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“Joan of Arc,” I thought to myself. The name was familiar, for sure. Yet, I really could not recall much that I had learned about her. I remembered something about burning at the stake. Yes. Did she not burn at the stake? The rest was a blank sheet. I would not have done well on a French history exam, even after my six weeks in Brittany.
I turned with a typical “whatever” shrug and walked at a clip to catch up with the group, not realizing that she, Joan of Arc, was the reason that the French defeated England at Orléans. She was the reason the French routed the English from the Loire Valley. She was the reason that the Dauphin, Charles VII, marched to Rheims to be crowned King of France, rather than run away. She was the reason that France kept her independent crown. She was the reason France would remain Catholic after the Protestant revolution. She was the reason France developed into the nation state we know today. That is who Joan of Arc was.
I did not realize the historical, religious, and spiritual significance in Western Civilization of the person whose image that curious statue represented. I also did not realize the historical, religious, and spiritual significance she would have in my personal life.
Joan of Arc had saved France’s life. I had no “earthly” idea at that time that she was going to save mine.
~ Walter Adams