Joan of Arc - Maid of Heaven

Joan of Arc Virgin

Painting of Joan of Arc Praying
"I am Jeanne, the Maid"

Joan of Arc is one of the most renowned virgins in all of history and has frequently been called the "Virgin Warrior." For Joan remaining a virgin, or a "maid" as Joan preferred to be called, was an outward sign of her inward devotion to God. As author Ben D. Kennedy explained in an
interview about Joan of Arc: "The term Maid was very important to Saint Joan herself and she preferred to be called Joan the Maid. In the time in which she lived it signified a virgin but I think to Joan it meant much more. Her physical purity was simple an out-flowing of her spiritual purity that inspired everyone around her so to her I think the term Maid made it clear that she lived completely for God."

"I must keep the vow and promise that I have made to Our Lord,
to keep well my virginity of body and of soul."

Joan of Arc's Kneeling in Prayer Holy Card
"The first time I heard the Voice I vowed to remain a virgin for as long as it pleased God."

When Joan was first visited by the "Voice" from God she pledged to remain a virgin as part of her acceptance that God had called her for a special "mission." At the time that Joan was "called" by God she was thirteen, as she later testified at her trial, and probably had all the same hopes and dreams of the average young woman to eventually fall in love and marry. As Joan did throughout her life she surrendered her personal desire in order to fully serve God. Joan later testified at her trial that the "Voices" called her "Joan the maid, daughter of God."

Joan actually underwent examinations to prove her virginity at least twice. In medieval times people believed that a women in league with Satan could not be a virgin so proving Joan was a virgin was part of verifying that she was indeed sent by God. As Jean d"Aulon later testified about Joan's first physical examination: "The master's report having been sent to the King, this maid was put into the hands of the Queen of Sicily [Queen Yolande], the mother of our Queen, and to certain ladies of court with her, by whom this maid was seen, visited and secretly tested and examined in the secret parts of her body. But after they had seen and looked at all that there was to look at, the lady said and related to the King, that she and her ladies found with certainty that she was a true and complete maid in whom appeared no corruption or violence."

Joan was also examined by her enemies after her capture as a way to show she was a witch as they claimed however she was again proven to be a virgin. As Jean Massieu, one of the priests involved in Joan's trial, later testified: "I well know that she was examined to discover if she was a virgin or not by some matrons and midwives, and that on the orders of the Duchess of Bedford and notably by Anna Bavon and another matron whose name I do not remember. After the examination they declared that she was a virgin and intact and I heard it said by Anna herself for which cause the Duchess of Bedford forbid the guards and others from offering her any violence."
Painting of Joan of Arc with Saint Catherine by Henryk Siemiradzki

Joan of Arc MaidOfHeaven
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