Feast Day of St. Joan of Arc

St. Joan of Arc, Feast Day of

May 30; May 9
The second patron saint of France (the first is St. Denis) and one of the best known of all the saints, Joan of Arc—whom the French refer to as Jeanne d'Arc, the "Maid of Orleans," for the role she played in saving the city of Orleans from the British in the 15th century—was a young, pious peasant girl from the village of Domremy. In 1428 she heard voices she identified as St. Michael, St. Catherine, and St. Margaret telling her to help the dauphin, Charles VII, recover his kingdom from the British. Her mission was accomplished within 15 months, but Joan was captured by the king's enemies, tried for witchcraft and heresy, and burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431.
St. Joan's Day is celebrated on May 30 everywhere except in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana, where she is honored on May 9, the day after the anniversary of her dramatic rescue of the French city for which New Orleans was named. In France, the FÉte de Jeanne d'Arc is observed with special ceremonies in Rouen and Orleans, where the streets are decorated with banners, garlands, and portraits of the teenage girl who was canonized in 1920, five centuries after she led the French forces to victory and brought about the coronation of Charles VII at Reims.
CONTACTS:
Rouen Tourism Office
25 Place de cathÉdrale
Rouen, 76000 France
33-2-3208-3240; fax: 33-2-3208-3244
www.rouentourisme.com
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 90
BkFest-1937, p. 123
BkHolWrld-1986, May 11
DaysCustFaith-1957, p. 130
DictWrldRel-1989, p. 383
EncyRel-1987, vol. 8, p. 96
OxYear-1999, p. 226