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Saints Stories for all ages

A List of Saints for KidsSaints Listed by MonthSolemnity of Mary Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory Nazianzen
Saint Elizabeth Ann SetonSaint John NeumannSaint Simeon the StyliteSaint Gertrude of DelftSaint Raymond of Penyafort
Aelred of RievaulxSaint HilarySaint Felix of NolaSaint Paul the HermitSaint Anthony
Saint Margaret of HungarySaint SebastianSaints Fabian and SebastianSaint AgnesSaint Vincent
Saint Ildefonsus of ToledoSaint Francis de SalesSaint Henry SusoSaint TitusSaint Angela Merici
Saint Thomas AquinasSaint John BoscoSaint BrigidSaint BlaseSt. Rabanus Maurus
Saint AgathaSaint Paul Miki and CompanionsSaint Josephine BSaint Jerome EmilianiSaint Miguel Febres Cordero
Saint ScholasticaOur Lady of Lourdes Saint Benedict of AnianeSaint Catherine dei Ricci Saint Valentine
Saints Cyril and MethodiusSaint Claude la ColombiereSeven Founders of the Order of ServitesBlesseds Fransisco and Jacinta Marto Saint Peter Damian
Chair of PeterSaint PolycarpSaint Ethelbert  Saint Alexander Saint Gabriel Francis Possenti
Saint Angela of Foligno Saint John Cassian Saint Katharine DrexelSaint CasimirSaint Colette
Saint Perpetua and Saint FelicitySaint John of GodSaint Frances of RomeSaint Dominic SavioSaint Frances of Rome
The Forty Martyrs of SebasteSaint Eulogius of CordobaSaint FinaSaint Louise de Marillac
Saint PatrickSaint Cyril of JerusalemSaint JosephSaint Martin of BragaSaint Nicholas of Flue
Saint Turibius of MongrovejoÓscar Arnulfo RomeroAnnunciation of the LordSaint BraulioSaint John Climacus
Saint Francis of PaolaSaint Isidore of SevilleSaint Vincent FerrerSaint John Baptist de la SalleSaint Julie Billiart
Dietrich BonhoefferSaint StanislausSaint Martin ISaint Bernadette SoubirousSaint Anselm
Saint Theodore of Sykeon Saint GeorgeSaint Fidelis of SigmaringenSaint MarkSaint Aldobrandesca
Saint Gianna Beretta MollaSaint Catherine of SienaSaint Pius VSaint Joseph the WorkerSaint Athanasius
Saints Philip and JamesLady Julian of Norwich Saint-Damien-may10.jpgSaints Nereus and AchilleusSaints Nereus and Achilleus
Saint John the SilentSaint MatthiasSaint Isidore the Farmer Saint Paschal BaylonSaint John I
Saint AlcuinSaint Bernardino of Siena Saint Constantine Saint Rita of CasciaJohn Baptist de Rossi
Saint Vincent of LérinsSaint Bede the VenerableSaint Gregory VIISaint Philip NeriSaint Augustine of Canterbury
Saint Bernard of MontjouxSaint Joan of ArcSaint JustinSaints Marcellinus and PeterSaint Charles Lwanga and Companions
Saint BonifaceSaint PhilipVenerable Matt TalbotSaint Anne Mary TaigiSaint Ephrem
Saint BarnabasSaint Anthony of PaduaSaint Lutgarde of AywièresSaint RomualdSaint Alban
Saint Aloysius GonzagaSaint Thomas MoreSaint Paulinus of NolaSaints John Fisher and Thomas MoreSaint Joseph Cafasso
The Birth of John the BaptistSaint Prosper of AquitaineSaint Cyril of AlexandriaSaint IrenaeusSaint Peter and Saint Paul
Venerable Pierre ToussaintFirst Martyrs of the Church of RomeBlessed Junípero SerraSaint ThomasPier-Giorgio Frassati
Saint Elizabeth of PortugalSaint Anthony ZaccariaSaint Maria GorettiBlessed Peter To RotSaint Veronica Giuliani
Saint BenedictSaint HenryKateri TekakwithaSaint Camillus of LellisSaint Bonaventure
Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey Our Lady of Mount CarmelSaint MacrinaSaint Lawrence of BrindisiSaint Mary Magdalene
Saint Bridget of SwedenSaint JamesSaint Joachim and Saint AnnBlessed Rudolf AquavivaSaint Martha
Saint Peter ChrysologusSaint Ignatius of LoyolaSt. Alphonsus LiguoriSaint Peter Peter Faber (Favre)          Saint Eusebius of Vercelli
Saint John VianneyDedication of Saint Mary MajorFeast of the Transfiguration  Saint Sixtus II and CompanionsSaint Cajetan
Saint DominicSaint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross Saint LawrenceSaint ClareSaint Jane Frances de Chantal
Saints Pontian and HippolytusFather KolbeAssumption of Mary Saint Stephen of Hungary  Saint John Eudes
Saint Bernard of ClairvauxSaint Pius XSaint Rose of LimaSaint Joseph of CalasanzSaint Louis, King of France
Saint Joan Antide-Thouret   Saint MonicaSaint AugustineSaint Gregory the GreatBlessed Teresa of Calcutta
Birth of Mary Saint Peter Claver Saint John ChrysostomTriumph of the Cross Saint Catherine of Genoa
Saints Cornelius and CyprianSaint Robert BellarmineSaint JanuariusSaints Andrew Kim Taegon, Paul Chong Hasang, and CompanionsSaint Matthew
Saint Padre Pio of PietrelcinaSaints Cosmas and DamianSaint Vincent de PaulSaint Wenceslaus
Saint Michael the ArchangelSaint JeromeSaint Thérèse of LisieuxGuardian Angels Saint Mother Therese Guerin
Francis of Assisi Saint Faustina Kowalska Saint BrunoBlessed Marie-Rose DurocherOur Lady of the Rosary
Saint Pelagia the Penitent  Saint DenisSaint Francis BorgiaBlessed John XXIIISaint Wilfrid
Saint Callistus ITeresa of AvilaSaint HedwigSaint Ignatius of AntiochSaint Luke
Saints Isaac Jogues, John de Brébeuf, and CompanionsSaint Paul of the CrossSaint HilarionSaint John of Capistrano  Saint Anthony Mary Claret
Saints Simon and Jude All Saints DayAll Souls DaySaint Martín de PorresSt. Charles Borromeo
Saint BertillaSaint Théophane VénardSaint WillibrordSaint Elizabeth of the TrinityDedication of St. John Lateran
Saint Leo the GreatSaint Martin of ToursSaint JosaphatSt. Frances Xavier CabriniSaint Raphael Kalinowski
Saint Margaret of ScotlandSaint Elizabeth of HungarySaint Odo of ClunySaint Mechtild of MagdeburgPresentation of Mary
Saint CeciliaSaint Clement ISaint ColumbanBlessed Miguel Agustín ProSaint Flora
Saint Catherine of AlexandriaSaint Leonard of Port MauriceSaint Gregory of SinaiSaint Catherine LabouréSaint Andrew
Saint Edmund CampionSaint John RuysbroeckSaint Francis XavierSaint John of DamascusSaint Sabas
The Life and Legends of St. NicholasSaint NicholasSaint AmbroseFeast of the Immaculate ConceptionSaint Juan Diego
Saint Eulalia of MéridaSaint Damasus IOur Lady of GuadalupeSaint LucySaint John of the Cross
Saint Mary of the AngelsSaint OlympiasSaint FlannanSaint Peter CanisiusSaint John of Kanty
Saint Marguerite dYouvilleSaint Jacopone da TodiSaint Stephen Saint JohnSaint Thomas Becket
Pope Sylvester I

 

From St. Valentine to St. Patrick, St. Michael to St. Nicholas, everyone will love learning more about these heroes.

Explore the site by clicking on the buttons above.


 

Saint Joan of Arc, 1412-1431
Feast Day May 30

The church officially remembers Joan of Arc not as a martyr but as a virgin—the Maid of Orleans. Of course, Joan was a martyr, but not in the technical sense. Yes, she died because she did what she thought God wanted her to do. But she was killed for her politics, not for her faith. Pagans did not execute her for refusing to worship their gods. Infidels did not slay her for defying them. Political enemies burned her at the stake for defeating them at war.

Paradoxically, Christian people, good and bad alike, cheered at her demise. Other Christians wept. This incongruity may trouble us, but Joan would have expected it. The war she fought embroiled French Christians against English Christians. We too have waged wars like that, pitting Christian against Christian. Just as we may have felt that God was on our side, Joan believed that God was with the French. When the judges who condemned her asked if the heavenly voices she followed to war spoke in English, she replied tartly, “Why should they speak English when they were not on the English side?”

Joan of Arc was born into the violent times of the fifteenth century. During her childhood, King Henry V of England invaded France and seized Normandy. He laid claim to the crown of the French king, Charles VI, who was mentally ill. Paralyzed by civil war between the duke of Burgundy and the duke of Orleans, the French could not put up much of a defense. Things worsened when agents of the duke of Orleans murdered the duke of Burgundy. The Burgundians reacted by becoming England's allies.

Eventually, Burgundian mercenaries brought the war home to Joan's family. The raiders sacked the little village of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, forcing them to flee. Thus, the indiscriminate brutality of war disrupted Joan of Arc's pleasant childhood to acquaint her with fear.


In 1424, when Joan was only twelve years old, the great miracle of her life unfolded. One summer day in her father's garden, she heard a mysterious voice, which was accompanied by a bright light. “At first I was very much frightened,” she said later. “The voice came toward the hour of noon. I had fasted the preceding day. I heard the voice on my right hand, in the direction of the church. I seldom hear it without seeing a light. The light always appears on the side from which I hear the voice.”

She identified the speaker as Michael the Archangel. Subsequently, he spoke to her many times, gradually revealing a preposterous mission. “You have been chosen to restore the kingdom of France,” said the voice, “and to protect King Charles.” She was to accomplish these things as the head of the army! Imagine the terror and confusion the archangel's messages must have caused young Joan.

Joan found the visions comforting, but they also put her under great stress. Fear of her strict father compelled her to keep them secret; she confided only in her parish priest. The messages must have both thrilled and troubled her. The revelations conflicted with reality. How would a simple peasant girl accomplish such imposing, if not impossible, tasks? 


By May 1428, Joan's voices had become relentless and specific. They directed her to go at once to a town nearby and to offer her services to Robert de Baudricourt, the commander of the royal forces. Reluctantly, she obeyed. De Baudricourt, however, greeted her with laughter, telling her that her father should give her a good spanking.

At that time, conditions were deteriorating for the French. The English had put Orleans under siege, and the stronghold was in grave danger. Joan's voices became more insistent. “But I am merely a girl! I cannot ride a horse or wield a weapon!” she protested.

“It is God who commands it!” came the reply.

Unable to resist any longer, Joan secretly made her way back to de Baudricourt. When she arrived she told the commander a fact she could have known only by revelation. She said the French army—on that very day—had suffered a defeat near Orleans. Joan urged him to send her to Orleans so that she might fulfill her mission. When official reports confirmed Joan's word, de Baudricourt finally took her seriously and sent her to Charles VII.

She was outfitted with white armor and provided a special standard bearing the names Jesus and Mary. The banner depicted two kneeling angels offering a fleur-de-lis to God. On April 29, 1429, Joan led her army into Orleans. Miraculously, she rallied the town. By May 8, the French had captured the English forts and had lifted the siege. An arrow had penetrated the armor over Joan's breast, but the injury was not serious enough to keep her out of the battle. Everything, including the wound, occurred exactly as Joan had prophesied before the campaign. A peasant maiden had defeated the army of a mighty kingdom, a humiliation that demanded revenge.

The way to Reims was now open. Joan urged the immediate coronation of the king, but the French leaders dragged their feet. Finally, however, at Reims on July 17, 1429, Charles VII was anointed king of France. The Maid of Orleans stood triumphantly at his side. Joan had accomplished her mission.

During the battles at Orleans, the voices had told Joan she had only a little time left. Her shameful end lurked ominously in the shadows. Later, she sustained a serious arrow wound in the thigh during an unsuccessful attack on Paris. In May 1430, after spending the winter in court, she led a force to relieve Compiègne, which the Burgundians had under siege. Her effort failed, and the Burgundians captured her. 


Through the summer and fall, the duke of Burgundy held Joan captive. The French, apparently ungrateful, made no effort to rescue her or obtain her release. On November 21, 1430, the Burgundians sold Joan to the English for a large sum. The English were quite eager to punish the maiden who had bested them.

They could not execute Joan for winning, but they could impose capital punishment for sorcery or heresy. For several months she was chained in a cell in the castle at Rouen, where five coarse guards constantly taunted her. In February 1431, Joan appeared before a tribunal headed by Peter Cauchon, the avaricious and wicked bishop of Beauvais.

Joan had no chance for a fair trial. She stood alone before devious judges, an uneducated girl conducting her own defense. The panel interrogated her six times in public, nine times in private. They questioned her closely about her visions, voices, male dress, faith, and submissiveness to the church. Giving good, sometimes even unexpectedly clever answers, Joan handled herself courageously. However, the judges took advantage of her lack of education and tripped her up on a few slippery theological points. The panel packed its summary with her damaging replies and condemned her with that unfair report. They declared that demons inspired her revelations.

The tribunal decided that unless Joan recanted, she was to die as a heretic. At first she refused. But later, when she was taken before a huge throng, she seems to have made some sort of retraction.

Cauchon visited her, observed her dress, and determined that she had fallen back into error. Joan, her strength renewed, then repudiated her earlier retraction. She declared that God had truly commissioned her and that her voices had come from him. Having condemned Joan of Arc as a relapsed heretic, the judges remanded her to the state for execution. The next morning she was taken into Rouen's public square and burned at the stake.

Like Jesus' life, Joan of Arc's life seemed to end in failure.

Twenty-three years later, however, Joan's mother and brothers asked that her case be reopened. Pope Callistus III appointed a commission to review the matter. In 1456, the new panel repudiated the trial and verdict and completely restored Joan's reputation. Once again her piety and exemplary conduct had triumphed.

Few Christians hear heaven-sent voices. I know I don't. Joan was one of those rare exceptions who did. She obeyed what she perceived to be God's directions, and against all odds she achieved the purpose she was given. Though I've never heard a heaven-sent voice, now and then I sense something God wants of me. Doesn't that also happen to you? Perhaps Joan's example will reach down through the centuries to encourage us to listen closely for and to obey God's message to us.


Mystics and Miracles

Excerpted from Mystics and Miracles, by Bert Ghezzi


Alphabetical List List by Month




Max Char 500
Thank you for this site! I love it. it is great for children. I also love Blessed Teresa, hopefully soon St. Teresa of Calcutta!! I pray!
I have just found this site and I feel as if I was lost in a huge garden full of different and beautiful flowers. Thank you Loyola Press and thank you God for giving me this wonderful gift.
I always wish to know the lives of our saints. I feel so blessed that I have found this site today. Thank you God and thank you Loyola Press.

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