Click below for Fleur-Darc. Please note that this book is part of the Collection Series and contains previously published material from my other books.
Fleur-Darc is the story of my conversion through essays and poetry in honor of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. This book comprises Journey to Christendom, Seek First the Kingdom, The Dove and Rose, and Little Flowers and Fiery Towers (poetry).
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“Fleur-Darc.” The name came to me very quickly one morning. Of course, this term made much sense given my affection for St. Thérèse of Lisieux, the Little Flower, for St. Joan of Arc, and for the ancient Kingdom of France as an archetype of the mystical Kingdom of God. In French, Thérèse’s metaphorical, self-applied nickname of “Flower” is “Fleur.” Joan’s commonly known name of d’Arc, which she herself never heard as it was used only well after her death in 1431, was known in some older dialects as simply Darc. Yes, “Fleur-Darc” would do nicely: St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face with St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans, whose own self-applied moniker was “La Pucelle” (The Maid).
As a symbol, however, “Fleur-Darc” took much longer to develop. In fact it took three and a half years to grow from the seed that must first die to the blossoming, fruitful tree of life promised by Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It began, in fact, as I sat in prayer before His real and substantial presence in the Eucharist. Only six months earlier, I renewed my consecration to Jesus through Mary using the method of St. Louis de Montfort. True devotion to our most worthy Mother and glorious Queen Mary formed the core of my Catholic, Eucharistic-centered spirituality from the earliest days after my conversion. As I contemplated about Our Lady and my consecration before Our Lord, I felt her gently encouraging me to begin writing.
“If you have something you feel you need to say, you should probably think about saying it.” These were the words I felt in my heart as I imagined Our Lady walking beside me in a peaceful meadow. I thought for a few minutes about all that had happened throughout my life from early success, to conversion to the Catholic Church, to spectacular failure, to near death, then to resurrection and new life in that same Catholic Church, and I turned to her in this contemplative image, responding in my own mental words, “Yes, I believe I do have something I would like to say now.” “Fleur-Darc,” three and a half years later, represents “what it is that I had liked to say.”
After I began writing in the Fall of 2008, it did not take long to understand that Our Lady’s humble and grace filled inspiration was less about me telling others my story and much more about the Holy Spirit acting through Mary’s Immaculate Heart to teach me who it is that I really am. Mary’s words were the inspiration to begin a pedagogical exercise with God. Through the process of writing after Eucharistic adoration in the spirit of True Devotion to Mary, the Holy Spirit opened up for me a stunning picture of the Kingdom I was “to first seek.” Even more beautifully, Our Lady revealed to me the answer to my prayer. I was to be brought to her Immaculate Heart by the dynamic duo of St. Thérèse of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc. What was even more revealing was that the secondary co-patronesses of France had been guiding me all along. Now, that was interesting.
Join me in “Fleur-Darc” if you would like to hear how this all came about.
~ Walter Adams