Saints & Angels

I believe in Angels.
REAL Angels. Not pretend ones.  ("For by their fruits ye shall know them")

Warrior Angels
I saw the Archangel Michael when I was a child...and no, you can't talk me out of it.
He was AMAZING. Came at a time of need. Appeared during a time of trauma in my wee life.

Brilliant white and gold and silver....armored to the teeth....beautiful beyond compare.
Scared the shit out of me because He was SO awesome. I asked to not see him, (I know, I wished I hadn't now....but I was so little then, He freaked me out) and He hid himself...

BUT He is still with me.
 I know it. I can feel Him and even hear him sometimes. He keeps me safe.

Yes I believe in Angels.
And Saints too.
They are the Church's answer to Polytheistic faith.
Different helpers for different reasons.

My course in "Goddesses, Amazons & Heroines" in my Grey School of Wizardry has me doing a lot of research and I offer for your amazement, education or just plain edification a most amazing Warrior Woman.

Joan of Arc.
 She believed in Saints and Angels too.

Joan was the youngest of five children born to a farmer. 
I too, am number five of six children and was raised on a farm and relate to Joan in many ways and so I am drawn to her and her story.

She was indeed a WARRIOR WOMAN.
It is said that Joan did not learn how to read or write, yet she was quite versed in the knowledge of scripture and of the spiritual world. It was also said that as a child, she danced and played around the “Faery Tree”, a tree in France that was meant to have meaning, and wove wreaths and sung to the Lady there. 
 After the age of twelve, she put away such things and was a most pious child.

But at the age of 13 & 1/2 , Joan began to hear “voices” and to see a grand light when the voices spoke to her. 
 She accepted them as friendly and they seemed to be from the heavens to her. She recognized them as the Angel Michael and other Angels, and also St. Margaret and St. Catherine. These voices along with the common local notion that certain prophecies of a maid from the oak wood (near where the Faery Tree was) was bound by legend to save France by a miracle.

The voices told her to seek out Robert Baudricourt who commanded for Charles VII. Joan was not well received by him, but was mocked. Again she tried to get thru to the King, so insistent were the voices to prod her, that she finally was able to get audience with the King of France. She was escorted in and she wore a manly attire. This was to protect her maidenhood....and also, it's a man's world, and she was guided to be strong and put on the strength of a man.
 By some secret sign (given to her by the Angels, it is said) she gained the Kings' trust.

Although she was examined in great length and detail, no theological discrepancies could they find in this poor peasant girl. She was given the trust by authorities and would be tested again and again to no avail nor to her discredit.

She was 17 when put in command of an army! When given the offering of service and a particular sword to wield, she refused it and instead, wanted a certain ancient sword that she said was buried behind the altar of St. Catherine d Fierbois. Saint Catherine, who was the patron of soldiers and known for her miracles.
They found the sword, just as Joan had described where she thought it lay. It was a sword with 5 crosses engraved, and they say it never left her side and was with her when she was captured. 
At this time, there was also a special heraldic banner made special for Joan. A standard bearing the words, Jesus, Maria and sporting a picture of God the Father and kneeling angels presenting the fleur-de-lis
There was at this time a prophecy made about Joan by Sire de Rotslaer, and was registered at that time of 1429 and attests before any of the following events that happened that: "that she would save Orleans and would compel the English to raise the siege, that she herself in a battle before Orleans would be wounded by a shaft but would not die of it, and that the King, in the course of the coming summer, would be crowned at Reims, together with other things which the King keeps secret."

All of this came to pass. Joan inspired the army to fight and win....and while it is said that she never did actually slay anyone, surely her leadership in pushing the French army onward to victory resulted in MANY deaths!

From the readings I've been doing I want to share this: 
"The city of Orleans was the last great city that the French held and it had been under siege by the English for almost 7 months and was about to fall. Saint Joan went there and, in only three days of fighting, reclaimed the strongest fort the English possessed which caused them to lift their siege and retreat. The battle has been compared to other key turning point battles like: Marathon, Stalingrad, Gettysburg, Midway."
Later on, after many successful and some unsuccessful campaigns, she was abandoned to her fate by the apathy of Charles and his men and while they had prisoners to exchange to the English, instead they chose to sell the Maid to the English for several hundred thousand dollars at the time. The French were ungrateful and awful to this wondrous heroic maid who had inspired their army for so long in bloody battles.

The English were afraid of Joan of Arc because of the dread she inspired in their men, and also because they were ill at ease superstitiously of her power of religion and voices. They were determined to put her to death. While they could not sentence her for having beaten them in a battle (which she did) they certainly could get her sentenced as a witch and a heretic (which they did).

During her imprisonment, in an all male prison, she was chained hands, neck and feet. She wished to be in a church prison and to be attended by females, but she was denied that privilege and also denied any spiritual devotion and was not allowed Mass or worship. In the Inquisition that followed, her answers always proved to be fair, just and true and beyond reproach. The fact that she was held in these ways, proved later on that her incarceration was illegal, her trial was rigged and her punishment unjust.

She held true to her inspiration and only at the end, she was worn out and deceived and signed something, but still then she still held to her belief that the voices she held were from God.
They say that her presence at the stake was such as to make her most bitter enemies cry.
She asked for a cross, embraced it and continued to call out to her God until at last she declared that her voices came from God and had not deceived her.
After her death her ashes were thrown into the Seine River.

Thru Shakespeare’s time, Joan was still reviled to be a witch, but in more modern times, and thru the deciphering of documents, her honest, bold spirit was determined to be virtuous and her supernatural gifts were agreed to be true.

Both the King of France and the Church admitted that a great injustice had been done and Joan was declared a SAINT, as even the fellows of her own time had known that she was Divinely inspired.

She was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

Joan was a Warrior Woman, who believed in her heart and followed her Muse.

She fought for what she believed to be the Truth. We must admire a woman such as this.
She is our standard to follow.
To follow our inner voice as we hear it, individually.
To follow our path, no matter where it leads us.
To not be afraid to take up the sword or believe in Angels and Saints.
As she was then to those that followed her, and as she is now...
She is Saint Joan.

A TRUE Warrior of the Noblest Kind.

1 comment:

Lynnie said...

In current terms many believe she was schizophrenic, as the voices they hear take on the voices of gods and demons. I've often wondered, if this is the case, what other greatness has been suppressed over the years.

Beyond that I have a book here with the transcription of excerpts from her trial in it. It's pretty incredible and not at all what movies make it out to be.
Actually, you'd love the book. It's called Wise Women and is by Susan Cahill. It's a more academic look at some of the more incredible women in history.