US Memorial Day, May 30 this year, is also the feast of St. Joan of Arc. On a Catholic blog (boldings mine), this:
Today – which in the U.S. this year happens to be Memorial Day – is also the anniversary of the death of St. Joan of Arc, who was burnt at the stake on May 30th in 1431. Probably not even twenty years old when she died, she continues to live in the popular imagination as a warrior, dressed in military armor, riding into battle. Joan thus seems to embody something quite different from what traditional images of femininity suggest. She was listening to higher, “inner voices,” as she herself described them. And in that she displayed, powerfully, how God’s calling can function as a profound challenge to established gender identities and their cultural codes. Holy lives, in other words, also embody their own profound challenges to the living of gendered identity. Thank you, Saint Joan of Arc, for the witness of your own, short life, on this, your memorial day.The author of this blurb is
Professor of Liturgical Studies at the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Yale Divinity School. She has written extensively on liturgy and women’s lives; and her 2005 book "Fragments of Real Presence: Liturgical Traditions in Women's Hands" has just been translated into Japanese. In 2008, Teresa Berger produced (with MysticWaters Media) an interactive CD-ROM called Ocean Psalms, featuring meditations, prayers, songs, and blessings, all focused on the sea. Her newest book, "Gender Differences and the Making of Liturgical History" is being released by Ashgate (summer 2011).My comment:
Certainly one of the very strangest of the saints. If she can be seen nowadays as some kind of patron(ess) for challenging gender roles, she might just as well also be seen as a heavenly advocate for using violent intraChristian military means to consolidate emerging nation-states and their ethnic identities.
Patroness of European Wars?
Discerning what Providence had in mind by using her to solidify the throne of Charles VII is certainly beyond my pay grade.