Lesson XIII: Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Steward. Opening Remarks/Announcements. (At the end of the meeting we will: (i) sign up new members; (ii) ask for contributions on the website or take up a collection).

Steward: Explanation of Ethical Overlay. The purpose of the Ethical Overlay is to provide an overlay to ethical, moral and religious beliefs in areas of identity, family and heritage, to promulgate ethical and moral policy and to help each individual to become a better person and preserve the environment for future generations. Announcements will be at the end of the meeting.

Congregant: Opening words of Inspiration

Few women have captured the attention of history like Joan of Arc. Called by God in repeated visions to lead France’s armies at the age of 17, she singlehandedly turned the tide of the Hundred Years’ War. Her conviction in the face of adversity, which she demonstrated throughout her life, was evident also in her words at the unfair trial that led to her death sentence:

“Even though I saw the executioner and the fire, I could not say anything but what I have said.”
“Truly, if you were to tear me limb from limb and separate my soul from my body, I would not say anything more. If I did say anything, afterwards I would always declare that you made me say it by force!”
“Even little children repeat that oftentimes people are hanged for having told the truth.”
“I die for speaking the language of the angels.”

Steward: We will now have a Moment of Silence for: __(decide locally)___. [about 20 second pause].

In the mid-20th century, Remo Giazotto claimed to have found a fragment of a composition by well-known Italian Baroque composer Tomaso Albinoni, which Giazotto then fleshed out in the Baroque style. The piece is so entirely Giazotto’s own work that it is possible the fragment never even existed; however, the resulting piece of Adagio for organ and strings in g minor remains a moving and significant work in its own right, even giving homage to the era it claims to be from. The piece runs about 9 minutes in total.

Steward: We will now have a discussion on the following topic:

Discussion: Joan of Arc

The battle [at Orleans] is engaged for some three or four hours before the French begin to make progress in scaling the walls. Joan is on a ladder, holding her standard in her hands, when the standard is struck with a large stone, which rebounds onto her head. The stone breaks on her helmet. Joan is knocked to the ground, but immediately bounces up and shouts, “Friends, friends, up! up! Our Lord has condemned the English. At this hour they are ours. Have courage!” The town is taken almost immediately.

Joan later stated that she preferred to carry her banner into battle so that she would not have to kill anyone. “I loved my banner forty times better than my sword. And when I went against my enemy, I carried my banner myself, lest I kill any. I have never killed anyone.” – maidofheaven.com

1. Where did Joan get her conviction from?
a. How was she able to stay true to that conviction?
2. What adversity did she face?
a. What was her response to adversity?
3. What was Joan’s character like? What traits did she have that made her successful?
a. How can we emulate those traits in our day?
4. Joan lived in a time of physical war in her homeland. How does that parallel our times?
a. What lessons can we learn from her life that we can apply in our own battles?
5. Many leaders, including the Dauphin she revered, doubted Joan and hesitated to follow her. How can we be convincing enough to lead others to be brave and do what is right?
a. Aristotle taught of the persuasive power of ethos, or the perceived authority of the person speaking.
i. How did Joan show a strong ethos?
ii. How relevant is ethos to convincing others of the right way to act?
iii. What can we do to develop our ethos?

Congregant: Closing words of inspiration.

Joan was a being so uplifted from the ordinary run of mankind that she finds no equal in a thousand years. She embodied the natural goodness and valour of the human race in unexampled perfection. Unconquerable courage, infinite compassion, the virtue of the simple, the wisdom of the just, shone forth in her. She glorifies as she freed the soil from which she sprang. -Winston Churchill

Jean Gerson, a contemporary and early defender of Joan, said of her, “Who in the moment of victory remains inaccessible to vanity and hate, who in the midst of popular enthusiasm lives in humility and prayer, who in the universal crush of ambition covets neither profit nor honours.”

Extend an invitation/commitment to apply one thing learned this week.

Steward: Take contributions from group made payable to Ethical Overlay. [Take cash, checks, or commitments to pay online].


Announcements and Questions after adjournment.

Previous Lesson XIV: Michelangelo and Leaving a Legacy
Next Lesson XII: Alfred the Great and Western Education

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