Joan of Arc



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Jehanne: Portraits of a Saint


Prayers and Poems

Saint Joan of Arc"Do you believe you are in a state of grace?"
"If I am not, may God put me there; if I am, may God so keep me."

-- From the Trial of Condemnation, Third Session, February 24

St. Joan of Arc, pray for us that we, like you, may receive the merciful gift of courage from Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to learn and do His will. St. Joan, pray for us that we, like you, may remain pure and steadfast in the face of all the temptations that we must endure in everyday life. St. Joan, pray for us that we, like you, may never lose sight of God's will, though we are persecuted and castigated by the world. And, finally, St. Joan, shepherdess, liberator and martyr, pray that we, also like you, may never lose our humanity and sense of humor in pursing Our Lord's will. -- by Michael Fantina

O Saint Joan of Arc, in the face of your enemies, in the face of harassment, ridicule and doubt, you held firm in your faith. In your abandonment, alone without friends, and even as you faced your own mortality, you were resolved in your love for God. I pray that I may be as bold as you in my beliefs with you alongside helping me in my daily battles. Hold me firm in my faith and help me always to act well and wisely. Amen.  -- by Images of Heaven

Prayer of Thanks and Gratitude to St. Jehanne Darc
Written by Andrea Rau

Dear Patron Saint, 
Thank you for accompanying me throughout the day, and in the work that I did.
Thank you also for your guidance and your counsel.
Please help me to listen to God and to you, dear Saint, that I may do what I am called to do.
Please intercede on my behalf and beg God to take all my faults and turn them into virtues.
I thank you for all you have done for me, and all the things you have interceded for on my behalf.
Please continue to pray for me and for all the souls who need it.
St. Joan of Arc, Pray for us. Amen.

For in her is a spirit
Intelligent, holy, unique,
Manifold, subtle, agile,
Clear, unstained certain,
Not baneful, loving the good, keen,
Unhampered, beneficent, kindly,
Firm, secure, tranquil,
All-powerful, all-seeing,
And pervading all spirits,
Though they be intelligent, pure and very subtle.
For Wisdom is mobile beyond all motion,
And she penetrates and pervades all things by reason of her purity.
For she is an aura of the might of God
And a pure effusion of the glory of the Almighty;
Therefore naught that is sullied enters into her.
For she is the refulgence of eternal light,
The spotless mirror of the power of God,
The image of his goodness.
And she, who is one, can do all things,
And renews everything while herself perduring;
And passing into holy souls from age to age,
She produces friends of God and prophets.
For there is naught God loves, be it not one who dwells with Wisdom.
For she is fairer than the sun
And surpasses every constellation of the stars.
Compared to light, she takes precedence;
For that, indeed, night supplants,
But wickedness prevails not over Wisdom.

Wisdom 7: 22-30

Saint Thérèse was greatly devoted to Joan of Arc and was instrumental in promoting her process of canonization. As no one could refuse Saint Thérèse, her efforts paid off and Joan was eventually canonized in 1920.

Written by: Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

1 God of hosts, the whole Church
Soon wishes to honor at the altar
A martyr, a warrior virgin,
Whose sweet name resounds in Heaven.

Refrain 1

By Your power,
O King of Heaven,
Give to Joan of France
The halo and the altar. Repeat 

2 A conqueror for guilty France
No, that is not the object of her desire.
Joan alone is capable of saving it.
All heroes weigh less than a martyr!  

3 Lord, Joan is Your splendid work,
A heart of fire, a warrior's soul:
You gave them to the timid virgin
Whom You wished to crown with laurels.  

4 In her humble meadow Joan heard
Voices from Heaven calling her into combat.
She left to save her country.
The sweet child commanded the army.  

5 She won over the souls of proud warriors
The Divine luster of Heaven's messenger,
Her pure gaze, her fiery words
Were able to make bold brows give way....  

6 By a prodigy unique in history,
People then saw a trembling monarch
Regain his crown and his glory
By means of a child's weak arm.  

7 It is not Joan's victories
We wish to celebrate this day.
My God, we know her true glories
Are her virtues, her love.

8 By fighting, Joan saved France.
But her great virtues
Had to be marked with the seal of suffering,
With the divine seal of Jesus her Spouse!  

9 Sacrificing her life at the stake,
Joan heard the voice of the Blessed.
She left this exile for her homeland.
The savior Angel re-ascended into Heaven!...  

10 Joan, you are our only hope.
From high in the Heavens, deign to hear our voices.
Come down to us, come convert France.
Come save her a second time.  

Refrain 2

By the power
Of the Victorious God
Save, save France
Angel Liberator!... repeat  

11 Chasing the English out of all France,
Daughter of God, how beautiful were your steps!
But remember that in the days of your childhood
You tended only weak lambs...

Refrain 3

Take up the defense
Of the powerless
Preserve innocence
In the souls of children. repeat

12 Sweet martyr, our monasteries are yours.
You know well that virgins are your sisters,
And like you the object of their prayers
Is to see God reign in every heart.  

Refrain 4

To save souls
Is their desire.
Ah! Give them your fire
Of apostle and martyr! repeat  

13 Fear will be banished from every heart
When we shall see the Church crown
The pure brow of Joan our Saint,
And then we shall be able to sing:

Refrain 5

Our hope
Rests in you,
Saint Joan of France,
Pray, pray for us! repeat


On January 27, 1894, Pope Leo XIII authorized the introduction of Joan of Arc's cause for beatification, at which time Joan received the title, "Venerable." From then on it was permitted to "honor her and pray to her publicly". A national assembly then proposed May 8th as a national holiday of patriotism to honor Joan of Arc.

A commission presided over by Henri Wallon soon drafted a bill in the National Assembly proposing that May 8th be celebrated annually as a national holiday of "patriotism" to honor Joan of Arc. The town of Lisieux especially felt the new fervor for Joan's cause because Pierre Cauchon, Joan's ultimate betrayer at her trial, was made bishop of Lisieux after Joan's burning. In effect, the town represented Joan's "blood money.

So on May 8th 1894, in the chapel where Thérèse attended a special celebration was held. Saint Thérèse wrote the previous poem in support of the Canonization of Joan of Arc.

The circumstances behind Thérèse's second poem are interesting as well as painful. For years an impostor, Leo Taxil, had contrived a imaginary person named "Diana Vaughon," and circulated a false story that she had converted from Satanism and Freemasonry to Catholicism.

Thérèse and the Carmelites of Lisieux, like most French Catholics, were completely taken in by this story. Thérèse was especially impressed that this conversion had taken place through the intercession of Joan of Arc.

Mother Agnes also asked Thérèse to write a poem for "Diana," but the inspiration would not come. Instead, Thérèse sent "Diana" a photograph. The previous year Thérèse had written a play entitled, JOAN OF ARC ACCOMPLISHING HER MISSION and this photograph was taken at that time. It shows Thérèse in costume portraying an imprisoned Joan in chains and her sister Céline as Saint Catherine who was comforting Joan. An enlargement of this photo was used as a backdrop at a well-orchestrated press conference in the heart of Paris, when Leo Taxil on the night of April 19, 1897, revealed to more than four hundred people that he himself was "Diana Vaughan."

He did this disgraceful farce to embarrass the Holy See because it was encouraging devotion to the real Joan. He portrayed "Diana" as "a new Joan of Arc" and used Joan's name and her mission to deceive French Catholics. A few days later the newspaper Le Normandy described how Taxil had chosen this photo to make fun of devotion to Joan of Arc. This betrayal of Joan wounded Thérèse too because it was her own photo of Joan as prisoner that had been jeered at that night.

In May of 1897, Thérèse felt the need to rediscover the mystery of Joan of Arc, as if to identify with Joan in the passion she herself was going through and wrote the poem entitled: TO JOAN OF ARC. At the time Thérèse was in great pain from and dying of tuberculosis.

Thérèse reported it was not in victory and glory that Joan was fulfilled, but in the "dungeon" and in "betrayal," where she identified with Jesus. Thérèse also felt she was "at the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains" in her trial of faith. She was drinking "the bitter cup of the Beloved" in her illness. Thérèse was deeply humiliated at the very time she was struggling in her trial of faith and in her illness. She wrote this next poem in reflection and commiseration to the sufferings of Joan.



When the Lord God of hosts gave you the victory,
You drove out the foreigner and had the king crowned.
Joan, your name became renowned in history.
Our greatest conquerors paled before you.

But that was only a fleeting glory.
Your name needed a Saint's halo.
So the Beloved offered you His bitter cup,
And, like Him, you were spurned by men.

At the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains,
The cruel foreigner filled you with grief.
Not one of your friends took part in your pain.
Not one came forward to wipe your tears.

Joan, in your dark prison you seem to me
More radiant, more beautiful than at your King's coronation.
This heavenly reflection of eternal glory,
Who then brought it upon you? It was betrayal.

Ah! If the God of love in this valley of tears
Had not come to seek betrayal and death,
Suffering would hold no attraction for us.
Now we love it; it is our treasure.


The following are more poems written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux which were included in a book of poetry published in 1907, entitled Poems of Sr. Teresa, Carmelite of Lisieux, known as the "Little Flower of Jesus."



Happy, happy am I,
          Jeanne the shepherdess!
How swift my lambkins fly
          To meet my kind caress.

How light my little crook;
          How cool this verdant grove,
Beside whose babbling brook
          In solitude I rove.

A lovely crown I weave
         Of field-flowers, fair and sweet;
What joy is mine to leave
          That crown at Mary's feet!

Oh, how I love the flowers,
         The birds, the rippling stream
The skies above these bowers
          As fair as angel's dream.

The valleys and the rills
         Rejoice my longing eyes;
The summits of the hills,
         They seem to touch the skies!

But hark! What voices come
          Upon the evening breeze?
Do angels seek my home
          With melodies like these? 

I question air and space,
          I gaze into the skies;
And yet no slightest trace
          Of angels greets my eyes.

Ah, past those clouds that bar
         And veil them from my sight,
Would I might fly afar
         To realms of radiant light!


Thy pure sweet voice to heaven has pierced, dear child,
         From this time forth committed to our care!

Thine angel guardian, ever undefiled,
          Has borne to God on high thy earnest prayer.

Down from His heavenly palace we have flown,
         From His high court on His eternal hill;

For by our voices He to thee makes known
         His holy will.

Thou must go forth to save thy fatherland,
          To guard the faith, uphold God's honor here.

Thou as a conqueror in His sight shall stand,
          Preserved by Him and His own Mother dear.


Oh, dry thy tears, take comfort, tender heart!
          Beyond these clouds gaze into heaven's delight;

In our ecstatic chants thou shalt have part,
          Who by God's grace shalt conquer in the fight.

These sweet refrains thy soul shall fortify
         Against approaching combat fierce and dire.

Jeanne! thou must suffer.  Seek, then, from on high
          A love like fire!

For the pure soul, in time's long dreary night,
          Its only glory is, Christ's cross to bear;

And, in heaven's endless day, with splendor bright
          That cross shall shine all radiant and fair.


Michael am I, the guardian of France,
          Great Captain of the armies of the skies;

Against hell's troops I march with sword and lance,
          And the old serpent glares with curious eyes.

Once Satan far above the starry world
          Desired to reign, higher than seraphs trod;

But, like a thunderbolt, at him I hurled
          These words: " Oh, who is like to God!

At that same moment vengeance, dread, divine,
         Opened hell's abyss and thither thrust him deep.

For that proud fallen angel, ah! no mercies shine;
          For him, what eyes shall weep?

Pride tore down Satan from his lofty place,
          And of that morning-star an outcast made;

But when man, too, had trifled with God's grace,
          Pity and comfort were to him displayed.

The Eternal Word, the Father's Equal Son,
          Clothing Himself with poor humanity,

Back to His Father's heart the exiles won
          By His profound humility.

Now that same Saviour deigns to succor France
         But not by any mighty soldier's hand.

He hath cast down the proud; He gives the con­quering lance
         Unto a child's frail hand.

Jeanne!  God has chosen thee His work to do.
         Thou must depart, obedient to His call;

Unto thy fields, thy flocks, must bid adieu,
          To this dear vale, these woods, thy home, thy all.

Be strong, go forth and save thy fatherland!
          Go forth – fear naught; all danger now despise!

Go! in my might beside thee I shall stand.
          See how the foe before thee flies!

Take thou this sword and bear it to the fray; –
         Long hath God kept it for thy hand to bring.

Take for thy standard, child! this pure white flag to-day;
          Then go, – and find the king!


For Thee alone, O God, I quit my father's side,
          I leave my cherished friends, my parish-church so dear,

For Thee I leave my flocks, my valleys green and wide,
          My peaceful home, – to fight.  Forgive me, if I fear!

Instead of my white lambs, I must lead armed men;
          To Thee I sacrifice my joy, my eighteen years.

I shall not see, alas! these flowery fields again;
          To serve Thee, Lord, I go, 'mid shields and swords and spears.

My voice, that mingles now with the soft breezes' breath,
          Shall soon resound amid war's clamors wild and drear;

The piercing, frightful cries of battle and of death,
          Instead of sweet church-bells, shall reach my strain­ing ear.

Yet, I desire the cross; the sacrifice is light;
          To suffer for Thee, Lord, ready and glad am I.

Now deign to call Thy child to this sublime delight!
          Jesus, my Love, my All, for Thee I long to die.


Thou must depart, O Jeanne! the time has come.
          It is the Lord Who arms thee for the fray.

Soon shalt thou see our blest, eternal home!
          Daughter of God! fear not to die to-day.


Thy name, O Jeanne! on heaven's scroll is placed,
          With all who died that France might live for aye;

There shall thy brow with glory's crown be graced,
          Like royal queen upon her nuptial day.

ST MICHAEL, presenting the sword:

Before the victory must come the fight,
          Not yet the crown, not yet the palm can be.

Win them where honor doth defend the right.
          Jeanne! dost thou hear the bugle call to thee? 


Thee will we guard throughout the fray;

And splendid victories shall thy banner grace.
          On thy pure brow, one happy day,

Our hand the glorious aureole shall place.


With you, dear saints, no foe I fear;
          Upon the Lord of hosts I wait.

What time the battle draweth near,
          His arm shall send deliverance great.

Oh, how I love my fatherland,
          France, oldest daughter of the cross;

That love to sacrifice is fanned;
          For her I count as gain all loss.

Ah, no! I fear not now to die,
          Who long, dear God, Thy Face to see;

Yet, as I go, oh ! hear my cry:
          Comfort my mother tenderly!

And thou, St. Michael, strengthen me.


 Hark! for already all the elect in heaven
          Raise high their joyous chant, because they hear

The illustrious name of Martyr gladly given,
          By Rome's great Pontiff, to this maiden dear.

 I hear the universe declare,

The virtues of this maid in warlike armor drest;
          I hear God grant to her the rare

And grand and glorious title, Jeanne the Blest.

In those great days sore suff'ring France shall know,
          And impious deeds shall make her fail and faint.

Then shall thy glory, Jeanne, more splendid grow,
          And all pure souls shall then invoke the Saint. 

The voices mount towards the skies,
          Mingling with angel-choirs, whose songs our hopes enhance.

O Jeanne of Arc, now hear our cries!
          A second time, a second time, save France!



All honor and all glory be
          To Thee, the Eternal King of kings!

For Thou hast given the victory
          To me, a frail and feeble thing.

 And thou, dear Mother, pure as snow,
          Most lovely star, sublimely bright!

Oh, thou hast been my light below,
         Protecting me in danger's night.

Thou, Queen, whose glories ne'er shall fail,
          When shall mine eyes thy splendors see?

When shall I rest beneath thy veil,
          Never again to part from thee?

Hail, Mary! Holy Mother, hail!

My exiled spirit fain would fly
          To heavenly joys that have no end;

Naught here its needs can satisfy,
          It craves for God, its perfect Friend.

But, ere that sweet reward begin,
          I long to combat for Him here,

For Him unnumbered souls to win,
          And find Him dearer and more dear.

My exile here will pass away,
          As the day passes and is gone;

Then, up the radiant, sunlit way,
          My happy soul shall hasten on,

To see my God in endless day.


My voices this foretold: I am a prisoner here,
          No aid can I expect, except, my God, from Thee;

For love of Thee alone, I left my father dear;
          My flower-decked fields, blue skies, my flocks, no more I see.

For Thee I left my home and her who gave me birth;
          Then, lifting in my hand the standard of Thy choice,

Lord, in Thy holy Name, I led an army forth,
          And far-famed generals then gave credence to my voice.

 Behold my recompense – this gloomy prison-place,
          The price of all my toils, my prayers, my blood, my tears!

No more my flowery fields my longing eyes shall face,
          Nor shall I see the home of all my childhood years.

No more shall I behold the mountains far away,
          Whose distant summits seemed to pierce the azure sky;

And I shall hear no more the church-bells sweetly play.
          How soft upon the air those holy notes swept by!

Here, in this gloomy cell, the star I seek in vain,
         That used, at vesper hour, to shine so clear and fair;

In vain I seek the leaves, that when upon the plain
          Beside my flock I slept, gave cooling shelter there.

Here, when at last I sleep after long bitter weeping,
          Of morning's flowers I dream, and perfumes of the dawn;

But then my clanking chains disturb that happy sleeping,
          I wake – my dream is past – the verdant fields are gone.

Lord, for Thy love I go, martyrdom to embrace;
         For Thee I dare to meet the lingering death of fire.

Now but one wish is mine, – to see Thee face to face,
          No more to part from Thee: – behold my heart's desire!

To die for love of Thee, – what happier lot than this?
          I will take up my cross, and walk where Thou hast trod.

Ah! how I long to die, and enter into bliss!
          Ah! how I long to die, and thus to see my God!


We have come down from heaven's eternal height,
          To smile on thee and bear thee to thy rest.

See in our hands the immortal crown of light,
          Designed to grace thy brow, O maiden blest! 

Come with us, virgin pure and fair!
          Oh! come where saints and martyrs trod;

Come unto joys beyond compare,

Come unto life most fair,
          Daughter of God! 

Hot bums the fire about thy tender frame,
          But far more hotly burns thy holy love;

Soon Christ will call thee to Him by thy name,
          And heavenly dews shall soothe thee from above.

An angel comes to set thee free
         From every pain; from torture wild.

Behold, the palm descends to thee!

Look up! thy Saviour see,
          Great-hearted child!

O virgin-martyr! one brief moment's pain
         Thee shall conduct to heaven beside thy Lord.

Thy death saves France. See! heaven opens again
          To her lost children ransomed by thy sword.


To my eternal home I fly;
          Angelic faces meet my view

In God's great Name for France I die!
          O Mary, now be nigh!

"Jesu!  Jesu!"

This poem was written by Sister Mary Therese, in response to her brother's death during the World War II naval battle at Corregidor.


The night is down on Domremy,
Dark wings have circled every tree,
Shut out the stars and steeped the sky,
In anguish lifted like a cry.

Shaking the young stars from her gown,
Pushing the moon back, Joan peers down,
On lands by terror twisted bare,
That shakes with battle everywhere.

A blight is on the world again;
A blight is on the souls of man;
And dark is death and dark is birth,
As sorrow runs along the earth.

How can she keep her soul in calm,
When towers of Reims and Notre Dame,
Send up their cry of muted bells,
That tear her breast with moans and knells?

How must her hands have ached to hold,
Her shining sword when pain patrolled,
The glory-ridden crimson shore,
Of Batan and Corregidor.

How must her lips have burned to cry,
A challenge to the southern sky,
For heroes who would never see,
The sunset stain the Coral Sea.

Young Joan is restless in the sky;
Young Joan is burning to defy,
The sign that sickens men with pride,
Back to the wars young Joan would ride!  

To rout out the bitter pagan horde,
O God of peace, give Joan a sword!
And in this moment, send her down,
To Domremy, to every town!

If you have a prayer of poem that you would like to contribute, please contact us.


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