Joan of Arc's Faith
"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus"
The final words of Joan Of Arc, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus" reflect the focus of her life and being better than anything else. Anyone wanting to understand who Joan of Arc was has to come to an understanding of how deeply she loved God and how this love impacted everything that she did while she was alive. Joan's life exemplified the words of Jesus when He said:
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
Joan's love for the people of her country and desire to save them flowed out of her great love for God just as the second commandment above flows out of the first.
Joan was nurtured in her faith from the very beginning of her life especially by her mother Isabelle Romee who herself was a great women of faith. As Isabelle explained about Joan's upbringing:
"I had a daughter born in lawful wedlock who grew up amid the fields and pastures. I had her baptized and confirmed and brought her up in the fear of God. I taught her respect for the traditions of the Church as much as I was able to do given her age and simplicity of her condition. I succeeded so well that she spent much of her time in church and after having gone to confession she received the sacrament of the Eucharist every month. Because the people suffered so much, she had a great compassion for them in her heart and despite her youth she would fast and pray for them with great devotion and fervor."
Many of the people who knew Joan while she was growing up in her hometown of Domremy later described her devotion to God at her Trial of Rehabilitation.
"She went frequently to church and frequently confessed."
Joan of Arc demonstrated her faith in more dramatic ways after she left home. When she began her mission she proclaimed:
Perrin Drappier - Church Wardon of Domremy
"Joan was a good, simple and sweet-natured girl, she went often and of her own will to church and the sacred places and often she was ashamed because of people remarking how she went so devoutly to church."
Hauviette - childhood friend of Joan
"She was a good girl and well-behaved, a good Catholic who went gladly to church and to the holy shrines."
Nicolas Bailly - Church official
"She was good and simple, and went often to the churches and holy shrines. When she was in the fields, she used to drop to her knees and pray every time she heard the church bells toll"
Jean Waterin - Farmer from Domremy
"Jeannette (Joan) in earliest youth, was well and properly brought up in the faith and good conduct and so much so that nearly all the inhabitants of Domremy loved her"
Jean Moreau - Joan's Godfather
"If she was in the fields and heard the bell rung for mass, she would come to the village and go to church to hear the Mass, and I have seen her do so."
Jean Moreau - Joan's Godfather
"Joan was of good behavior, devout, patient, going readily to church, willingly to confession, and gave alms to the poor when she could, as I witnessed, both in the town of Domremy and at Burey"
Durand Laxart - Joan's uncle
"I know that she was good, simple, pious, fearing God and his saints; she went often and of her own will to church and to sacred places, caring for the sick and giving alms to the poor"
Simonin Musnier - farmer and childhood friend
"I have been commanded to do two things on the part of the King of Heaven: one, to raise the siege of Orleans; the other, to conduct the King to Reims for his annointing and his coronation."
Joan also showed her faith by instructing that her banner be painted with a picture of God along with the wording Jesus Maria representing Jesus Christ and his mother Mary.
When Joan took command of the French army she immediately went to work improving the spiritual condition of the men she would lead. As her chaplain Father Pasquerel later related at her Trial of Rehabilitation
"At Blois Joan told me to have made a banner around which she would assemble the priests, and to have painted on it the image of Christ crucified. The banner ready, Joan each day-once in the morning and once in the evening-had me convoke all the priests.
These, assembled, chanted anthems and hymns in honor of the Blessed Mary. Joan was always with them but would not permit any of the soldiers to be there who had not confessed that day, and she notified all to confess themselves and come to the meeting, seeing that all the priests there held themselves ready to hear all penitents of good will."
When Joan led her army into battle they frequently marched with priests in front chanting songs of praise to God such as Veni Creator Spiritus (Come creator Spirit).
Joan's great faith was a positive influence upon everyone around her and several of her friends later spoke about her spiritual leadership during her Trial of Rehabilitation:
"From everything that I knew of her, Joan appeared to me a good and modest woman who lived a Christian life. She heard that Mass very gladly and never missed a possible opportunity of doing so. She was angry when she heard anyone blaspheming God's name or anyone swearing. I heard her reprimand my lord Duke of Alencon several times for swearing or uttering some blasphemy. On the whole , nobody in the army would have dared to swear or blaspheme in front of her for fear of a reprimand from her."
Joan herself made many statements concerning her faith during her trial at Rouen:
Louis de Coutes - Joan's Page
"I knew the Maid to be a very devout creature; she stood most devoutly when attending our Lord's divine services, which she continually wanted to hear; that is to say, High Mass in whatever place she was, and also the subsequent Hours on solemn festivals, and the Low Mass on other days. She was in the habit of hearing Mass every day, if that was possible."
Jean d' Aulon - Joan's personal attendant
"From all that I saw of her, I always considered her to be a good Catholic and a devout woman, and I have several times seen her take our Lord's Body; and when she saw the Host, she often wept plentiful tears. She took the Holy Eucharist twice a week and often made confession."
Jean Duke of Alencon - Friend and Knight
"I have seen Jeanne, at the Elevation of the Host, weeping many tears. I remember well that she induced the soldiers to confess their sins; and I indeed saw that, by her instigation and advice, La Hire and many of his company came to confession."
Maître Pierre Compaing - Priest
"I entrust myself to my creator God, I love Him with my whole heart"
Even Joan's enemies who were involved in her trial and execution later praised her as a woman of God because of the way she conducted herself during her trial and the inspiring way that she died:
"Everything I have done I have done at God's command"
"I abide by God who sent me, by the Holy Virgin and the saints in paradise"
"As for the Church, I love her and would wish to sustain her with all my power for our Christian faith."
"My mother taught me the Pater Noster, Ave Maria, and the Credo"
"I am a good Catholic"
"And when she came to the Vieux Marche she listened to the sermon with great fortitude and most calmly, showing signs and evidence and clear proof of her contrition, penitence and fervent faith she uttered pious and devout lamentations and called on the Blessed Trinity, and upon the blessed and glorious Virgin Mary, and on all the blessed saints in Paradise, naming many in her devotions, her lamentation, and her true confession of faith. She also most humbly begged all manner of people, of whatever condition or rank they might be, and whether of her party or not, for their pardon and asked them kindly to pray for her, at the same time pardoning them for any harm they had done her. This she continued to do for a very long time, perhaps for half an hour and until the end. The judges who were present, and even several of the English, were moved by this to great tears and weeping, and indeed several of these same English, recognized God's hand and made professions of faith when they saw her make so remarkable an end. They were glad to have witnessed her end and said that she had been a good woman. "
Joan of Arc was a great woman of faith and exemplified the teachings of Jesus throughout her life right up until her final breath when she cried out "Jeus, Jesus, Jesus." Joan of Arc is an example of a believer who "overcomes" and is faithful "even unto death" who God promises to reward with "the crown of life." The testimony of Joan's life inspires all Christians toward the highest level of service to God.
Jean Massieu - Witness of Joan's execution
"And they overcame him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives even unto death."
For some compelling remarks about Joan's faith by several Popes of the Catholic Church visit:
Recent remarks by Benedict XVI
For specific information about how Joan prayed visit:
Joan of Arc & Prayer
You can also find a good blog article describing Joan as the epitome of a Christian Warrior at:
Jehanne and Chivalry