This time the young peasant girl, Joanne of Arc, returned alone.
Newsroom ( September 7, Gaudium Press) — This time the young peasant girl, Joan of Arc, returned alone. The first time, her uncle accompanied her. Now she was returning on foot at a fast pace. She requested if someone could lead her to M. Baudricourt’s castle. With sweetness and affection, the voices continuously haunted her, telling her to “save France!”. Like the first time she came to the village, Joan asked to stay at Royer’s blacksmith shop. He and his wife welcomed her with respectful silence, listening carefully to her. She said, “Orleans must be saved and the Dauphin must be crowned king in Reims”.
A prophecy said that a Virgin would save France.
The small village people gathered to listen to her and no one laughed or made fun of her. They agreed that they could not come under English control. Furthermore, they thought that God would help them because there was a prophecy that a virgin would save France. In the Middle Ages, odd women often appeared in villages and fields making prophecies that were a mixture of superstition and misunderstood religiosity. They did not see Joan as one of those unstable young women.
In the castle, no one believed the humble peasant girl. But one of the most trusted subjects had been listening to her at the blacksmith’s shop and was astonished. She spoke with firmness and assurance, with inspiring and touching words. She brought tears to the eyes of those who were there. The priest was pleased to listen to her and did not understand how this illiterate young woman got so eloquent.
The enthusiasm of the people led her to the Dauphin.
This chaste, maiden virgin was barely sixteen years old. She was poorly dressed and smelled of stables and fields. She was a bit tall and with brown hair. Her angelic and serious face could not be lying. Especially when she asked them to believe that she preferred to stay on the farm with her parents than to throw herself into that adventure. She only requested that someone accompany her to Chinon and helped her get to the Dauphin. She needed an escort and someone influential for such a mission.
Finally, M. Baudricourt decided to send her with six of his most trusted men. Popular clamor emerged from Royer’s blacksmith shop. They certainly were convinced of their desire to fight for France and threatened with sedition if the maiden was not heard. The men of the village wanted to go to war. The women would accompany them carrying provisions and even take their animals with them. Their tools would become weapons. Baudricourt now understood the message from Heaven and was frightened.
The supporting voice that would accompany the warrior virgin, the armored peasant girl, surprisingly came from the lower part of a poor village and from a harsh and unadorned blacksmith’s shop.
Sometimes, those who are at the top cannot listen. They only hear the flattery or the rigged cry of the opposition, artificially created to play a political game. This was precisely the case of the heir to the throne of France. They only informed him of what was convenient to their interests. The information was manipulated at will and based on pettiness. But the people still kept a good religious sense of truth rooted in their deepest Christian convictions. The resolution to reconquer France at any cost was born at good Royer’s blacksmith’s shop.
“Vox populi-Vox Dei.” The young Dauphin of France understood, by the grace of God, that Sweet France would definitively sink if he went against what the people felt and wanted. The maiden was the expression of what was nestled in the depths of the hearts of God’s humble people. For a long time that had no shepherd nor leader. History often brings about this kind of surprises often accompanied by a blessing, a grace, and a soul ready to sacrifice itself.
By Antonio Borda