May 30th is a profound day in history for the West. On May 30th, 1431, the Maid of Orléans was put to death. Saint Joan of Arc is perhaps one of the greatest heroes for our people, our faith, and our movement. Although she was martyred at the young age of 19, she was able to accomplish in her brief lifetime more than most people would be able to in multiple lifetimes. Joan of Arc is a hero for her sacrifice, and she should be an inspiration to Traditionalist women and the movement at large.
The drastic differences between tradition and the modern women’s movement are startling. The most notorious modern feminist organization is known as FEMEN, and it exemplifies almost everything that is wrong with our modern culture. FEMEN was founded in Ukraine as an “astroturf” organization to attempt to destroy Christianity in Europe, oppose traditional gender roles, allow infanticide on demand, and seek a far-left economic position. While traditional heroes like Joan of Arc gave her life for her people and her faith, FEMEN is attempting to destroy both of those things.
Joan of Arc was born in 1412 to a poor family in eastern France. At the age of 12 she began hearing messages from God. As the years passed, she was visited by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret, and the message was crystal clear: help liberate France from English occupation. At the age of 16, with little if any schooling or military training, she set off to do her part to return the rightful king to the French throne and drive out the English armies. Seeking a miracle, the French leadership allowed her to lead an army.
Over the course of two years, Joan went from a being farm girl to being the savior of France. Her stunning victory at the Siege of Orleans and countless other victories solidified the French nation and rallied the nation together. With the banners of the Church and of France flying beside her, Joan reorganized the French military and began to push back the invading army. Due to her small size, she wore a child’s armored breastplate, but she rode into battle alongside her soldiers in belief that God and His angels would protect her. Tactically brilliant and ever faithful, Joan of Arc was able to be a shining star to France and to all faithful believers.
The role of Joan at the head of the French military, however, does not connect with the modern feminist agenda. Biblically, there is no reason to believe that any person from any walk of life couldn’t or shouldn’t be chosen by God for a specific calling. Women have long been the angels of the battlefield throughout history. Women have cared for the wounded, held the dying as the Blessed Virgin held her son, and in some cases been called to pick up weapons to fight.
Christian men should always aspire to ensure that women, although capable of fighting, should never have to. God told King David that the blood he had justly shed still marked him; we should always attempt to protect the innocence of our women.
On some occasions, however, as Joan of Arc shows, women can be called onto the battlefield. From the female snipers in Finland fighting against the communist invasion of their homeland, to the women in the Mexican Cristero Revolt who once again battled against those attempting to destroy the Church, and throughout history, women go beyond their nurturing role and serve as warriors of equal dedication and sacrifice as their male counterparts. Just as we would expect a woman who is home alone to use a weapon to kill an invader to defend herself and her children, there are certain circumstances where both God and the Church can call upon women to be warriors.
All can serve in God’s army both in the physical and spiritual sense, from a child called to kill a giant who was harassing the Israelites to a poor illiterate farm girl called to raise up His banner.
Although she had led France to a reversal of fortunes and united the nation under the banner of the rightful King, Joan eventually was betrayed by power-hungry forces and turned over to the English. Torture, sleep deprivation, attempted sexual assaults, and abuse did not dissuade Joan from defending her faith and her values. The English eventually could not find a theological or secular justification to put her to death after a long examination of the evidence, so they simply ordered her execution.
On May 30th, 1431, Joan of Arc was burned alive at the stake by the English. Through it all, Joan maintained an upright dedication to the values of a Christian woman. The executioner was so moved by the experience that he is quoted as saying he “greatly feared to be damned” for his part in putting Joan to death.
Following her martyrdom, Joan of Arc remained a powerful reminder of not only French nationalism but also the Church Militant. In 1920, she was finally canonized as a saint in the Catholic Church. She has become the official patron Saint of martyrs, captives, militants, people ridiculed for their piety, prisoners, soldiers, and she serves especially as an inspiration to women serving their communities.
The humble sacrifice of Saint Joan of Arc and her steadfast willingness to die for her beliefs and her faith demonstrate the true Traditionalist motivation: self sacrifice for something greater than yourself. The dedication to our race, our faith, and our nation needs to be as strong as Saint Joan’s was.
Prayer to Saint Joan of Arc
In the face of your enemies, in the face of harassment, ridicule, and doubt, you held firm in your faith. Even in your abandonment, alone and without friends, you held firm in your faith. Even as you faced your own mortality, you held firm in your faith. I pray that I may be as bold in my beliefs as you, St. Joan. I ask that you ride alongside me in my own battles. Help me be mindful that what is worthwhile can be won when I persist. Help me hold firm in my faith. Help me believe in my ability to act well and wisely. Amen.