Monday, May 3, 2010

Strong Women - Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc in Paris, France
One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.  by Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc in Portland, Oregon

Joan of Arc is one of the most remarkable people to ever live and her name is easily recognized by virtually everyone in the world today. Joan's life and history are also the best documented of anyone that has ever lived outside of modern times however most people are not aware of all that this simple young woman from a small town in eastern France accomplished in her life and death. Joan saved her people and united all of France by winning several important battles at Orleans and Patay in what is now known as the Hundred Years War. Joan completely reversed the course of this war and kept France from becoming a colony of the English. Greatly celebrated by her own people she was hated by the English who ultimately captured her and rigged a trial under the auspices of the Church to justify burning her at the stake (at age 19). Twenty-five years later the illegality of her trial was revealed in another trial held by the Church that completely exonerated her and declared her a martyr. In 1920 Joan became an official Saint of the same Church that had once called her a heretic and executed her by burning her at the stake. She remains one of the most beloved figures in all of history.
from Wikipedia:
Joan of Arc was not a feminist, yet often wore men's clothing. She operated within a religious tradition that believed an exceptional person from any level of society might receive a divine calling.
Doctrinally speaking, she was safe to disguise herself as a page during a journey through enemy territory and she was safe to wear armor during battle. The Chronique de la Pucelle states that it deterred molestation while she was camped in the field. Clergy who testified at her rehabilitation trial affirmed that she continued to wear male clothing in prison to deter molestation and rape.Preservation of chastity was another justifiable reason for crossdressing: her apparel would have slowed an assailant, and men would be less likely to think of her as a sex object in any case
She referred the court to the Poitiers inquiry when questioned on the matter during her condemnation trial. The Poitiers record no longer survives but circumstances indicate the Poitiers clerics approved her practice. In other words, she had a mission to do a man's work so it was fitting that she dress the part.She also kept her hair cut short through her military campaigns and while in prison. Her supporters, such as the theologian Jean Gerson, defended her hairstyle, as did Inquisitor Brehal during the Rehabilitation trial.
Joan of Arc's religious visions have interested many people. The consensus among scholars is that her faith was sincere.

Another woman that lived with Passion.


Annie Jeffries said...

I especially like this post, Marilyn.

**operated within a religious tradition that believed an exceptional person from any level of society might receive a divine calling**

Sadly, male clothing is no deterrent these days. Amazing how backward we've become

Laurie said...

Very interesting Marilyn, I never really knew the story of Joan, a true martyr.

Angela McRae said...

I've heard that there is even a Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine (title in tribute to the great lady), but I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy just yet!

Tracy said...

Wonderful posting for today, Marilyn! Joan & her story continues to fascinate and inspire through the ages! :o) Happy Day ((HUGS))

Jeanne said...

I love all your posts.
Blessings my friend
Love Jeanne♥

Cathy said...

Very nice post, Marilyn. I've seen the statue in Portland many times.

Ben D. Kennedy said...

Glad you could use some of my information about Joan of Arc on your nice article about her but my website is
Please correct your link. Thanks

Sheila said...

This Strong Woman is famous everywhere, but I wonder how many other strong women who lived in her time went unrecorded.
I imagine you would have needed strength to survive as a woman in the 15th century.
Her strength and bravery in this time is inspiring.