Sunday, January 08, 2012

Joan of Arc; Saint, Sainte or political gadget?

 France has recently celebrated the 600th birthday of St Joan of Arc.  Unfortunately for poor Joan, her reputation is becoming more and more tarnished.

Recently a scolar has decided that Joan was in fact a man. The French soldiers would never have followed a mere peasant girl into battle.  The reason why the French wanted her to be known as a woman was that the English would have been terrified of a woman sent by God to fight for the French.  Was God not supposed to be on the English side? I don't think this theory holds water as the French handed Joan over to the English for execution.  I think that would have blown her cover, if there was one. 

We're having an election for a new President later in the year.  There is a lot of fighting, name calling and so on, as usuall.  St Joan has cropped up in the midst of this as she has been venerated by the far right  for many years for booting out the English and leaving France for the French.  Last week president Sarkozy laid flowers in rememberence of Joan and visited where she was born in  Domremy. This has caused feathers to fly as some seem to think that they have exclusive right over the Saint.  


Véronique said...

I've never researched the story of Jeanne d'Arc in depth, so mostly I know the usual. For starters, since I do not think there are divine voices that speak to anyone, I figure she had some kind of psychological problem that involved auditory hallucinations. Crazy but not stupid, since she was successful in battle.

It always seems odd to me that the French are usually portrayed as the good guys against the English, whose royal house, being descended from the Normans, had a reasonable claim to French territory. It also seems odd to me that the English are portrayed as the bad guys when they were just as Catholic as the French.

Anji said...

Véronique: A lot of the story is clouded in mystery now. Normandy in France??!!! At that time I don't think it was, though I'm not 100% sure. France, like England, was divided into different kingdoms.

The 100 years war is still going on the way some people behave both sides of the Channel