St. Joan of Arc’s Timely Example Rallies her Faithful in the Crescent City

June 10, 2024

by Joseph Dunlap

On May 30th, Catholics around the world celebrate the feast day of the Pure Maid of France who defeated invading armies, saw the Crowning of the King, and suffered Martyrdom. With confidence in her heavenly mission, St. Joan of Arc did not hesitate to sacrifice her entire life in the defense of France, the first born daughter of the Church. All of this was achieved through the devotion she had to Our Lord, Our Lady, and the saints who she declared had never lied. St. Joan’s noble and holy example contrasted with many others of her time. Can we not say the same today?

With this in mind, on May 30, 2024, a group of faithful Catholics rallied at the foot of St. Joan of Arc’s monument in the heart of New Orleans. Just blocks down from the historic St. Louis Cathedral, Tradition, Family, Property (TFP)—Louisiana, joined the St. Joan of Arc Prayer Warriors with rosaries in hand, fleur-de-lis flags flapping in the breeze, and signs that read, “Praying for New Orleans on the Feast of St. Joan!”

This city of such vast Catholic history is particularly in need of a return to God. St. Frances Xavier Cabrini, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos, and others walked New Orleans streets, but many today choose to forget them. And just as St. Joan spread conversion throughout early 15th Century France, our world is desperately in need of her example today.

This is why TFP-Louisiana and the St. Joan of Arc Prayer Warriors formed up in front of the golden statue of St. Joan.

The rally began mid-morning with overcast skies, while the rosary resounded of the surrounding buildings of the narrow street provoking much interest. Many of the fun-seeking tourists were simply curious, but one lady from a nearby restaurant came up saying she loved St. Joan and had a framed image of her that had been a family heirloom for ages. Several cars even slowed traffic to see the rally and take pictures, while showing their great appreciation.

However, circumstances quickly changed. Earlier that day, the weather forecast showed cloudy skies and later sunshine, but ever darkening clouds came rolling in bringing torrential rain. Most of the rally participants soon found shelter across the street and continued the rosary, but some decided to remain suffering in the pouring rain. One of the ladies said, “St. Joan suffered in her battles so much, why can’t I?” Meanwhile, many others invoked St. Joan and were not discouraged by the challenges of weather.

Even the short walk to the Cathedral after the prayer rally held its own challenges. Mr. Cesar Franco led a group of ladies and recounted that crossing the street just once through the driving rain, soaked everyone to the skin; while the winds were so powerful that they were physically stalled at one point. Praying to St. Joan, however, they eventually made it to the Cathedral, shaken but unharmed.

By the end, the storm came to be a blessing in disguise. The whole group came out of the Cathedral still wet and uncomfortable, but glad that they had the chance to suffer a little for the Catholic cause. Even the streets surrounding the Cathedral, usually awash with miscreants, were left clean and pleasant. Someone then remarked, “It now feels more like Catholic France. How marvelous it would be if our city were entirely converted!”

Only the most faithful survive the tempests of life. And this episode really drove home to the participants that in this valley of tears, we must always be ready for adversity.

Thus, let us pray that, as St. Joan of Arc, we may succeed with God’s grace, in defeating the enemies of the Church no matter the sufferings involved. The voices did not lie to St. Joan. As she followed them to the end, so too, we pray to continue our defense of the Church.

St. Joan of Arc, Pray for us!

 

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