May 30, 2021
The famous American author and humorist, Mark Twain, is best known for his best-selling, classic novels Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. But of all his books, Twain most loved the historical novel he wrote on St. Joan of Arc. Though he was himself not a Catholic, he saw Joan to be one of the most amazing and inspiring figures of human history. From her fifteenth year to her death at age 19, she was a living, walking miracle, and her remarkable deeds are not a matter of pious legend, knowable by faith, but are a matter of indisputable public record, meticulously documented by testimony given under oath at three separate inquiries, two during her lifetime and one after her death. An illiterate country girl, with no military experience, demanded and was given complete control of the French army and turned around a hundred years of military losses if not overnight, in the space of about a week. She demonstrated a supernatural ability to lead, inspire, and strategize that left everyone, French and English, shaking their heads. It all began when, at age 13, she heard the “voices” of St. Michael, St. Catherine (of Alexandria) and St. Margaret bringing messages from God that were almost as unbelievable as the message brought by Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. She responded with a similar faith and said, echoing her Blessed Mother’s words, “let it be.” She acted on the revelation she had received with confidence and determination, giving us a model of what faith is and what God can do when we respond to him with faith.