Feastday: May 30 Patron of soldiers and France b.1412 d.1431
St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On January 6, 1412, Joan of Arc was born to pious parents of the French peasant class, at the obscure village of Domremy, near the province of Lorraine. At a very early age, she heard voices: those of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret.
At first the messages were personal and general. Then at last came the crowning order. In May, 1428, her voices "of St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret" told Joan to go to the King of France and help him reconquer his kingdom. For at that time the English king was after the throne of France, and the Duke of Burgundy, the chief rival of the French king, was siding with him and gobbling up evermore French territory.
After overcoming opposition from churchmen and courtiers, the seventeen year old girl was given a small army with which she raised the seige of Orleans on May 8, 1429. She then enjoyed a series of spectacular military successes, during which the King was able to enter Rheims and be crowned with her at his side.
In May 1430, as she was attempting to relieve Compiegne, she was captured by the Burgundians and sold to the English when Charles and the French did nothing to save her. After months of imprisonment, she was tried at Rouen by a tribunal presided over by the infamous Peter Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais, who hoped that the English would help him to become archbishop.
Through her unfamiliarity with the technicalities of theology, Joan was trapped into making a few damaging statements. When she refused to retract the assertion that it was the saints of God who had commanded her to do what she had done, she was condemned to death as a heretic, sorceress, and adulteress, and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. She was nineteen years old. Some thirty years later, she was exonerated of all guilt and she was ultimately canonized in 1920, making official what the people had known for centuries. Her feast day is May 30.
Joan was canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.
*Information provided by www.catholic.org*
Brief Parish History
St. Joan of Arc parish was officially founded on July 26, 1929 by the Most Reverend William A. Hickey, D.D., Bishop of Providence and named Father David Brunelle as her first pastor. Before 1929, St. Joan's was a mission church of St. Joseph's church in Ashton. Originally, the new parish of St. Joan of Arc encompassed more territory than it does today --- all of Northern Cumberland. It included the village of Diamond Hill, Arnold's Mills, and Grant's Mills until 1953 when St. John Vianney was founded. St. Joan's Church originally stood directly across the street from the top of Manville Hill Road. The present Rectory was built in 1956, with the current church and school being built short after in 1963. The present Pastor, Father Bourdon, was appointed in January of 1991 (A list of all previous pastors can be found in the front hall of the church).