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Here is an excerpt from a short biography of Saint Joan of Arc (Sainte Jeanne D’arc):

“On 6th January, 1412, there was born at the obscure village of Domremy, on the banks of the Meuse, and near the fair and typically French province of Lorraine, Jeannette, or Jeanne, or Joan D’Arc, daughter of pious parents of the peasant class. The family-name seems to have been originally spelt Darc. Her father, James, and mother, Isobel Darc were not only devout and laborious, as became a son and daughter of Catholic and rural France, but they are described as having been people well endowed with that strong self-reliance, shrewd common sense, and sturdy independence, which modern “civilization” with its constant bureaucratic interference, and widespread, free, uniform “education,” has rendered almost as extinct as the classical case of the Dodo! Jeanne, their daughter, certainly, and no doubt the other children as well, inherited these splendid and irreplaceable qualities in a very marked degree. Up to about the age of sixteen, Jeanne or Joan, to call her by her most generally known name, led the ordinary life of a peasant girl of her class, doing her part in ploughing, sowing and harvesting, tending the parental flocks, and at home spinning hemp and wool, and attending to other feminine domestic duties. She was a singularly pious girl, even among a simple and devout people, hearing Mass daily, making frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and often undertaking journeys of devotion to places of religious repute. Messire Guillaume Fronte, the worthy Cure of Domremy, later left a record that Joan was “a simple and good girl; pious, well brought up and God-fearing, and without her like in the whole village.” To her other acts of personal piety, she added great charity to the poor, even to the extent of giving up occasionally her own bed to some necessitous wanderer, and sleeping herself on the floor by the hearth…”

The entire article appears in volume 5 of “The Lives or the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints” by the Rev. Alban Butler, (c) Copyright 1954, Virtue and Company, Limited, London and an online version can be found at the EWTN website by clicking here —> go to the Joan of Arc Article NOW!

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