Irondale, AL – Recent movies have depicted St. Joan of Arc as her enemies once branded her – as a heretic and a witch. But in a new EWTN Original Docudrama, “Joan of Arc: Maid for God,” EWTN Producer Daniel Rabourdin says St. Joan is a woman for our times. (In the U.S., ‘Joan of Arc’ airs , her feast day in the Catholic Church.)
“The life of Joan is such a lesson in the social teachings of the Church,” says Rabourdin, who also wrote and directed the piece, which was filmed on location in France. “As the patron saint of militants and people ridiculed for their faith, she is a saint for these times of Catholics being active politically. It’s not unchristian to be firm and to stand up – until martyrdom.” (See the trailer here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
Many people know that Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, but they probably don’t know why. “We love her, but we know almost nothing about her,” said Rabourdin, who spent four years bringing this piece to life.
Joan of Arc fought for a free France against the English, who were invading her country. It was the English King at the time who called Joan a witch and a heretic. Why?
“To be a King at that time was a Christian happening,” Rabourdin explains. “Since Joan was the major actor in the making of the French King, if he could brand her as a heretic and a witch, then he could say that the French King could not be legitimate.”
But wasn’t Joan burned at the stake by a bishop of the Catholic Church? “Yes,” says Rabourdin. “He had been nominated a year earlier as bishop by the occupying force – the English, who were taking over France at the time, and was promised a promotion. He would not even allow Joan to appeal her case to the Pope. Joan was only 17-years-old at the time, but she refused to deny the Divine origin of her mission even though the Bishop repeatedly told her, ‘Do you know you could be burned at the stake?’”
Many young people in America and the world are taking Joan of Arc as their model. Rabourdin’s job was made easier when professional actors in that country, out of love for this saint, volunteered to be in the film. He also mentions that he was inspired by the fact that more than 1 million of the French people recently took to the streets to protest the legalization of gay marriage. “They are the same as pro-lifers here,” Rabourdin said, “and Joan is a perfect role model for them.”
“Joan of Arc: Maid for God” will be aired worldwide as well as online, (http://www.ewtn.com/multimed
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