Newspaper Page Text
Nov. 14, 1917.
JOAN OF ARC A Spiritual Phenomenon By Prof. I. L. Foster, Army Y. M. C. A. Secretary, Professor of Romance Languages at Pennsylvania State College It is a historical fact that in times of great national danger divine Provi dence raises up some person who can lead the people to victory and safety. Frequently this savior springs from most unexpected sources. We are safe in say ing that this individual has most often sprung from the ranks of the common people. We can say further that the im pelling motive has b. n religious in prac tically every instance. And. in addition to that, the purpose has been the salva tion of a nation or the rescue of a coun try from foreign domination. Every nation has at some time experi enced the truth of this fact. The United States has been no exception to this na tional phenomenon. The days preceding the Civil War, glorious with the names of William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phil lips, render eloquent witness to the..re sponsiveness of our people. In the pres ent crisis through which we are now pass ing a Roosevelt and a Wilson have done yeoman’s service in arousing to activity a threatened country. In France, however, there have been more examples of spiritualized leadership than in any other country. This is per fectly natural because of the inborn ten dency of the French to those things which are dramatic and sensational. In this land so easily lifted to the heights of re ligious exaltation, the dramatic and sen sational. Tn this land so easily lifted to the heights of religious exaltation, the dramatic motive predominates. A deep love of country, with a keen sense of ob ligation, have been compelling influences to great deeds through the Providence of God. There is no desire to get into the limelight, but an intense longing to do one's duty to God and country, which are synonymous to the Frenchman. In Joan of Arc we see the above influ ences at work and greatly magnified bv a woman's ideal of willing sacrifice. She was the daughter of well-to-do peasants and was born at Dontremy among the Vosges mountains in 1412. She had no friends or influence and was content to live the simple life of the humblest class. Though she could neither read nor write; the limitations this fact brought into her lire did not affect her sunny disposition. By day she spun faithfully under the big trees of the pasture as she tended the patient kine. At night she slept peace fully on her humble cot after doing her part of the housework in the home. In all this we can see a fertile soil so rthe bearing of rich fruit. Simplicity, content ment and obedience are virtues from which heroes are made. Frequently she heard the neighbors talk of the cruelty and oppression of the Eng lish then overrunning the fair land of France. In her mind arose the ever re curring question, "What can 1 do?" She longed to do her bit to help save France, but she was only a simple peasant girl. Her desire to be of service did not inter fere with her sense of responsibility in the home. It was in pursuit of her daily tasks that God called her. He always shows Himself to us in our working hours and calls us to consecrate our activity to His service. One of her marked peculiarities was her piety. Naturally devout, she loved to worship at the village church. Pure, strong, healthy and beautiful, she had in herself the essentials of leadership. Add t j this a poetic spirit with superstitious tendencies, and you have a personality fit for heroic accomplishments. From the soldiers who passed now and then through her little town, proud in the glitter of armor and blade, she learned of the panoply of war. From the stories of the cruelties of the English, now near at hand, she learned of the terrors of war and the bitter need of efficient leader ship in her country. In her distress she turned to God. whom she had been taught to trust. And He did not fail her. As early as the age of thirteen her God appeared to hei- in the form of St Mich ael, her patron saint. As in the case of St. Paul, the vision had a voice and ad monished her to a life of godliness and purity. "I come from God to help thee to live a good and holy life. Be good Jeannette and God will aid thee,” was the message at one visitation. “Daughter of God, thou shalt lead the Dauphin to Rheims, that he may there receive worth ily his annointing/’ was the compelling announcement at another time from her angelic visitor. Fired with zeal for service through di vine appointment, when but sixteen'years of age, she left her home and friends and sought her king. It was no easy task to start off alone amidst the jeers of her family and girlhood companions. The love of God and her country’s need led her to count all this as naught if only fair France could be redeemed. After a weary journey of twelve days she arrived at Chinon, where she found the king. The spineless Charles VII, was here revelling in wantoness and dissipa tion while his country bled. The poor peasant girl, with her coarse red dress and no friends to get her the royal favor, was received with moekery by the cour tiers of the dissolute monarch. “Why waste precious time,” said they, “when Orleans is in utmost peril, to give atten tion to a mad peasant girl, who, if not mad, must be possessed with a devil; a sorceress to be avoided; what can she do for France?” The churches and the uni versities, two fertile sources of religious apostacy, arrayed themselves also against her and proved to be her bitterest en emies. Her persistence finally won the day and She was ushered into the royal chamber, where the king stood in the midst of his nobles. Though unfamiliar with his face, she marched straight to the Dauphin, guided by her “voices.*’ To him she re peated her one sentence, which so far had acted like a charm. “I am Joan the Maid, sent bv God to save France.” With this she asked for troops to lead against the invader. The king was cautious, but Joan’s mod est demeanor won him finally, as it had won everybody at court. She was at length assigned to a castle in charge of a woman of virtue and piety and prepara tions were made to raise and equip an army for her. In her superstitious age her divine call had a powerful effect upon the people and this was of great help to her in her work. She believed in God who gave her strength, the king was weak and frivolous, the corn try needed a lead er. and she appeared, to the distracted i TRENCH AND CAMP people, an angel sent from God to be the savior of France. She was no soldier, but she felt that God was with her. The saving of France was in reality a religious movement. Any nation will rally in the midst of disastr ous defeats if they can be convinced that they are fighting with God on their side. Joan acted on France as the needed spur to drive the people to a deeper conscious ness of God’s presence. With this came the necessary power to drive the English from their country. At first her expeditions were successful. On a white horse, arrayed in glittering armor and carrying a white banner mark ed by the fieur delis. she led victorious troops. The military leaders insistent up on the requirements of time-honored'pro ceedure in the army, put all kinds of ob stacles in her way. She triumphed over all discouragements and drove the Eng lish from Orleans. From that date she was no longer Joan of Arc, but the Maid of Orleans. She wanted to proceed to Rheims at once, but the jealous military clique bar red the way. The king was brought to see the panic of the invader and ordered an advance after some delay. "Daughter of God, go on I will be thy help!" said the voice, and Joan seized her sword and banner for a new drive. The soldiers followed willingly their charmed leader', and the disorganized mob became an in vincible host. ' ' Chalons. Troyes and Rheims fell in rapid succession. Charles was promptly crowned in the historic city appointed for the crowning of the rightful sovereigns of France. Joan stood by his side at this great event, holding her sacred banner. The anointing at Rheims firmly intrench ed Charles VII in the minds of the people as their king. The heroic maid had done what she had promised. Kneeling before the king, with tears in her eyes, she sur rendered her commission, saying: “Graci ous king, now is fulfilled the pleasure of God." By the Spirit of God she had given a king to France and France to its king. Her work was done and she longed to return to the peaceful mountains of Dom remy. She was persuaded to remain, with the army until the English were driven from French soil. Herein lies her great error. God had directed her to crown the king, not to drive out the invader. In this she listened to human “voices” and her mission lost its divine inspiration. In a drive on Paris she was wounded, but refused to leave the battle line.. Soon, a plaything of the envious military lead ers, she was sent hither and yon to no purpose. The English leaders were offer ing great sums for her capture and British gold finally had its way. In a sortie from her beleagured city of Compiegne she was surrounded by larger force. After a half-hearted resistence on the part of her men, she was captured by John of Luxemburg, a traitor to his land. How terribly this little duchy suffered in 1914 from another disgraceful surrender to a powerful foe! Her capture was hailed with the wildest enthusiasm. The end of the drama was quickly staged. No effort was made to rescue the helpless girl and she was left to the tender mercies of church and school, two avowed enemies of experi mental religion then, and largely so' to day. What could one girl do against the pow er of satan combined for her destruction? After a farcical trial she was condemned, not to the- Cross like Christ, but to the stake—a more refined manner of punish ment, invented by religion to "make its way straight.” Nothing could be more cruel than the treatment of this heroic girl by the church court. The devil had his way and the poor maid without friends or advisers was dragged to Rouen, chain ed to the bars of an iron cage within the filthy dungeon in this city. . Another trial more rediculous than the first was arranged here and seventy ridic ulous charges were brought against her. Found guilty again she was taken to the market place of the city to receive sen tence. Shortly after, guarded by eight hundred soldiers, she was carried to the ! place of execution in a cart. By rude hands she was dragged from the cart to the funeral pile, fastened to the stake. The faggots were soon ablaze, while the wild mob about yelled itself hoarse with joy. The struggle was brief and she quick ly succumbed to the flames. In her agony she cried out I ndespair, “Jesus. Jesus! My voices, my voices!” but there was no response and it was soon over. Inspired of God. she had been judged by men and condemned by the church. Having saved her country, she was for saken by that country when her useful ness was gone. One of the insolvable rid dles of history is why France made so lit tle effort to save her life. Perhaps the fear of the power of England was the rea son. Michelets, the French historian, says: “The Jews never exhibited the rage against Jesus that the English did against the Pucelie (Joan).” Her life is a striking example of the fact that nations are ungrateful and death is only too often the lot of great benefactors. Great deliverances have been effected only through self-sacrifice, and Joan gave herself that France might be free. A forgetful country canonized a willing servant, when too late, and gave testimony of a lardy recognition of her service. She stands before us today urg ing to deeds of sublime heroism through a forgetfulness of self and a complete con secration to God. Like her. we may win death, but we shall also save our country and serve as an inspiration to others to Live well and die well for the glory of God and the uplift of our fellowman.’ franklinTndmarshall COLLEGE MEN, NOTICE I Please register your name and class at once sending same to LIEUT. CHAS. P. STAHR. Ambulance Company No. 111. MAJOR H. A. RENINGER, F. & M. 1906. CAPT. W. CURTIS TRUXAL, F. & M, 1904. LIUET. CHAS. P. STAHR, F. & M. 1897. Committee to orrange a get-to gether of ALL F. & M. men at Camp Hancock. Y. M. C. A. Men Arrive in Russia The first American Young Men’s Chris tion Association detachment, organized in New York for work on the Russian front, has arrived in Petrograd. Through David R. Francis, the American ambas sador, the Americans gained the ardent support of Premier Kerensky and will establish recreation huts. Nine workers were headed by Harvey- Anderson of Oberlin, O. On reaching the capital the party disbanded, some of the Americans going to Minsk and the others to the Riga and Rumanian fronts. A hundred Y. M. C. A. men are ex pected to arrive by Christmas. KNITSCOMFORTS AT AGE OF 92 Pennsylvania’s registration of women for patriotic service has enrolled a ven erable resident of Llanerch as probably the oldest volunteer of whom there is record. Mrs. Mary M. Dunwoody, aged 92 years, has “signed-up” to knit com fort articles for the boys “over there.” In Mrs. Dunwoody’s life-span there have been four wars involving America— the Mexican, the Civil, the Spanish-Am erican and the present war. “Greatest Work Attempted,” Says General Wood New York.—While invaluable service has been rendered by the Young Men’s Christian Association in European war zones, the activities the organization is now furthering in national army' can tonments in the United States are the most importaint it has ever undertaken in the opinion of Major General Leon ard Wood, who today issued a state ment indorsing the $35,000,000 cam paign which began Sunday. "Excellent as the Young Men’s Chris tian Association work is and has been elsewhere,” says the statement, “ be lieve' thta now in the great canton ments where out troops are being train ed it is perhaps the greatest and best it has ever attempted. ‘‘One has to see if to appreciate it. We must give the men places of the right, type to go to. places where the healthy amusements nnd decent sur roundings, as well as reasonable re cration, can be had. This is where the Young Men’s Christian Association has won, perhaps, its best results. It has not only helped suppress vice and evil doing, but it has given the men attractive places of assembly and wholesome amusement. “Every' dollar given to the Y'oung Men’s Christian Association is money given in a good cause. All who aid it are helpers in a splendid work.” By all that you can do or influence others to do, “Raise that $35,000,000 for -the Y. M. C. A.!” for the life and soul of all the boys in the trenches and in the camps and for me—two-thirds for the “other side.” one-third for this. I know you have done your bit, are doing it, but you can help to bring others at home to dig and “Dig deem” ONE OF THE 103 D ENGINEERS. Smith Brothers Co. Wholesale Grocers Most Complete Line of Camp Supplies in the City. WE WANT YOUR BUSINESS. Phones: 3068 and 566. 922 Walker Street. HUNS CRUCIFIED THEIR CAPTIVES New York gasped over the state ments of Capt. David Fallon, who told an audience he had seen cap tive British crucified, their heads lifted on bayonets above the Ger man trenches, Fallon is a young Australian-Irish veteran of the Gallipoli and Belgium. He told of nuns crucified and other horrors committed by the Boches. “What has happened to our boys will happen to your boys," he said. “Now you have joined us and when the time Comes for the great spring drive, we’ll deal with the Germans as they have dealt with Belgium. With your help the allies will drive the Hun from the consecrated soil of France and Belgium, drive him to the dugouts and huts of Berlin.” Captain Fallon related numerous instances of German treachery in surrendering and waiting for help after a charge. “OUR MILITARY VISITORS.” Camp Hancock now has its quota of French and British soldiers, who have come across the water to show us some things about real fighting. Among them there are several officers, some non-com missioned officers, and a few privates. In all the instruction of these men there is the outstanding principle that methods of warfare have been completely revolu tionized by this war. The old tactics are giving way to newer ones which have been devised to cope with the ingenious war fare of the enemy. One of the French officers was looking at a trench on the drill ground. It was built shallow and .wide, and straight. A glance or two, and the officer threw up his hands with the remark: “Ah! a-very good trench—for a pic ture. But for war—ah! no good!” One of the Britishers expressed his opinion of American patriotism as fol lows: “You know, we’ve been told over there that America is just half-hearted in this war. They told us at least half were pro-Gcrmans, We didn’t expect to find any enthusiasm for the war at all. But let me tell you, we found it, America is ALL for the war. You’ve got plenty of everything, including the enthusiasm.” He added, however, that over in Eng land, after the war had gone on a year ■or so, the enthusiasm was replaced by a feeling that war was a business, and not something only to yell about. “America will feel that way too, after while,”'he concluded. BOLYARD’S BARBER SHOP 221 Sth St. A modern shop with 12 experi enced Barbers and efficient ser vice. Located on Jack son street, below Genesta Hotel. No advance in prices. Open until 9 ev ery evening and until 11:30 on Saturdays. Expert Manicur-. ing. You would en joy being worked on here. Page 7 I few! WBa Es* 111 ■ m Bl bh & * y I : lift (la I ’ W| Ui m * s G CL Yu j II i l 1 1 I i i h i>4