By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira
Statue of St. Joan of Arc in Chinon
All this is very beautiful, but there is something even more beautiful that they asked me to make explicit. But what can I say? Infinite things are ineffable. Thepulchrum [beauty] of an ideal is reflected in the soul of the one who fights for it.
For her standard, Joan had God the Creator emblazoned between two adoring angels bearing lilies.
Take, for example, Saint Joan of Arc. Everyone sees the pulchrum of her figure. What is it? It is the pulchrum of a virgin who does the will of God. And since God wants to make a fighter out of her, He draws extraordinary strength from her virginal weakness and with it defeats stronger men.
What is this in the soul of St. Joan of Arc? She is a knight, not a ‘knightess.’ She is a fragile, fine and delicate maiden as behooves the feminine sex. However, she is a warrior, and a great warrior! How does one explain this?
The explanation is in the equilibrium of the qualities that exist in her. She has the strength of a man, the delicacy of a woman, the force of a virgin who knows how to defend herself and has the necessary integrity of soul.
But above all, she is a soul to whom God spoke through voices; a soul that at a certain moment, so to speak, heard the voice of God. Such a light overshadowed her that one has the impression that St. Joan of Arc radiates light at all moments of her life.
Even in the tragic moment when the flames began to spread on the wood pile to which she was tied and which finally burned her, she shone even more than the very flames. It was a reflection of the great love of God that moved her soul.
(Excerpt from a Saint of the Day of Friday, Feb. 16, 1990.)