05/09/09 (joan of arc, canonized)
Joan of Arc canonized 05/09/1920
Saint Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) is a recognized Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Although she was excommunicated and burned at the stake by local officials in 1431, central church officials would later nullify her excommunication, declaring her a martyr unjustly executed for a secular vendetta. Her legend would grow from there, leading to her beatification in 1909 and her canonization in 1920.
She had always been considered innocent by those of her own faction. The city of Orléans commemorated her death each year beginning in 1432, and from 1435 onward performed a religious play centered around her victories. The play represented her as a divinely sent saviour guided by angels. She stated at her trial, and her message to us is, “I believed it was an angel speaking to me, and I had the will to believe.”
In the process of declaring a person a ‘saint’ the promoters of the prospective saint’s cause are asked to vouch for four authentic miracles to secure for beatification and two more miracles form Canonization.
The Holy Father can dispense one miracle if the candidate has founded a religious order. In Joan’s case, this dispensation was granted because she had saved France. Thus, three miracles sufficed for her beatification. The three approved miracles that raised Joan to Blessed were as follows:
1) Sister Thérèse of St. Augustine, who lived in Orleans, had been cured of leg ulcers.
2) Sister Julie Gauthier, who lived in Faverolles, was cured of a cancerous ulcer of her left breast.
3) Sister Marie Sagnier, who lived in Frages, was miraculously cured of cancer of the stomach.
Pope Pius X solemnly accepted these three miracles as authentic on December 13, 1908. He declared, “Joan has shone like a new star destined to be the glory not only of France but of the Universal Church as well.” It was because of her heroic virtue that she was declared Blessed on April 18, 1909.