POEMS

The following two poems and their commentary come from a book entitled: The Poetry of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. The first poem that she wrote was entitled CANTICLE TO OBTAIN THE CANONIZATION OF THE VENERABLE JOAN OF ARC, which was written May 8, 1894.

In passing, we need to mention the historical context of this composition. On January 27, 1894, Pope Leo XIII authorized the introduction of Joan of Arc's cause for beatification, in virtue of which she received the title, "Venerable." From then on it was permitted to "honor her and pray to her publicly," as the Lisieux newspaper Le Normandy explained on January 30.

In the weeks that followed, Thérèse's uncle, Isiodore Guérin, devoted several articles to this event. From the outset he showed his colors: "God raised her up to show through her weakness the greatness of His power and so to confound the pride of man." (Joan of Arc, Le Normandy, 2/3/1894).

A commission presided over by Henri Wallon soon drafted a bill in the National Assembly proposing that May 8th be celebrated annually as a national holiday of "patriotism" to honor Joan of Arc. Monsieur Guérin saw this chiefly as a scheme of the Freemasons to take this French heroine back into their camp and to "secularize" her. (Le Normandy, 5/5/1894).

If joy at Joan's rising glory was great all across France, Lisieux shared in it in a special way. In effect, the town represented Joan's "blood money" : "It was at Orleans that she carried off one of her most brilliant successes, it was at Rouen where she was burned, and Lisieux was the price paid for her life." (I. Guérin). The allusion to Judas's betrayal of Jesus was clear. But here the traitor was the Bishop, Pierre Cauchon, who was made bishop of Lisieux in 1432, which was of less importance than his old bishopric of Beauvais, in return for "services rendered" to the English. So on May 8th 1894, "a precious flag of the glorious Liberatrix" was placed in the chapel built by Cauchon in the apse of the cathedral of Saint Peter right where he was buried. This was the very chapel where Thérèse, as a girl, had attended daily Mass.

The pastor of Saint Peter's set up a committee of young women to make preparations for the celebration on May 8th, 1894. Céline Martin, Saint Thérèse's sister, was one of its most active members. With Marie Guérin and other friends, she sewed "twelve great white banners strewn with fleurs-de-lis. Each banner was twenty one feet long." (Letter from Marie Guérin to Mme. Le Néele, May 1894)

Le Normandy wrote that the holiday, "as patriotic as religious, promises to be particularly touching. The church will be brilliantly lighted" (5/1/1894). Five thousand people jammed into the cathedral. The atmosphere was more like a joyful village fair than a religious ceremony. Le Normandy's chronicler with the sharp pen was hard put to control his displeasure. ("The Festivities for Joan of Arc," 5/12/1894, article signed "I.G.")

We find varied nuances of this enthusiasm - with its ambivalent causes and effects - to a different degree in the titles Thérèse used for the original copy of her canticle: "A French Soldier, Defender of the Church, Admirer of Joan of Arc." Thérèse dedicated her poem to her sister, the "gallant knight C. Martin."


(Melody: "Pitié, mon Dieu")

CANTICLE TO OBTAIN THE CANONIZATION OF THE VENERABLE JOAN OF ARC

 

1 God of hosts, the whole Church

Soon wishes to honor at the altar

A martyr, a warrior virgin,

Whose sweet name resounds in Heaven.

 

Refr.1 Refrain

By Your power,

O King of Heaven,

Give to Joan of France >

The halo and the altar. > Repeat

 

2 A conqueror for guilty France

No, that is not the object of her desire.

Joan alone is capable of saving it.

All heroes weigh less than a martyr!

 

3 Lord, Joan is Your splendid work,

A heart of fire, a warrior's soul:

You gave them to the timid virgin

Whom You wished to crown with laurels.

 

4 In her humble meadow Joan heard

Voices from Heaven calling her into combat.

She left to save her country.

The sweet child commanded the army.

 

5 She won over the souls of proud warriors

The Divine luster of Heaven's messenger,

Her pure gaze, her fiery words

Were able to make bold brows give way....

 

6 By a prodigy unique in history,

People then saw a trembling monarch

Regain his crown and his glory

By means of a child's weak arm.

 

7 It is not Joan's victories

We wish to celebrate this day.

My God, we know her true glories

Are her virtues, her love.

 

8 By fighting, Joan saved France.

But her great virtues

Had to be marked with the seal of suffering,

With the divine seal of Jesus her Spouse!

 

9 Sacrificing her life at the stake,

Joan heard the voice of the Blessed.

She left this exile for her homeland.

The savior Angel re-ascended into Heaven!...

 

10 Joan, you are our only hope.

From high in the Heavens, deign to hear our voices.

Come down to us, come convert France.

Come save her a second time.

Refr. 2 Refrain

By the power

Of the Victorious God

Save, save France >

Angel Liberator!... > repeat

 

11 Chasing the English out of all France,

Daughter of God, how beautiful were your steps!

But remember that in the days of your childhood

You tended only weak lambs...

Refr. 3 Refrain

Take up the defense

Of the powerless

Preserve innocence >

In the souls of children. > repeat

 

12 Sweet martyr, our monasteries are yours.

You know well that virgins are your sisters,

And like you the object of their prayers

Is to see God reign in every heart.

Refr. 4 Refrain

To save souls

Is their desire.

Ah! Give them your fire >

Of apostle and martyr! > repeat

 

13 Fear will be banished from every heart

When we shall see the Church crown

The pure brow of Joan our Saint,

And then we shall be able to sing:

Refr. 5 Refrain

Our hope

Rests in you,

Saint Joan of France, >

Pray, pray for us! > repeat


The circumstances behind Thérèse's second poem are interesting as well as painful. For years an impostor, Leo Taxil, had contrived a imaginary person named "Diana Vaughon," and circulated a false story that she had converted from Satanism and Freemasonry to Catholicism.

Thérèse and the Carmelites of Lisieux, like most French Catholics, were completely taken in by this story. Thérèse was especially impressed that this conversion had taken place through the intercession of Joan of Arc. She even wrote a short play about it, entitled THE TRIUMPH OF HUMILITY, in which she showed that the main weapon to defeat Satan is humility.

Mother Agnes also asked Thérèse to write a poem for "Diana," but the inspiration would not come. Instead, Thérèse sent "Diana" a photograph. The previous year Thérèse had written a play entitled, JOAN OF ARC ACCOMPLISHING HER MISSION and this photograph was taken at that time. It shows Thérèse in costume portraying an imprisoned Joan in chains and her sister Céline as Saint Catherine who was comforting Joan. An enlargement of this photo was used as a backdrop at a well-orchestrated press conference in the heart of Paris, when Leo Taxil on the night of April 19, 1897, revealed to more than four hundred people that he himself was "Diana Vaughan."

He did this disgraceful farce to embarrass the Holy See because it was encouraging devotion to the real Joan. He portrayed "Diana" as "a new Joan of Arc" and used Joan's name and her mission to deceive French Catholics. A few days later the newspaper Le Normandy described how Taxil had chosen this photo to make fun of devotion to Joan of Arc. This betrayal of Joan wounded Thérèse too because it was her own photo of Joan as prisoner that had been jeered at that night.

Thus in May of 1897, Thérèse felt the need to rediscover the mystery of Joan of Arc, as if to identify with Joan in the passion she herself was going through and wrote the poem entitled: TO JOAN OF ARC. At the time Thérèse was in great pain from and dying of tuberculosis. It was not in victory and glory that Joan was fulfilled, but in the "dungeon" and in "betrayal," where she identified with Jesus. And He, by His death, gives every suffering its "charm." Thérèse also felt she was "at the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains" in her trial of faith. She was drinking "the bitter cup of the Beloved" in her illness. Thérèse was deeply humiliated at the very time she was struggling in her trial of faith and in her illness. There are some sufferings so deep that we have to bear them alone....To us she also seems "more radiant and more beautiful in her dark prison."

 

 

TO JOAN OF ARC

When the Lord God of hosts gave you the victory,

You drove out the foreigner and had the king crowned.

Joan, your name became renowned in history.

Our greatest conquerors paled before you.

 

But that was only a fleeting glory.

Your name needed a Saint's halo.

So the Beloved offered you His bitter cup,

And, like Him, you were spurned by men.

 

At the bottom of a black dungeon, laden with heavy chains,

The cruel foreigner filled you with grief.

Not one of your friends took part in your pain.

Not one came forward to wipe your tears.

 

Joan, in your dark prison you seem to me

More radiant, more beautiful than at your King's coronation.

This heavenly reflection of eternal glory,

Who then brought it upon you? It was betrayal.

 

Ah! If the God of love in this valley of tears

Had not come to seek betrayal and death,

Suffering would hold no attraction for us.

Now we love it; it is our treasure.


GIVE JOAN A SWORD

This poem was written by Sister Mary Therese, in response to her brother's death during the World War II naval battle at Corregidor.

The night is down on Domremy,

Dark wings have circled every tree,

Shut out the stars and steeped the sky,

In anguish lifted like a cry.

 

Shaking the young stars from her gown,

Pushing the moon back, Joan peers down,

On lands by terror twisted bare,

That shakes with battle everywhere.

 

A blight is on the world again;

A blight is on the souls of man;

And dark is death and dark is birth,

As sorrow runs along the earth.

 

How can she keep her soul in calm,

When towers of Reims and Notre Dame,

Send up their cry of muted bells,

That tear her breast with moans and knells?

 

How must her hands have ached to hold,

Her shining sword when pain patrolled,

The glory-ridden crimson shore,

Of Batan and Corregidor.

 

How must her lips have burned to cry,

A challenge to the southern sky,

For heroes who would never see,

The sunset stain the Coral Sea.

 

Young Joan is restless in the sky;

Young Joan is burning to defy,

The sign that sickens men with pride,

Back to the wars young Joan would ride!

 

To rout out the bitter pagan horde,

O God of peace, give Joan a sword!

And in this moment, send her down,

To Domremy, to every town!


The next poem Virginia Frohlick wrote in her freshman year of High School. The original title was Ode To A Soldier, then she changed the title to, For Love of Saint Joan. Not satisfied with those two she played with these possibilities, A Tribute To Saint Joan, or Ode To The Soldier Joan. Which one do you think is best?

 

The cock did crow on that blessed and holy night.

His call rang forth news of great joy in the land filled with blight.

For in that dark and empty sky there but shone one star bright!

The Maid, the savior of France, was born to stun the sight!

 

As a child of God, she grew straight and true in her faith.

And in that simple little village she learned to pray.

Little did she know that God would have a hand in her fate.

That she would lead an army, His will to obey.

 

In her father's garden, she saw her holy vision's display.

She listened to their sacred counsel in wide-eyed wonder.

It would come to pass that she would heed their voice until her final day.

And her name would ride across France in a roar of thunder.

 

To Vaucouleurs, that little town, she one day did ride.

Where Squire Robert and his knights, Bertrand and Jean, did 'bide.

To ask them humbly to help to turn the raging English tide.

To help her to that far off place, Chinon, where the Dauphin did hide.

 

The Squire girded on, around her waist a sword of gold.

"Let come what may, your story must be told."

The small band sallied forth with spirit bold.

Their faith in her did soar despite the windy cold.

 

Through dangers untold they rode till they came to Chinon.

Straight way she went to the Dauphin and spoke of what should be.

"God bless thee, gentle Dauphin. Thou shalt have liberty.

I shall lead thy army and break thy heavy bond."

 

While in silent prayer her soul would soar before the throne of God.

On a milk-white charger she sallied forth with banner in hand.

With the goodly purpose of delivering her war torn land.

"Forward to victory!" she said to her men. "For so will's Our Lord and God!"

 

The English, around Orleans, were eager the French to slay.

Her army was prepared to give the English their just pay.

The valiant French fought, died, and won on the eighth of May.

And a grateful people would remember with pride that blessed day.

 

Comrades in arms she had three; Dunois, Alençon and La Hire.

To Orleans, Jargeau, Meung, Beaugency they rode without fear.

They followed wherever she led. Together they avenged the French defeat at Poitiers.

In the English camp they trembled for they knew their end was near.

 

"Do not tarry here any longer but come to the worthy town.

Listen not, my Dauphin, to those who would lead you astray.

But come straight way to the holy city of Reims and take thy crown.

You have nothing to fear; I have already cleared the way."

 

Grandly dressed people in fabric rich, blue, red and yellow.

To Reims Cathedral came for Charles' coronation.

As the organ played its notes so pure and mellow.

They watched the Dauphin --- NOW THE KING, in envious admiration!

 

Emotion over came her and to her knees she fell.

"My good King, you are crowned; my work here is done."

"Arise my child, good news, your parents to you have come.

Now go to them, my child, with all your love to tell."

 

She darted across the darkened room; into their open arms she flew.

Gently she pressed her kisses upon their elderly brow, so lavishly.

And with tears and warm embraces they hug, so affectionately.

There in that dark little room, the brightness of their love showed through.

 

But their content would not last because of Duke de la Tremoille.

To deceive the naive Charles so that he could France betray.

Into a false and lying truce, with England and Burgundy.

And in doing so leave to the enemy, Joan as prey.

 

"I must go to Compiegne, the enemy there to fight!"

Heading her small band, she led straight into the enemies' might.

While in the jaws of battle, she was untimely taken.

Though in Burgundian hands her great spirit was not shaken.

 

Sold to the mighty English King for ten thousand gold pounds.

Taken like a savage animal in an iron cage through French towns.

Until she reached a dark, damp hole --- the Rouen prison!

There she suffered five torturous months, never to know the sun!

 

To win the Archbishopric of Rouen, his fondest wish,

So to gain, Bishop Cauchon would obey the scheming English.

And so because of this, he would betray a girl to her doom.

And have the pitiless flames of the stake be her tomb.

 

It was May and the birds took wing and soared into the sky.

"Joan, you have led yourself to your own excommunication!"

For her King who had left her thus, there was no condemnation.

Nor in that bleak empty moment was there any question --- Why?

 

Chained tight to that rough stake she shed many mournful tears.

For she knew that her cruel and woeful death was near.

She looked for a glimpse of hope, but found only English jeers.

The time had come for her final victory --- over fear!

 

Her eyes upturned, she saw Him Who had died for us.

And in a loud clear voice, she cried out, "JESUS, JESUS!"

That soul made free to soar, rose up in the form of a dove.

To Him Who had sent her, to tell the world of His love.

 

When the world is dark and empty will they remember

Saint Joan of Arc, that gentle little soldier, so brave and free?

When men's hearts are devoid of hope, will they remember

The Maid, the savior of France, who fought for liberty?


 

AND A CHILD SHALL LEAD THEM

Composed by Andrea Oefinger, Connecticut - 1998.

And in the days of darkness and corruption

there would be born unto the world,

Joan the Maid, Daughter of God,

the second greatest story ever told!

 

To herald a message divine,

she would leave all that she loved behind.

Devoted to God in her entirety,

to become the best loved heroine of all time!

 

This pious virgin and mystic

was to be enrolled into the army of God,

addressed and advised by angels and Saints

in righteousness her feet were shod!

 

Devout and valiant warrior

whose hands held the banner aloft,

to save both Kingdom and Country

to uphold justice no matter the cost!

 

Fearless Pucelle of Lorraine,

ever vigilant and strong,

sent forth with gifts of the Spirit,

to put right every wrong.

 

To sanctify a nation divided,

releasing France from enemy chains,

to ready a country for peace

her life not given in vain!

 

Joan's heart a stronghold for God,

a pure soul on fire with love.

Ever trusting faithful girl

whose last breath exhaled a dove.

And a child shall lead them....


 

Maid of Orleans

Written by Micheal Watkins, Texas - 1998

 

Saintly Joan,

To many, unknown.

Thy love of God so simple and sublime,

Vowed to thy duty Among His beauty

That unites your soul to mine.

 

Unfathomable eyes of gray

Glaring with holy ray

Engendered from her visions of Angels upheld alone

What spectacles she's seen

Those eyes, dismally serene

Seeing through one's soul and the fate of her own.

 

Pure in body and soul

Such a saintly goal

Unveiled in those eyes wherever seen,

Like the full-orbed moon

Hovering in the gloom

Oe'r a distant, snowy crest, a pure and silent crystalline.

 

Gallant she rides

With God inside

And her ethereal sword and banner held high with might.

Dauntless it may seem

Such courage men then dreamed

That Joan imparted and bore confronting a fight.

 

Glorified as savior of France

Her good will is enhanced

By prevailing as a hero still existing today,

A short life of a saint

Victorious and quaint

And by emulation of her, she still leads the way.

 

Inflamed by the church

A misguided lurch

Last words to Bishop Cauchon, "By you I die!"

How she sustained her faith!

And kept her convictions safe!

Joan of Arc, by you I live and wonder why

God took you so soon to be at His side.


 

For Love of Saint Joan

Composed by Micheal Watkins, Texas - 1998

 

The springs of life now dehydrated and forlorn,

Ground to the earth by the savage English lance.

With virtue forgotten, supplanted by torment

In boundless gloom which fated to enhance

A miracle prayed for, so a miracle provided-

Such was born the only hope for France.

 

Slightly dejected, a gaze at her village

Praying by the fount, there flowed her tears

Down her delicate face from caring eyes.

Good-bye to family and these simple years

To sweep away this torment and rid the anguish,

By this lofty maid of seventeen years.

 

With her obedience to God the footing of her mission

Guided by heavenly voices she rode to see

The sluggish dauphin, estranged from his throne.

He heard her message with a profound sense of mystery.

With the words "Peace be to France, and England, too,"

She relentlessly pursued war's grim misery.

 

Good-hearted in temper and strategic in war

She imparted God's will to that once unruly hoard.

Inspired by Joan and the sight of her sword,

They battled for France with the utmost of courage.

Elevated, robust, illustrious with might

Her strength came from her love of the Lord.

 

Bound to God like a shadow to a winter's tree

She was unwilling to deviate from its graceful form.

Gallant she rides and resolute with the triumph

Of her army overcoming the Godons by storm.

The victory she had assured them, was apparent at last

From the blood of this humble maid, France was reborn.

 

Murky and silent, she's alone in the church

Kneeling in her armor and devoutly she prays.

With habitual reverence she hears her angels

Promising France peaceful days.

By summoning her to this heavy burden and heroic blessing -

Joan's love smothers the cruel blood letting craze.

 

Such a righteous soul amid shameless schemes

That men of sin wrought this bitter jest

Of a designed treachery that fated her death.

Alas, the flames engulfed her with a cross on her chest.

Her eternal spirit, likewise her memory will be

The work of the Lord, His work at its best.


 

THE MAID

Composed by Theodore Roberts, 2000

 

Thunder of riotour hoofs over the quaking sod;

Clash of reeking squadrons, steel-capped, iron-shod;

The White Maid and the white horse, and the flapping banner of God.

 

Black hearts riding for money; red hearts riding for fame;

The Maid who rides for France and the King who rides for shame -

Gentlemen, fools, and a saint, riding in Christ's high name!

 

"Dust to dust!" it is written. Wind-scattered are lance and bow;

Dust, the cross of Saint George; dust, the banner of snow.

The bones of the King are crumbled, and rotten the shafts of the foe.

 

Forgotten, the young knight's valour; forgotten, the captain's skill;

Forgotten, the fear and the hate and the mailed hands raised to kill;

Forgotten, the shields that clashed and the arrows that cried so shrill.

 

Like a story from some old book, thew battle of long ago;

Shadows, the poor French King and the might of his English foe;

Shadows, the charging nobles and the archers kneeling in a row -

 

But a flame in my heart and my eyes, the Maid with her banner of snow.


 

Hero

Composed by Samantha Williams, October 2000

 

A hero is what you are,

Your name has traveled near to far.

You fought for us, And the lives we live.

You saved us from death,

And gave your life.

Every night I say a prayer,

And tell God to thank you up there.

Your name will live forever,

Joan of Arc.


 

Valley of Colors -

A humble tribute to the Maid of Orleans

Composed by Lavanya Ramanujam, November 2000

 

(I would also want to thank Dean Lee Evans whose article gave me the inspiration for the title and also Christopher Russell whose article portrayed Joan as I wanted to see her before I started writing this.)

A peasant maid

her heart full of gaiety and pure goodness

her faith firm in God and her family

born in a valley of colors.

 

An unquestioning believer

her way in the word of the Lord

her purpose all clear and laid out

for Dauphin, but first for France.

 

A warrior with dignity

her standard reminding people of her purpose

her place at the head to rally the troops

for their country, for their right.

 

A leader with courage

her inspiration always in place

her guidance and belief never mislaid

for all those who dared to hope afresh.

 

A mortal like all of us

but her soul full of immortal goodness and trust

her death was but a beginning for France

her life - a valley of stunning colors.


 

Saint Joan Of Arc

Composed by Karl Oeyvind Brobakk of Norway 2001

 

Domremy Was Your Home

That Is Well Known

Your Voices So Clear

In Your Young Ear

 

God Gave A Task

Why Me You Ask

What Shall I Do

I Listen To You

 

Go Crown The King

The Angels Did Sing

A Girl Like Me

How Could It Be

 

It Must Be Done

You Are The One

Show Me The Way

And I Will Pray

 

An Army You Need

France Must Be Freed

All The Soldiers Obeyed

For The Beloved Maid

 

The Savior You Are

The Legend Goes Far

Your Banner So White

Your Predictions So Right

 

You Had Your Faith

And Your Enemies Hate

The End Was Near

The English Did Fear

 

The News Was Bad

The Story Is Sad

Captured And Later Sold

You Were Not Old

 

Treated So Very Unfair

Pain You Did Bear

Betrayed By Your King

Why Such A Thing

 

A Trail Of Lies

Seen In Their Eyes

Burnt On The Stake

By Justice So Fake

 

Words Can Not Say

Your Feelings That Day

Your Life Slipped Away

But Is Remembered Today

 

The 30th Of May

Is This Very Day

You Made Your Mark

Even In The Dark

 

Through War And Truce

Through Glory And Abuse

The Greatness Of You

Will Always Be True

 

Your Words And Will

Shall Forever Stand Still

In Our Thankful Hearts

Dear Joan Of Arc


 

IN DOMREMY (for St. Joan of Arc)

Composed by Michael Fantina- June 2001

 

I climbed the grassy, tree lined hill at noon,

And marveled at its charming sorcery,

Though I had known a girl from Domremy,

Who at first light, or at a pale, pale moon,

Would walk and play and pray each pleasant June.

A child of God, renowned for bravery,

Lost to the world in darkest treachery.

So I knelt down, and mouthed a prayerful rune.

 

I prayed that I might be, as you once were,

As human as the girls who play here still.

It seemed I whiffed the scent of pungent myrrh,

And gazing down the gently sloping hill,

A girl whose gown and trailing hair were laved

By gentle breezes, smiled, and lightly waved.


 

Joan The Maid

A Poem by Michael Fantina

JOAN THE MAID (a villanelle)

 

A well-armed sylph she led a vast crusade

To drive the hated foe into the sea.

The world recalls the tale of Joan The Maid.

 

At Orleans she broke the tight blockade,

The fleeing English shouted, "Sorcery!"

A well-armed sylph she led a vast crusade.

 

She broke the English lines. Her men obeyed,

Went up the scaling ladders, breathlessly.

The world recalls the tale of Joan The Maid.

 

She crowned a crownless king, who then betrayed

This pious girl from distant Domremy.

A well-armed sylph she led a vast crusade.

 

They led her to that sullen promenade,

Where stake and faggots wait portentously.

The world recalls the tale of Joan The Maid.

 

Her martyr's death the Living God repaid.

A girl, she speaks to us from History,

A well-armed sylph she led a vast crusade,

The world recalls the tale of Joan The Maid.


Joan of Arc

By Charlie Dimech (written August 2001)

 

And under intense pressure

And in intense pain

The maid from Orleans

Succumbed to the flames.

The king of the island

Over the bloody sea

Saw the ending of her life

While he looked upon the Thames.

 

"Joan of Ark!"

The muddy water claimed

"Joan of Ark

Died today

Amidst the flames!"

"Is that my fault?"

Yelled the king

From his towering vault

"The army doesn't control me

Nor do I the Seine."

 

The river spoke again

"But you belong

In royal robes

and not in arguments on rivers

So how come you talk to me

and consider it with shivers?"

"I am after all a muddiness of mind"

Replied the royal king

"And you as your muddy waters flow by

Appear to me as blind."

 

"It's not I but your conscience."

Replied the incessant flow

"That talks to you

And this you ought to know."

 

"Joan of ark!

Joan of Ark!"

Replied the inflamed king

"What have I to do with you

and why do I bellow!!?

What have I to know?"

 

There was no answer

There was no answer

In the stillness of the night

There silence reigned as lord

And there silence skite."


Marcia Quinn Noren of California, wrote this poem in May of 2002 at 3 in the morning, as she looked out over the Basilica of Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, Domremy France.

 

La Pucelle

 

Maid of Mercy,

Soldier of Light,

Heal my broken heart,

Tonight.

 

Keeper of truth,

Vessel of faith,

Hold me forever,

In sight of your grace.

 

Amen


 

The Maid of France, With Visioned Eyes

Written in 1920 by Rt. Rev. Msgr. H. T. Herry

 

The Maid of France, with visioned eyes,

saw messengers from

paradise and Voices bore a hidden word

that only by her ear was heard.

 

Refrain:

O Blessed Maid, the chant we raise,

that tells the meaning of thy praise:

Thou teachest us the lesson grand of love

for God and Fatherland.

 

The Visions and the Voices spoke

A wondrous message: "Break the yoke

that burdens France, and crown your King,

Sweet Herald of his triumphing!"

 

Refrain:

O Blessed Maid, the chant we raise,

that tells the meaning of thy praise:

Thou teachest us the lesson grand of love

for God and Fatherland.

 

The Maid believed the great command,

and fought for God and native land:

Her love was like a living lamp,

to guide her foot in court or camp.

 

Refrain:

O Blessed Maid, the chant we raise,

that tells the meaning of thy praise:

Thou teachest us the lesson grand of love

for God and Fatherland.

 

O who shall dare her glory paint?

She lived a hero, died a Saint:

A model she shall ever stand

Of love for God and Fatherland.

 

Refrain:

O Blessed Maid, the chant we raise,

that tells the meaning of thy praise:

Thou teachest us the lesson grand of love

for God and Fatherland.


They Call Me

Written by Mr. Jerry Crouch of Alabama - January 2006.

 

My Dear Jesus, I hear my name called

Let me go to them

Let me embrace them

Let me touch them with my Heart

Let me fill their souls with Joy

Let me fill their loneliness with friendship

Let me fill their darkness with Your light

My Dear Jesus, I hear my name called

For with them, I must be

For their wounds, I must heal

For their hearts, I must touch

For their path, I must guide

For their stumble, I must uphold

For their sadness, I must bring joy

For their tears, I must wipe away

For their words, I must hear

For my words, they will hear

For my words, are from Jesus, this they will hear

For my words, tell that Jesus is always near

For Jesus, He is here

Jeanne d' Arc

 


Alone in the Dark

by
Jenny-Jinya Hefczyc

of Hildesheim, Germany

 

Alone in the Dark, I would cry

Alone in the Dark, I would say my final good-bye

Alone in the Dark, I would cry

 

I held my hand over my heart

I though of my joyful earthly start

I could feel the pain of lose within my heart

 

Would I soon take a final breath?

Would I soon be overcome by death?

Would this earth consume by final breath?

 

All alone, all alone, all alone

All alone from morning tell dawn

All alone, all alone, all alone

 

I cried with fear, I cried with fear

But no one was there to wipe away my final tear,

I cried with fear, I cried with fear

 

The light was soon overcome as if by the dark of the darkest night

The dark consumed my earthly sight

The hope was God's loving might

 

Take me from this place

So that I will not have to face

My final earthly resting place

 

When will the darkness come for me?

When will the darkness take away all that I see?

When will I be saved by the powers that be?

 

Why was I left all alone?

Why was I taken from my home?

Why was I left all alone?

 

Where is the courage of my heart?

Where was this courage that was with me from the start?

Where is this courage of which we are all a part?

 

Will there be a quick opening to this empty dark door?

Will there be a dark shadow cast upon my floor?

Will love be no more?

 

But does not an evil come for me?

But soon, I shall be free

But soon, a love will come most Heavenly

 

The door began to open and only hate would be there

The judgement of man was so cruel and so unfair

They took away my clothing and took away my hair

 

They took away my hope, they tried to take my love

But my love would soon fly upon the wings of a dove

And so I would go to my Heaven above, my Heaven above

 

Into the flames, into the clouds, into the sky

And so it would be my final good-bye

And so my spirit would fly into the fullness of the sky

 

The hate could not hold my soul

The cruelty could not take my heart so whole

The Heavens above, so I did go

I come for you when the skys are blue

I come for you in the morning dew

I come for you to start anew

 

For no more am I all alone

For no longer is there the dark, for the darkness is gone

For now my name is of the light and my name is Joan


Joan's Final Prayer

Written by Mr. Jerry Crouch of Alabama - January 2006.

 

Take me from this place, so dark

From this place, I must depart

You cry for me, this I see

For Your heart beats through me

Take me from this place, so cold

Through your love, I am bold

For this day, they come for me

For this day, my soul will be free

Take me to the place I love

In the clouds, so far above

To Your kingdom, I will go

For Your love, I do know

Take me to the clouds I see

In the clouds, come for me

Bring me Your arms of love

As upon the wings of a dove


 

 

Prayer to Jeannette dí Arc (Joan of Arc)

By Nina Bingham

 

Of course you were burned

for true sacrifices were always burned upon an altar

and offered to the God which appeared as fire

and licked up the sacrifice.

You were reduced to ashes.

Wipe those ashes now above my brow;

perhaps some of your courage might rest on me?

 

I have grown to love your name

 

you are both saint and prophet to me

I ask for you when my soul is in anguish

for you drank anguish like water

the mere thought of your name gives me hope.

 

Oh loveliest of maidens

 

though who wears the crown of courage

you did not denounce your mission

what you were sent for

in the blackest night

in the intense heat of the flames.

Oh thou who art fairer than the Heavens

at whose knee did you sit learning strength and bravery

at such a tender age?

I am not half the woman as you

Of you Shakespeare wrote:

 

Thou are more lovely, and more temperate

 

Jeanne, Jeanne, Jeanne

I repeat your name like a mantra

I cling to the hem of your garment

surely you were His treasure

 

Jeanette the virgin.

 

I beg you to bless me

I beseech thee, touch me with your hand

Put your right hand on my head and bless me.

Hear my confusion

For I have erred

and stolen from the King

a sin worthy of death.

 

Faithful one

 

you would not have done such a wrong

how can I ask for your mercy?

I pray to you like others pray to Jesus.

Become my confidante in my hour of need

my faithful confessor who will not abandon me

for you do not fear death, you have conquered it.

 

Why must we die inside?

 

Isnít it enough for us to let love have its way;

must we die also?

Does love seem cruel to you

now that you have traversed the lake of fire and come out gleaming as Kingís gold?

God can seem so heartless

a sinister plotter

devising ways to crucify yet another me.

 

Each time I think I have come to know the heart of compassion

I am dealt a blow that crushes me, leaving me breathless and wondering

if I will ever know the real God at all.

As if I have been gazing into a false pool

staring at a reflection that looked generous

yet when I went to take a sip of that black water, it was poison.

 

I want to call out to you, "My companion, come to me!"

 

but I am afraid to. You are pure, and I so far from the truth.

Only have I smelled the smoke, never have I been in your fire.

Yet I am cowardly and shrink back quickly.

 

If you had not been chained to the stake, would you have stood there or run?

When I am at the stake, will I stand or will I run?

 

You are my hero.

 

May this thought, even if spoken by the lips of a coward, be a wreath upon your brow, or a cool

breeze upon your most perfect face. Blessed art thou, Joan of Arc, defender of the truth.

 

For you

 

defended it with your last breath. Your name shall always be to me a sacred trust.