Saint Joan of Arc Patron of France
Joan of Arc is a strong contradiction in our Church and our world. She was given the gift of being a brilliant military strategist by St. Michael the Archangel. Through her voices, and unquestioning faith in God through these Heavenly Saints - Michael, Margaret of Antioch and Catherine of Alexandria, she was able to accomplish what no military power in France could do. More
Saint Joan of Arc was a peasant girl, daughter of a farmer. Her village of Domremy was sort of a border town. At any given time, it could be part of France, Burgundy, or the Holy Roman Empire, based on who was in charge. Her country was at war with England, the Hundred Years War, and had been since long before she was born. We have to understand that Burgundy was not just a province of France, as it is today. At that time, they were a powerful independent territory, which had sworn allegiance to England even though it was physically part of France. It was pretty well accepted that England was going to take over France, and every little district wanted to be assured that they were on the side of the winner, or face the certainty that they would be wiped out by the feared invaders, the English. Burgundy had sworn allegiance to England, which confused the situation, and made things all the worse.
While Joan was used to the idea of war, having lived with it all her life, she and her family had to hide out many times when invading soldiers came to their little village from wherever, to loot and pillage. These soldiers were not really troops for the most part. They were bandits who justified their way of life by posing as soldiers. They roamed in packs, and took advantage of any weakness they could find. [Their modern equivalent would be terrorists, cowards who terrorize the unarmed civilian population.] While these Fifteenth Century terrorists had no courage, they had weapons, and they had numbers, so Joan and her family found themselves running for refuge from the attacks. Usually, these attacks included rape, plunder and murder. They also burned down the little huts or simple homes the local villagers possessed. There was never anything worthwhile stealing, but that didn't stop them.