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RP1 06r

Thence you will learn that to suffer has charms of its own
And you will rejoice with harmonious songs.
 
These melodies will fortify your soul
For the battle which is soon to come.
You'll need a love made all of flame,
For you will have to suffer!...
 
For pure souls, exiled here on earth,
The only glory is to bear the cross.
One day, in heaven, this austere scepter
Will far outshine the scepter of a king.

SAINT MICHAEL, still invisible.

Why speak of tears and suffering?
 Better to sing of glorious battles.
Sing, sing of the beauty of France
And the heroine whose arms shall be victorious!
Soon the God of battle shall lead Joan
From triumph on to triumph.
Across the battle lines she will be seen
Leading great generals.
But never will the great-souled virgin
Seek courtly honors for herself.
Her heart will remain pure, her faith great and sublime,
Until her final day.
 
Throughout these chants, Joan has lifted her head up, trying to see the invisible beings who are speaking to her. Then she stands as if in ecstasy.
 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP1 06v

Saint Michael's voice frightens her and she begins to cry again. When he has finished singing, she speaks.

JOAN

Who are you to speak to me this way? Oh! I beg you, show yourself to me. If your voice is so beautiful and so frightening, how beautiful your face must be!...

[Scene 5]

Saint Michael appears, suspended in the midst of a luminous cloud. Joan seems very frightened at the sight of him.

SAINT MICHAEL

I am Michael, the guardian of France, 
Great general of the kingdom of Heaven.
Unto Hell itself I exert my power
And the demon is totally envious of this.
Once he also shone with light
But Satan wanted to rule the Holy Place.
 I hurled into the midst of thunder
These words: "Who is like God?..."
And at that moment Divine vengeance
Dug open the abyss, and Lucifer plunged into it.
For there is no mercy for that proud angel
He deserved Hell!...
Yes, it was pride that cast this angel down
And turned Lucifer into a reprobate.
 Later, Man also crawled in the mud
 But God has healed that human pride.
 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP1 07r

It is the Eternal One, the Word equal to the Father,
Who by taking on this poor humanity
Made His work whole again.
By His deep humility
This same God deigns to save France
But not with a great commander.
He disdains pride and prefers
The weak arm of a child!....
 
Joan, it is you whom Heaven has chosen.
You must go off to answer His call.
You must leave your lambs, your pasturelands,
This pleasant valley, the fields and the woods.
Put on your armor!.... Rush to save France!
Go, and fear nothing, not even danger.
God will know to crown your valor,
And you will chase the foreigners away....
 
JOAN, trembling.
Can it be God has destined me for such great things? But, I feel none of the courage of which you speak.... I am only a weak and timid child.... Alas! must I leave this countryside where all my childhood has flowed by so gently?...

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP1 07v

SAINT MICHAEL
Timid child, leave your cottage,
And take the sword that God has kept for you.
Take as your standard a pure white banner
And go to find the king!...
Saint Michael tries to give her the sword, but her hand recoils in terror.
 
JOAN, in a shaky voice.
Oh, no! Not yet Saint Michael, my lord, keep your sword I am only a child, how can I go into combat, then?
Saint Michael disappears. Joan sits down on a rock.
 
[Scene 6]
JOAN, alone.
Ah! if God had asked me to retire from the world and live in solitude, far away, I would not hesitate to leave my dear parents behind to obey Him. But it is to the war that I must go!...I must fight at the head of an army! Oh no — it cannotbe!!!
 
[Scene 7]
She hides her face in her hands
 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

 

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RP1 08r

 and cries. After a few moments of silence, Saint Catherine enters and stands by the little shepherdess. She looks tenderly on the girl, touches her gently and murmurs: "Joan... " Joan raises her head, sees the radiant face of the virgin, and falls to her knees, crying:

O Lady! how beautiful you are!... Even just the sight of you comforts me... But who are you? I have never seen a vision so sweet, so luminous...
 
SAINT CATHERINE,
to the tune of "Tombé du nid... La blonde enfant de la colline" ["Fallen From the Nest... The Blonde Girl From the Hill"]
I am the virgin Catherine
Come from Heaven to comfort you.
This is my Divine mission:
To bless you and watch over you.
Like you, I was on the earth
A dear child of the Lord.
To me He was so tender
That I gave my heart to Him.
Beginning life,
In joy I gave
To God my springtime.
At eighteen, I was martyred!...

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

 

See the music score

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