Saint of the Day – May 30 – Saint Joan of Arc

(JANUARY 6, 1412 – MAY 30, 1431)

Saint Joan of Arc’s Story

Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.

Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux southeast of Paris, Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Saints Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.

During the Hundred Years War, Joan led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, Joan was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men’s clothes. The English resented France’s military success–to which Joan contributed.

On this day in 1431, Joan was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.

Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life “offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action” because her spiritual insight is that there should be a “unity of heaven and earth.”

Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas and movies.


“Joan of Arc is like a shooting star across the landscape of French and English history, amid the stories of the Church’s saints and into our consciousness. Women identify with her; men admire her courage. She challenges us in fundamental ways. Despite the fact that more than 500 years have passed since she lived, her issues of mysticism, calling, identity, trust and betrayal, conflict and focus are our issues still.” (Joan of Arc: God’s Warrior by Barbara Beckwith)

Saint Joan of Arc is the Patron Saint of:

Military Members

//Franciscan Media//

Today’s Feast Day – May 30 – Trinity Sunday

On the first Sunday after Pentecost the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. This revealed doctrine of God’s nature is that the eternal God is one in essence and being, yet three distinct persons—God the Father, God the Son (the Incarnate Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. This is the central and greatest mystery of the Christian faith. An everlasting and loving union with the Holy Trinity is the final end for which mankind is created. The divine inner life of the Holy Trinity is generously given to us as sanctifying grace through the Church’s Sacraments, which is fully and perfectly possessed by the saints in heaven.

//The Catholic Company//

Morning Offering – We have Our Work

“We are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has worked, we too have but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also.”
— St. John Neumann

//The Catholic Company//

Sermon Notes – That 3 in 1 and 1 in 3 Thing

“That 3 in 1 and 1 in 3 Thing”

Father Peter Fitzgibbons

May 22 – 23, 2021

Gospel:  John 20:19-23

Today, Holy Mother Church celebrates the Solemnity of Pentecost which is when the Holy Spirit came upon the Apostles.  It’s also the birthday of the Church.  Now, let me ask you a question.  When did you first receive the Holy Spirit?  At Baptism.  Remember, when I baptize you, it is done in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  When is the next time you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?  At Confession.  After that?  Holy Communion.  Now, you may be thinking, “You also receive the Holy Spirit at Confirmation.”  Yeah, you do.  You receive Jesus, and you receive God the Father. That 3 in 1 and 1 in 3 thing.  You receive the fullness of the Spirit.  In each Sacrament, you receive the whole God.

The Sacraments are given for different purposes depending on your particular mission in the Body of Christ.  At Baptism, you were given the gift of God Himself.  In each Sacrament, you get the gift of the whole God…not just a slice of Him.  You get the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  In Baptism, Christ asked for, and you, through your parents, gave Him your human nature.  The human nature He took from Mary in the body He was born with, taught with, healed with, suffered with, and redeemed us with is now in Heaven.  So, how does He continue His mission to teach, heal, and sanctify the world?  It goes on through us by living a good Catholic life.  In whatever part of the Body of Christ He has assigned us, we work for His glory and the salvation of souls.  So, if you are in hell, you are a self- made man. 

Christ takes our human nature at Baptism, so, we are part of His new body which is the Church.   Each of us has a place in the body of Christ to do the work of bringing Him to the world.  Through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, He helps us accomplish that mission.  There are seven gifts (wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord) and 12 fruits (charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, long-suffering, humility, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity).  The whole purpose of giving us the Holy Spirit through the Sacraments is to bring God’s love to the world and to make that love manifest in whatever part of the Body we are in.  The graces of the Holy Spirit strengthen us so that we can carry out that mission.   

Part of my job as a priest is working at the veterans’ hospital in Hospice.  Hospice is a part of the hospital where people who are very sick and in the last six months of their lives are cared for by specially trained doctors and nurses.  They have all sorts of terrible diseases.  We had one patient who had Progressive Supranuclear Palsy which is a rare disease that the patient contracted while working as a doctor in Vietnam.  His brain turned into jelly, and there is no treatment.  It’s so sad.  The hospice staff try to make their patients as comfortable and pain-free as possible.  A few years ago, there was a nice area with a kitchen and dining room where hospice patients could come out of their rooms and eat together.  Other veterans from across the hospital would come down and have lunch with them.  It was so much fun to laugh and talk with them.  I would pick up trays and do whatever I could for them.  You know what a sign of God’s love looks like?  There was a hospice patient at the luncheon who couldn’t feed himself…he was that sick.  Another man who, after this incident died about two weeks later, was also at the luncheon.  But, instead of eating his own lunch, he spent that time feeding the patient who couldn’t feed himself.  One would think that if you’re dying, it would be all about you.  But, this is what God’s love looks like.  This was an act of the Holy Spirit.  The staff would have fed that patient, but he did it.  He didn’t have to do it, but he wanted to.  He made sure that man ate before he did.  That is a sign of the Holy Spirit in action and God’s love is in the world. 

Another thing they have done in Hospice, and hopefully will do again once COVID is over, is that when veterans are actively dying and don’t have family members there, volunteers come and sit with them all night and all day so that they don’t have to die alone. Usually, the veterans are very old and don’t have anybody.  But, a veteran should never die alone. In the military, you never leave a fallen comrade.  I’ve always thought that this is a sign of Christ, along with their guardian angel, being with them as they leave this life. You see the love of Christ in those volunteers.  They don’t need to teach us…their actions teach us everything.  It’s all through the promptings of the Holy Spirit who moves and works within us – not always the way want; otherwise, I’d be a monsignor! 

I’ll tell you a story about the nursing staff.  Don’t let this get back to them.  World War II veterans are very old, and when they are nearing the time of their passing, all of the memories of what they had to do during the war come back.  Mine will come back too when it’s my time.  It’s just part of what we went through.  It comes back for a lot of the men who saw combat.  Many times, it was their wives who helped them keep it all together, and if their wives are no longer with them, it’s a real hardship for them.  I remember this one man who was in his nineties and about to leave us asked the nurse if she would hold his hand until he fell asleep.  The memories had come back, and his wife had done that for him.  That’s not in any nurse’s job description.  But, she sacrificed her own time to sit with that man while he faced his nightmares.  I’ve sat with veterans as they were passing from this life…that’s what we do.  We offer spontaneous acts of love.  I’ve seen you do it.  Your acts of generosity are acts of the Holy Spirit.  You are showing Christ’s love.  If you ask anyone why they do it, they would probably say that they don’t know, but it felt like the right thing to do.  Do they get paid for it?  No.  It was just the right thing to do.  These are the actions of the Holy Spirit using our human natures to show Christ’s love to the world.  But, so that we can repeat these acts of love, we must be refreshed in the Holy Spirit by frequently participating in the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion. 

What is so beautiful about these acts of love is that you do it without thinking.  It’s just a normal response.  You don’t stop and think about what you should or shouldn’t do…you just do it.  That’s the action of the Holy Spirit letting the Spirit work in you to bring the love of Christ to the world.  And, believe it or not, someone will see and be taught God’s word simply through your acts of love                                                                                                      

How will you apply this message to your life? Refresh yourself in the Holy Spirit by frequently participating in the Sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion

You can read all of Father Fitzgibbons’ sermons by going to and clicking on “Blog” then “Categories” and then “Sermon Notes.”  From a cell phone, click on “Blog” then “Menu” and then “Categories” (located at the end of page).  There is also a search box if you are looking for a specific topic.

Bible Love Notes – Are You Listening?

Sometimes God whispers. But in the skies, He proclaims. 

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.” ~ Psalm 19:1-2  

These verses came to mind several years ago when I stood on a balcony in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The blue sky caressed the horizon with such strength, beauty, and purpose. I could not help but praise our Creator.

Whether the sky is filled with wispy white clouds, a glowing sun, or a blanket of twinkling stars, the divine nature of God is speaking to us.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen….” ~ Romans 1:20

God could have created boring beige skies. But He didn’t.

He uses His creation to give us clues about His character, clues that cross all language barriers: 

“They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” ~ Psalm 19:3-4

Are you listening?
I encourage you to read the full text of Psalm 19.