My devotion to St. Joan of Arc expressed itself initially as simply a love for the person of St. Joan. That person of St. Joan is a soul magnified by the Lord our Savior in a related, though inferior, manner to the Blessed Virgin Mary’s, whereby we see the glory of God reflected through the prism of her soul. This reflection of St. Joan combined with that of St. Thérèse represents what I often refer to as “the most beautiful color in the Heavens”:
“St. Joan and St. Thérèse, together they are the most beautiful color in the Heavens!”
The French version reflects a similar spirit:
“Ste. Jeanne et Ste. Thérèse, ensemble elles sont les plus belles couleurs du ciel!”
This outpouring of devotion for St. Joan ended up being far more spiritually and mentally transformational than I ever before would have imagined. Whereas in this devotion I initially found myself more imbued with the life of Christ as established in my existing cultural paradigm, this soon turned to an interest in Joan’s 15th century France and the contemporary cultural circumstances that led to such a heroic life, indeed among the most heroic lives in all of human history. I felt a strong tug on my heart to explore the history surrounding St. Joan.
Like many historical studies, this adventure seemed to continually require a wider and wider view. It was like dropping a rock in a pond and watching the ripples move outward in all directions. The more I learned of Joan, the more I wanted to know about the influences on the periphery. She was engaged and decisive in the Hundred Years War between England and France. What was the Hundred Years War? She was persecuted in her trial of inquisition by a deceptive, ill-willed Bishop and a group of theologians from the University of Paris who supported the erroneous and destructive “collegial” approach to Church governance rather than the traditional “Monarchical” model grounded in Christ’s model of the Church on the Rock of Peter. What was that all about? The timid dauphin, Charles VII, whom Joan was dragging desperately to his own coronation as King of France, was a Valois, a cadet branch of the Capetians. What? It was absolutely essential that Charles be anointed with the sacred oil of Clovis, the first Catholic King of the Franks who was baptized and blessed with this very oil by St. Rémy at Rheims in 496 AD. How does that all tie in?
The studies that followed opened my eyes to the noble and sacred roles that the Monarchies played in building Christendom. I came to see the role of the temporal Monarchy as critical to the role of the Church in Medieval times, even though the temporal Monarchy fulfilled it’s role as imperfectly and, at times as scandalously, as did the Church in fulfilling her own role.
I came to see that Joan’s vision of Monarchy was one that had its final Form, not in the “kingdoms of man,” but in the “Kingdom of God” where Christ ruled as King of all Kings. Then, of course, there was that part about her actual visions from Heaven, not just the mental images she had in her head. Those visions of real angels and real saints who now abide in their own glory in Heaven told her that Jesus Christ was the true King of France and that Charles VII, as the temporal king, was Our Lord’s steward on earth.
I mused over what I was learning. Through public revelation, the Lord had a Vicar on earth in the Pope for His Church. Through private revelation to Joan of Arc, He had a temporal steward for His Kingdom of France. This is where Joan’s heart was. It was in the mystical Kingdom of France that had a temporal order in its earthly king, Charles VII, and a Divine Order through its Heavenly King, Jesus Christ. France, for Joan, was the place on earth where God’s Kingdom was to come “on earth as it is in Heaven.”
Given my love and devotion for St. Joan of Arc, bequeathed to me from Our Lord through the Virgin Mary and in cooperation with Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux, I was empowered with a union of St. Joan’s heart. If France was a mystical kingdom whereby Our Lord is served as King of Kings, then I wanted to serve Him as well alongside Joan of Arc.
The Monarchist in me was born. It is a Monarchism grounded in the heart of St. Joan of Arc which sees France as the Eldest Daughter of the Church serving Our Lord as King of Kings. How far France is from that model today!
Thus, by consequence, how great is the need in our world today for “devotion to Traditional French Catholicism and the Renaissance of Catholic France!”
Ste. Jehanne et Ste. Thérèse, avec la Vierge Marie, prient pour nous!