Love is chaste – a letter from Jeanne of Arc (part 3)

by Craig on January 20, 2011

Part one is here

and part two is here

in case you’ve arrived mid-letter.

It’s fiction, but has so much fact in it, so much history that these words might very well be spoken by her today.

the letter continues…

Then there were my heavenly allies. As firmly as I believe Our Savior suffered death to redeem us from the pains of hell, so firmly did I believe that it was Michael and Gabriel, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret whom Our Savior sent to comfort and to counsel me.

I loved them all,

but two I call my friends,

St. Margaret and St. Catherine.

St. Margaret’s father was a Pagan priest who disowned her when she became a Christian. Much like my papa did when I began my mission. It hurts when they don’t support you doesn’t it?

Anyway, Margaret promised her virginity to Jesus. Among her many suitors was the Governor of her region. He was always after her like a wolf on the hunt. But Margaret wouldn’t be his prey.

Finally she said no for the last time. She was imprisoned and tortured. The Governor tried to burn her and drown her – but each attempt was met with a miracle. God does those you know.  I’ve seen them.

Did I have wolves on the hunt?


Some were my age and truly nice.

Some were older and handsome.

Some were…


The answer was always the same and there were always consequences to each of my no’s. But St. Margaret always stayed by my side. You can’t stay true to God without true friends to help.

And then there was St. Catherine, who shared the name of my sister. By the way, sisters? Sometimes helpful, sometimes not. Anyway, everybody back in the 1400’s loved St. Catherine.

Popular friends can be very useful. But be careful with those friends, for the ones who are not so much friends, they can turn, and when they do their help turns rancid like so much bad milk.

But this friend, my true friend, St. Catherine, was the niece of a Roman Emperor. She was brilliant. She always told me I was just as smart even though I couldn’t read. Alexandria, her home, had the biggest library in the world and she devoured books like a squirrel eating cashews.

After she met our Lord she had a vision in which he placed a wedding ring on her finger. From that point she considered herself married – to God. That’s where I got it. St. Margaret was the pretty one – St. Catherine – the brainy one. The wolves hunted St. Margaret for her looks. St. Catherine’s wolves always felt like they had to conquer her smarts.

The Emperor Maxentius was the biggest wolf. No flowers, no candy, no compliments – he chased her by sending his wisest pagan advisors to challenge her in debate. She not only defeated them, she converted them. The Emperor executed them all.

No, followed no, followed no, followed no…


But the consequences of “no”? You always have to be ready for them.

You have to be tough,



In the end, the Emperor beheaded St. Catherine.

Today she’s the patron Saint of philosophers. When I needed answers to the tough questions, or a good argument to fight with, or a smart plan, she was there.

My heroes: the pretty Saint, the smart Saint, and the mother of Our Lord.

As a small child I hung on to Mary.

As I got older, and things became more…


God sent Margaret and Catherine.

These were my models, my allies, my heroes.

How could I not do what they did?

So I promised my purity to God too.

I did it before Margaret and Catherine when I was thirteen.

I was burned at the stake when I was 19.

I was just a girl.

I knew what you know,

you know what I knew,

not too much different.


Please come back for part four.

In God’s love.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie January 20, 2011 at 3:18 am

Thank you for these letters. I never knew . . .it’s beautifully sad. It’s the good defiance, isn’t it? God bless you and the messages He gives you!


Michelle January 20, 2011 at 4:19 am

Beautiful. I read the story of Jeanne of Arc many years ago, but you are bringing details in which I had forgotten or hadn’t read.


Craig January 20, 2011 at 10:29 am

Thank you Deb. Jeanne was brimming with “good” defiance. Generals who wouldn’t let her in the all boy’s club. Royalty that would try to use her. The English who would have her killed. A father who thought she was a mixed up girl who would become a harlot of the army. She was amazing.


Craig January 20, 2011 at 10:30 am

Michelle, thank you. It’s a story that’s been written by the likes of Twain and George Bernard Shaw. So much depth. I’m not in their league – but I get her – I really think I get Jeanne. Thank you so much for reading.


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