(Note: This was originally posted as the “About SJST” page)
“C’est pour cela que je fus nais.” (“It was for this that I was born.”) – St. Joan of Arc
“For whom would heaven be, if not for you?” – St. Thérèse in her play about Joan of Arc
“And when he (Jesus) went up into the ship, he that hath been troubled with the devil, began to beseech him that he might be with him. And he admitted him not, but saith to him: ‘Go into thy house to thy friends and tell them how great things the Lord has done for thee, and hath had mercy on thee.’ And he went his way, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him…” (Mark 5: 18-20) (Douay-Rheims)
Thank you for dropping by my spiritual journey blog dedicated to Sts. Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux! Please come back to check out my latest postings listed in the “Recent Posts” section of the right hand column. Or, feel free to subscribe for updates!
I call this a “spiritual journey blog” devoted to Sts. Joan and Thérèse. Thus, what is here represents more a testimony to the impact on my life of these two magnificent saints than it does a historical or biographical site. There are many wonderful web pages dedicated to the latter. For St. Joan of Arc, I would recommend Maid of Heaven and the Jeanne d’Arc Centre (Jenny-Jinya). These sites are filled with biographical information, time lines, insightful historical essays, books, and much, much more! Make sure you also visit the St. Joan of Arc Confraternity for yet another inspiring devotional site. You may wish to join and consecrate yourself to St. Joan in order to help her bring victory in the world for Our Lord and Our Lady! For St. Thérèse, I would suggest the National Shrine of St. Thérèse. where you will find a treasure trove of information about her! Here, at “St. Joan and St. Thérèse,” my humble hope is simply that you will find something that will inspire you to seek out the intercession, protection, guidance, and joyful friendship of these two sisters we have in Christ.
My life has been spared, radically transformed, and made astonishingly purposeful through my relationship with Joan and Thérèse. They have led me more deeply into true devotion to the Virgin Mary and through her, to Jesus Christ in His Eucharist and through His Holy Catholic Church. I came to believe because Joan and Thérèse believed. My hope is that here you might encounter them in such a way that you come to believe yourself.
You might also consider my books, which are presented in the column at right. You can learn more about them, and myself, on my “About S.T. Martin” page. More importantly, though, if you have not already done so, you should read Thérèse’s own “Story of a Soul” along with her Collected Poems and Plays. Also, read at least one of the many great books on Joan of Arc, such as that written by Mark Twain. See my post, “For those who wish to love Joan of Arc – Mark Twain and his Recollections,” for more on this delightful work. On any account, and however you manage it, come to know Sts. Joan and Thérèse!
What you will find on “St. Joan and St. Thérèse”
Throughout this site, you will find poetic and essay type expressions describing how God has shown me that He loves me and how He has given me the grace to, in turn, fall in love with Him. His love to me has been expressed as a call to His Kingdom with a desire to seek others for this purpose. I am chosen only as a lowly vagabond, an exiled missionary, who serves by seeking out for Our Lord those greater souls whom He wishes to ennoble. Had Our Lord desired a great soul for this work, He would have chosen someone else. My life’s testimony is that this is true.
To emphasize this point, I note with joy that by consecrating myself to the Virgin Mary according to the method of St. Louis de Montfort, I have thus ceded to her any benefit, spiritual or temporal, that may possibly accrue to me should my poor efforts yield anything pleasing to Jesus. I am free, then, to work for no other reason than that of charity, for I have nothing to gain for myself, only the Glories of Mary and of Jesus through her. Having therefore asked her to cover my numerous faults and weaknesses with her own maternal charity and having voluntarily ceded any merits and satisfactions to her own desires and for her honor, I am pleased to entrust myself to Our Lady’s will that she may do with me as she pleases. With this joyful freedom, I then present to you my work.
The manner in which Our Lord has brought about this happiness is through an unmerited yet majestic spiritual relationship with His creation, His family, and, through those social and familial relationships, with His own Self Who is both Trinity and One. The Second Person of this Trinity is Jesus Christ Who is the Savior of the human race, having destroyed death through His Crucifixion and subsequent very real Resurrection to eternal life. He is alive, as are the members of this family.
“Amen I say to you, there is no man who hath left house or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or children, or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who shall not receive an hundred times as much, now in this time; houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come life everlasting.” (Mark 10: 29-30) (Douay-Rheims)
The key social and familial relationships with which He has enriched my life and given me the desire to will His own Goodness and to accept my mission are those of our saintly sisters Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux and, by journeying with them, that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, who is the Mother of God. This is all absolutely and objectively true.
The End to which this journey leads, that is, to the center of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, is where Jesus Christ is enthroned in all of His glory. That center is the mystical garden of paradise exalted in God’s Divine Love!
According to both Sts. Paul and Thomas Aquinas, Love, i.e. God, is the First Principle of the theological virtues of Faith and Hope and therefore the End toward which these virtues lead us. St. Thomas goes on to tell us that the intellect is moved by the principle of truth (Faith) and the will by the principle of desire for happiness with God (Hope). What Joan and Thérèse have demonstrated to me on the journey along what I call the Trail of Dogmatic Creed is that Love is therefore the supreme act of both our intellect and will and is most exalted by the complete oblation of ourselves to the Love of God. Surrender to God has its principle in mutual, sacrificial love between God and us. In other words, our supreme act on this earth is that of dying on the Cross for love of Jesus Christ and of the entire Blessed Trinity through Him. Only with that first authentic principle of Love firmly established can we then truly love our neighbor.
What I have just described to you is the impact of Catholicism on my life. It is magnificent. It is alive. It is the depository, by Christ’s own authority, of the way that leads to this eternal Kingdom where these powerful and loving relationships reach their fulfillment.
Every person has the opportunity to fall in love with God. As for me, I am less than others in my spiritual life, and there is no merit in my call. The only thing of which I can think that would explain why I have what is here to share is simply the fact that I responded. I proclaimed, “Yes!” and began the journey.
Furthermore, the reason I then come to share this all with others is because it is an objective reality. That means that others should know about it. If one is led to the finest soil for growing food or to the rivers holding the freshest waters for bringing forth life, then that person is obligated to share this with others as an act of fraternal charity. Conversely, if this were all just a subjective experience not grounded in an objective reality, there would be nothing to share, for I would then be influencing others to follow my own self-created path, and no one should want to follow or be influenced by that.
Should you choose to engage yourself in what is here, you will obviously find an array of devotional expressions pertaining to those great saints mentioned above, Joan of Arc and Thérèse of Lisieux! These two have a true spiritual kinship that I celebrate in my books, essays, and poetry. They have both had a tremendous influence on my life and are specific relationships given to me from Jesus through Mary’s heart. Through their sisterly care, I have come to experience the beauty that is the trail of the Dogmatic Creed through Roman Catholicism. I have been led through the meadows and over the creeks on a magnificent pathway toward a Kingdom where the saints lead us to Mary, and where she then leads us all to the very Heart of Our Savior!