La Pucelle

She was a good girl. Everyone said so. There wasn’t a single mark against her character. Poor. Humble. Pious. Obedient. She visited the sick in her little village of Domrémy. She helped her parents and her siblings. A very, very hard worker. She could spin wool until the cows came home. But her family could only afford a few cows so usually she just kept spinning wool. Spinning wool and going to church. It was her lot in life and she was content with it. She never even dreamed of leaving or doing anything different, despite the near-century-long intrigue going on in the rest of France.

In 1624, somewhere around the tenth of July, something told Jhenette to put aside her wool and take a walk. The cloudless noon sky was a strangely spectacular shade of blue and she didn’t think it unnatural for her to want to be outside. Her father and brothers were in the fields and her mother and sister were boiling the sheets out back. A few minutes enjoying the fresh breath of creation sounded delightful to her. So she gathered up a basket of seed and started down the garden path, tossing kernels here and there to the skinny chickens they let run behind the house.

“Jhenette,” a voice called.

The voice was unfamiliar to her and it came from nowhere and everywhere. Near and far at the same time. Somewhere off to her right though, from the direction of the little church of St. Remy.

Jhenette turned and was overtaken by a blinding white light.

“Jhenette,” the voice echoed again and she involuntarily fell to her knees.

Joan D’Arc,” the angelic voice spoke for the third time, “be good. Continue to pray. And you must go to the Dauphin. You must go to France.”

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