Leave a prayer for the 100th anniversary of Joan of Arc’s canonization
The Knights of Columbus in France are commemorating the 100th anniversary of St. Joan of Arc’s canonization by bringing prayers from around the world to their country’s patron saint. Knights from the saint’s hometown — Domrémy — are collecting prayer intentions and leaving them at the foot of the statue of Our Lady of…
The Knights of Columbus in France are commemorating the 100th anniversary of St. Joan of Arc’s canonization by bringing prayers from around the world to their country’s patron saint.
Knights from the saint’s hometown — Domrémy — are collecting prayer intentions and leaving them at the foot of the statue of Our Lady of Beaumont, the same statue St. Joan of Arc prayerfully visited before leaving her village to fight in the Hundred Years’ War. The statue is currently located in the Basilica of Bois-Chênu in Domrémy, which was dedicated to the French patron saint in the late 19th century.
“This time of confinement is a time of pain and grace,” said Arnaud Boutheon, the Knights of Columbus’ special consultant for French affairs. “We believe in the communion of saints, we believe in the power of prayer, and we know that the Blessed Virgin of Beaumont, who welcomed the prayers of little Jeanne, will know how to intercede for us with Jesus, to entrust to him our family of the Knights of Columbus and our countries.”
St. Joan of Arc was a shepherdess in medieval France who began hearing the voices of St. Michael the Archangel, St. Catherine of Alexandria and St. Margaret of Antioch. As a teenager, she felt called by God to help her country that was at war with England. After leading an army in support of the French king, she was condemned to death for heresy by corrupt judges and burned at the stake May 30, 1431, at age 19.
She has since become a symbol of French nationalism, a popular subject in literature and film, but, most importantly, a powerful witness of Christ. For that, Joan of Arc was canonized by Pope Benedict XV on May 16, 1920 —nearly 500 years after she was martyred.
Boutheon believes her vocation, her patriotic duty to serve God and her country, is “universal.”
“Saint Joan of Arc gathers in her person many contemporary chivalric virtues such as boldness, charity and freedom of conscience, in the face of cowardice, predation and submission,” Boutheon said. “Through her Fiat, she was able to restore confidence, dignity and hope to men. Her word is a free word, touched by the grace, in the face of pressure from clerics, doctors and scholars.”
Patriotism is a core principle of the Knights of Columbus. During the current COVID-19 pandemic, now more than ever, the French Knights look to St. Joan of Arc’s example of service to both country and Church.
“The principle of patriotism invites us to serve our love and to place our steps in those of the saints who bequeathed the Catholic faith to us,” Boutheon said.
During the pandemic, the French Knights have helped food pantries, broadcast Masses and even served as ministers to bring the Eucharist to the sick and isolated in an effort to leave no neighbor behind.
They also co-produced a video (along with Aleteia) with testimonies about how St. Joan of Arc played a role in their lives, which was broadcast on May 1.
For Boutheon and the Knights, the event Saturday is about humbly serving their countrymen and fostering a spirit of prayer for all facing these unprecedented circumstances. And what better way than to ask for the intercession of St. Joan of Arc?
If you want prayers left at the foot of Our Lady of Beaumont, please send them to email@example.com.
Andrew Fowler is a Content Producer with the Knights of Columbus. Send comments and stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
Catholic University President John Garvey to step down in 2022
Garvey leaves the Catholic University of America with higher retention rates and a few new buildings John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America, has announced he is stepping down from the role. Garvey, 72, has held the position since 2010 as only the third lay president of the pontifical university. Students will remember Garvey…
Garvey leaves the Catholic University of America with higher retention rates and a few new buildings John Garvey, President of the Catholic University of America, has announced he is stepping down from the role. Garvey, 72, has held the position since 2010 as only the third lay president of the pontifical university. Students will remember Garvey as an approachable figure, who they could have a conversation with. It was not uncommon for Garvey to be found in the Pryzbyla Center, where he would often have lunch with students. Some may even remember Garvey wandering around campus inspecting student-made igloos and cheering on sledders during the massive “Snowpocalypse” storm during his first term. The student body took to Garvey quickly, giving the president shout outs if they saw him while walking to their next class.Pillar Catholic reports Garvey’s comments on his retirement: “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as President of this University,” Garvey said in a letter to the community. “I became President of The Catholic University of America in 2010 hoping I could contribute something to building up the institution. I did not foresee how much I would fall in love with it.”Fond farewellIn the open letter, Garvey reflected on the joy he took from his work. Along with his presidential responsibilities, Garvey taught a freshman class, which he called “the best part” of his job. He noted that the world pandemic was one of the most difficult crises of the school’s 134-year history. He wrote: “We have overcome the medical and financial challenges it presented through the intelligence, hard work, and charity of our people. I am thankful I had the opportunity to lead Catholic University through this period, because it gave me the chance to see close up what makes the school so special.”As head of CUA, Garvey oversaw the raising of over $500 million, including recent research grants awarded by NASA. He ensured that the school’s athletic facilities were expanded and broke ground on several new school buildings. According to Pillar, he leaves the school with a retention rate of 88%, up from 79% since his presidency. Although his work for CUA is coming to an end, Garvey seems like he’ll still be very busy. According to America Magazine, the father and grandfather noted that he intends to spend more time with his family. He and his wife Jeanne are also learning Italian, with the hopes that they might move to Italy in the future. There, Garvey said, he intends to take up a position as a teacher at CUA’s Rome campus. Read the full letter at CUA.
Worried about the future? Find peace in this short prayer
It’s relatively easy to be worried about the future. We simply don’t know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, or next year. This state of uncertainty can cripple us at times, keeping us from doing anything out of fear of the unknown. St. Josemaria Escriva consoled someone in a similar frame of mind, who…
It’s relatively easy to be worried about the future. We simply don’t know what is going to happen today, tomorrow, or next year. This state of uncertainty can cripple us at times, keeping us from doing anything out of fear of the unknown.
St. Josemaria Escriva consoled someone in a similar frame of mind, who said to him (as quoted in The Way of the Cross), “Father, I am having a very rough time.”
In response, the saint composed a short but peaceful prayer of abandonment, entrusting to God everything past, present and future.
My Lord and my God: into your hands I abandon the past and the present and the future, what is small and what is great, what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot, things temporal and things eternal.
Asking his friend to pray this prayer, St. Josemaria wrote, “Then, don’t worry any more.”
The only way we can move forward in calm is to entrust our “rough times” to God and then let the worry go. He is in control, and will be with us every step of the way.
Pope Francis reminisces about 6th grade
Perhaps it wouldn’t be wrong to say that our Jesuit pope also has Salesian roots. Pope Francis hinted at this on Sunday, May 24, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, which is an important Salesian feast. “Today, on the day of Mary Help of Christians, I address an affectionate and cordial greeting to the…
Perhaps it wouldn’t be wrong to say that our Jesuit pope also has Salesian roots. Pope Francis hinted at this on Sunday, May 24, the feast of Mary Help of Christians, which is an important Salesian feast.
“Today, on the day of Mary Help of Christians, I address an affectionate and cordial greeting to the Salesians,” he said, following the midday Regina Coeli prayer at the Vatican’s Apostolic Library. “I recall with gratitude the spiritual formation I received from the sons and daughters of Don Bosco.”
The Pope did not mention it directly, but he was referring to 1949 when he and his younger brother, Oscar, were enrolled as boarders at Colegio Wilfrid Barón de los Santos Ángeles run by the Salesians at Ramos Mejía.
Pope in Salesian school
The Virgin Mary, under the title Mary Help of Christians, is the principal patroness of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the religious congregation that Don Bosco founded in 1859 in the northern Italian city of Turin, to serve the young people.
The city’s Basilica of Mary Help of Christians, which was commissioned by Don Bosco himself, remains the heart of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
The Argentine Pope’s remarks on Sunday is not the first time that he has spoken about the influence of the Salesians of Don Bosco in his childhood.
Turin, June 22, 2015
Pope Francis visited Turin, June 21-22, 2015, during which he joined the Salesians in celebrating the 200th birth centenary of Don Bosco, who was born on August 16, 1815, and died on January 31, 1888.
During his visit, the Pope met the Salesians, including the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, known as the Salesian sisters, which Don Bosco co-founded with Saint Mary Mazzarello.
While commending Don Bosco’s ministry for young people, the Pope recounted fond childhood memories of his family’s closeness to the Salesians and how, when his mother was ill, he was taken out of public school to spend one year studying with the Salesians.
The Holy Father spoke of how he grew very attached to the Salesian community in the year he spent with them and that one priest, in particular, followed him from Baptism to the realization of his vocation, accompanying him ultimately on his journey to the Jesuit Order.
Salesian priests Fathers Enrico Pozzoli and Cayetano Bruno are particularly remembered by the Pope.
“Evangelii gaudium with St John Bosco”
Again, in January 2019, Pope Francis wrote a preface to the book, “Evangelii gaudium con don Bosco” (Evangelii gaudium with St John Bosco), a collection of reflections by 25 members of the Salesian family.
Commending the spirit of joy of Don Bosco, despite the thousands of “difficulties that besieged him every day”, the Pope recalled his association with the Salesians as a boy in Argentina.
While studying in a Salesian school, he wrote in the preface, he found that same “climate of joy and family.” The Salesians, he said, trained him to appreciate beauty, work, and cheerfulness – and this, he told the Salesians, “is your vocation.”