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How St. Catherine helped St. Joan of Arc in battle


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Philip Kosloski - published on 11/25/21

One of the prominent voices St. Joan of Arc heard was that of St. Catherine of Alexandria, who frequently helped her in battle.

St. Joan of Arc was persecuted and ridiculed for the “voices” she heard during her life. Yet, the French saint claimed to have received heavenly aid from these voices and credited her victories in battle to these saints.

One of those saints who frequently helped her in battle was St. Catherine of Alexandria.

At the time, St. Catherine was well-known throughout France and in some places her feast day of November 25 was a holy day of obligation. Her statues were in nearly every church and she was counted as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.

According to the transcript of her trial, St. Catherine would frequently appear with St. Margaret and the two would assist Joan on the battlefield.

For example, she credited St. Catherine and St. Margaret for the inspiration of her banner, which she took in battle.

[S]he answered that the whole standard was commanded by Our Lord, by the voices of St. Catherine and of St. Margaret, who said to her: “Take the standard in the name of the King of Heaven.”

Asked if she questioned her saints whether in virtue of this standard she would win all battles in which she fought, and would be victorious, she answered they told her to take it boldly, and God would help her.

The saints also revealed to her the battles she would win.

After leaving the service of La Rousse, the said Jeanne claims to have had for five years, and still be having, visions and apparitions of St. Michael, of St. Catherine, and of St. Margaret, and that they had privately revealed to her that she should raise the siege of Orleans and have Charles, whom she calls her king, crowned, and should drive out all the adversaries of the kingdom of France.

St. Catherine also revealed to Joan how she would be injured and captured by the English.

She said that when she learned the English were to come and take her. shewas very angry; and though her voices forbade her to jump from the tower, at last, from fear of the English, she leaped and commended herself to God and Our Lady, and in leaping was wounded. And when she had made this leap the voice of St. Catherine told her to be of good cheer [that she would recover] and the people at Compiègne would have aid.

Throughout her trial, St. Catherine would comfort Joan and encourage her to persevere to the end. St. Catherine’s presence and heavenly aid was essential to Joan’s steadfast resolve, willing to go through anything for the greater glory of God.

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