Sunday, January 08, 2012

Joan of Arc, Martyr and Heroine of France

I read an article in Louisville's Courier Journal this morning that reminded me I have a folder of photos from my French vacation of statues of Joan of Arc. The article told of celebrations around the world for her birthday, January 6th. It also said that the birthday was mythical (the date, not the woman) because birth records of peasants were not kept, and especially not of women peasants.

That Ste. Jeanne is revered throughout France is unarguable. Almost every church we visited had a statue honoring her. I took the photo above on a major boulevard in Toulouse. It doesn't do credit to the beautiful silvery sculpture. There is a beautiful golden statue of St. Joan in Paris, but I didn't get to Paris on this trip.

This statue is in a church in Cordes sur Ciel.

This statue against a yellow wall is in a small church in Villaries, a village near Gargas where we stayed.

This statue is in the ancient cathedral in Carcassonne.

This one is in Cathedrale Ste. Marie in Auch.

Joan of Arc dressed like a man with her hair cut short as a form of protection, allowing her passage through battlefields where her gender would have made her a victim. She was only 19 when England sentenced her to death, and her remains were burned. She would have been 600 years old. Though she died young, the legend of her bravery and faith lives on.

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