This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

JOAN: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint

JOAN: The Mysterious Life of the Heretic Who Became a Saint by Donald Spoto

There are an overwhelming number of biographies, stories, poems, music, plays and movies about Joan of Arc, in fact we have more detailed evidence about her than anyone else in history up to her time.

Born near or during 1412 she died in 1431; she was said to be nineteen at her death. Possibly one of the most misrepresented women, people have questions if she was she a lesbi@n, mentally ill, a pro$titute who followed the troops of Charles VII, did she have delusions of grandeur, was she the witch and heretic that she was accused of?

Using previously drawn on accounts and more recently translated documents Spoto provides a compelling and comprehensive look at Joan. Viewing her through the lens of the 15th century and not the 20th or 21st, he presents her as a simple peasant girl, provides reasons himself demonstrates how her account of herself under interrogation by the Bishop Pierre Couchon, heavily influence by the English.

This was an extremely educational book about the young woman, I was deeply moved by her story. Spoto is a wonderful biographer. I’m not sure I agree completely with his theology, but he certainly tried to portray Joan in a fair and objective light.

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