born under the earth, in a sense, the first Cave Man in recorded history. There He shook the earth to its very foundations. Because He was born in a cave, all who wish to see Him must stoop. To stoop is the mark of humility. The proud refuse to stoop and, therefore, they miss Divinity. Those, however, who bend their egos and enter, find that they are not in a cave at all, but in a new universe where sits a Babe on His mother's lap, with the world poised on His fingers.
--Fulton J. Sheen, excerpt from The Life of Christ
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