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October 24, 2007


Old Dominion Tory

An excellent post, Christine. As a student of World War One, I appreciate that both images of a statue of St. Jeanne d'Arc appear to be associated with a war memorial.
In the Great War, the image of Jeanne d'Arc was used extensively in popular literature and in propaganda in France and in the United States. She adorned stamps, posters, and books and was featured in at least one popular song written in the United States. There is a smashing magazine cover from the period that shows Jeanne d'Arc in the company of St. George and George Washington leading Allied soldiers forward.
During the war, her birthplace became a place of pilgrimage for soldiers of the Allied armies. French soldiers convalescing from wounds or on leave came. Many Americans made a particular effort to visit this shrine and one painted the humble house and some visiting Doughboys.
As the images Christine posted show, after the war, Jeanne d'Arc was used in numerous war memorials. The republican Marianne, it seems, did not present the mix of martial prowess, holy devotion, and maternal care that Jeanne d'Arc did--and, of course, still does.
St. Jeanne d'Arc, Maid of Orleans, Protector of Soldiers, pray for us.

Old Dominion Tory

Oh, one more thing, Jeanne d'Arc also inspired some amazingly good music. Perhaps the best is Richard Einhorn's oratorio "Voices of Light," a work inspired by the 1928 silent film, "The Passion of St. Joan of Arc." A superb recording, featuring the marvelous ensemble Anonymous 4, is available.


Thank you for your comments. I understand St. Joan played another important role for France during WWII, when the Free French adopted her Cross of Lorraine for their flag.

I haven't heard Einhorn's oratorio, but will be sure to check it out.

Old Dominion Tory

The man who promoted the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French was Georges Thierry d'Argenlieu.
An officer in the French Navy during the Great War, he left the service after the Armistice and took vows in the Discalced Carmelites.
When war came again in 1939, he returned to the colors. After escaping a German prison train in 1940, he made his way to England and General De Gaulle. His order granted him permission to serve as a regular officer, rather than as a chaplain, and, by 1944, he was a senior commander with the Free French Navy. His flagship took DeGaulle to France in 1944 and then-Admiral d'Argenlieu accompanied DeGaulle to Paris.
After the war, he served in French Indochina and retired as the Navy's inspector general. In 1958, he reentered religious life and died in 1964.


Amazing! He's worth a post, don't you think?

Mr. Peperium

Thanks, Christine, for a wonderful post. I have heard or read that that poster child of late-19th Century American dubiety as regards religion, Mr. Mark Twain, set out to write an expose of St. Joan and ended up convinced himself.

The book must have turned out alright, seeing as Ignatius offers it in their catalog.

Mr. Peperium

Following up on the thread ODT was persuing: British soldiers at the Battle of Mons (23 August, 1914) claimed to have seen Arthur riding among them.

Interesting how in the direst circumstances--and I defy you to find circumstances more dire than those of the British at Mons--the Old Faith comes to the surface. Howevermuch Spencer tried to transmute Arthur into a Protestant hero in his incredible epic, the Once and Future King remains a medieval, and therefore a Catholic, titan.

Andrew Cusack

On Thierry d'Argenlieu:


Old Dominion Tory

Excellent, Andrew! Probably, a memory of that post was lurking in my mind when I responded to Christine. Thanks for sharing it again.

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