Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

May 30 | Determination

Saint Joan of Arc

A.D. 1412–1431

You are not called to wander aimlessly through life. 

There are too many people tragically wandering aimlessly through life. There have been times when you and I have lived our lives that way, wandering aimlessly and indulging every manner of distraction. But life is too precious to live that way. Now it is time to quit the endless wandering and live with determination to carry out God’s will on earth.

For that, we have a shining example in Saint Joan of Arc.

Joan was a French girl born into the period of conflict known as the Hundred Years' War. When she was thirteen years old, she began receiving messages from angels and saints instructing her to join the French army in battle against the English. As a young peasant girl, this was unthinkable, and frightening to say the least. But she believed this was her mission from God, and was determined to carry it out.

At 16 years old, Joan approached a commander, Robert de Baudricourt, with her divine mission to save France. Initially dismissed, her determination eventually led to a meeting with the soon-to-be king Charles VII. Joan convinced Charles that leading the French in battle was truly her mission from God. He gave her a small army and personal armor.

Joan’s determination had already taken her a long way. She had gone from a humble peasant girl to a military leader. But now was the real test: How would she do in battle? The war with England hinged on a single city that the English had laid siege of: Orléans. Did she have the determination to carry out the seemingly impossible task God had given her?

Yes. In 1429, Joan donned her armor and led her troops to Orléans. It seemed like a suicide mission. But Joan’s ability to inspire her soldiers and rally a nation under the banner of faith was unparalleled. They defeated the English and lifted the siege, marking a turning point in the war. But Joan would need even more determination for the battle that would come next.

In 1430, Joan was captured by the English and tried for heresy. She gave a brave defense, but the English court was not hearing it. Saint Joan of Arc was convicted and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, at the age of 19.

We can all learn a lesson in determination from Saint Joan of Arc.

The virtue of determination allows us to focus on a task and see it through to completion. Just keep moving in the direction of your goal or destination. Determination is taking the next step, no matter how small that step may be. Do that for long enough, and anything is possible.

Are you determined?


I am determined to live out God’s will on earth.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: France, Soldiers, and Prisoners

Symbols: A Sword and Shield

Feast Day: May 30

Feast Day Shared By: Saint Ferdinand and Saint Petronilla

Canonized: May 16, 1920

Canonized By: Pope Benedict XV

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