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RP3 18v

You do not see the presence of Jesus;
His ravishing charms are hidden...
Joan, your heart dreads suffering,
You are facing death and you are only twenty!
Daughter of God, throughout your life
You have resembled Jesus, your Spouse,
And now He sees your agony.
He hears your every sigh.
Great-hearted virgin, Jesus sees your anguish.
He upholds you in His all-powerful arms...
For you, to this passing life    
Shall soon succeed an eternal present!

 

[Scene 6]

The archangel exits. Left alone, Joan holds her head in her hands. Her stance reveals a profound sadness mixed with resignation. After a few moments,

JEAN MASSIEU enters.

Poor Joan! everything is ready. In half an hour you will leave this place to go to death, or rather to the end of your troubles.... But perhaps you have some last wish? Speak with­out fear — I promise to do the impossible to satisfy you....

JOAN 

 Oh! yes, I have one wish, and if you can procure this grace I desire I will remember you forever. Before I die, I want to receive Holy Communion one last time... Jesus hidden under the veils of the white host is all that will give me the strength to walk to my death... When I feel His Divine Heart beating next to mine, it seems to me that the fire of His love will help me bear with courage the flames of the bonfire... 

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

 

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RP3 19r

 JEAN MASSIEU

Though I fear I might be refused, I'll go at once to ask this favor of My Lord [the Bishop] of Beauvais. With your having been excommunicated, I believe he won't be able to allow you Com­munion.........  But pray... God can grant this miracle for you!...

JOAN

Oh, thank you!... The Lord will give you the consolation that you are giving me!...

 

[Scene 7] 

Jean Massieu exits. After he's gone, Joan kneels down.

JOAN

Oh my God! now I understand the deliverance my voices told me of.... It wasn't at all what I'd dreamt........Rather it was death!... death at twenty!.... Oh! how insignificant is human glory. It has passed for me like smoke that vanishes in a moment!... Under lovely laurels, my enemies have dug my grave!... I am going to die!... Within the hour there'll be nothing left of me but ashes.... But no, O my God, I am wrong! my soul will fly to You. I am going to live to never die again.... One day my body will rise from the dust and be reunited with my soul. It will see You and possess You Yourself, Lord!... Why then am I still sad, why does the bonfire make me afraid?...

 

[Scene 8]

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc        

 
 
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RP3 19v

 Saint Catherine enters, clothed in a white robe, crowned with roses and carrying a martyr's palm. She goes to sit by Joan who smiles at seeing her.

SAINT CATHERINE,
 taking Joan's chained hands and pressing them to her heart.
O my dear Sister, I come to you! I come to console you and to show you the glory the Lord plans for His elect. Hear the words of eternal Wisdom and you will understand why the God of love has willed that your time here below should be brief like the flight of a dove... Hear..... and may your heart leap for joy...
"The souls of the just are in the hand of God and the tor­ment of death will not touch them. To unsensing eyes, they have appeared to die and their departure from earth has seemed an affliction.... however, they are in peace!... If they have suf­fered torments before men, their hope is full of the immortality they have been promised... Their affliction was light and their reward will be great, because the Lord has tested them and found them worthy of Him. He has tried them like gold in a furnace... He has received them as a holocaust... The just will shine, they will glitter like flames among reeds... they will judge the nations and hold dominion over the peoples, and their Lord will reign eternally." [See Wisdom 3:1-8]

 JOAN

Oh! How the words of the Eternal Wisdom spread peace in my soul!... Is it really true that I will have the happiness of seeing God and sharing the delights of the Saints?... But I am only in the springtime of my life; what reward can I expect after so little time on earth?...

SAINT CATHERINE

Joan, listen again to the words of Uncreated Wisdom; that is what will teach you what you 

 

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

           
 
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RP3 20r

 wish to know: "When one of the just," it says, "dies a premature death, he finds himself at peace, because what makes age venerable is not the length of life or the number of years. Rather, the prudence of the just will take the place of white hair, and a spotless life will count as a happy old age.... As the just one has been pleasing to God, God has loved him and the Lord has taken him away from the sinners he lived among, lifted him up from fear that the world's malice might cor­rupt his spirit and false appearances seduce his soul... Having lived only a little, he's run the course of a long life, because his soul was pleasing to God; that is why He has hastened to snatch this one from the midst of iniquity.... . People see this removal without understanding it and it does not occur to them that the grace and the mercy of God are for His Saints and that He looks with favor on His elect......But youth ended so soon condemns the long lives of sinners — they will see the end of the wise one and will not understand God's plan for him and why the Lord has kept him safe......"  [See Wis 4:7-17]

 JOAN

On earth, they will not understand, but on the last day they will; how great their sorrow will be to see the just in glory!... Alas! what will those who now persecute me say when they see these magnificent promises fulfilled in me?...

SAINT CATHERINE, continuing to quote the words of Wisdom.

"On the last day, the just will rise up against those who have heaped afflictions on them. The wicked will be seized with fear and a horrible fright. They will say to themselves: 'These are those who once were the object of our mockery and whom we branded as deserving of all sorts of disgrace!... How foolish we were! their life seemed folly to us and their deaths shameful; but see them raised among the children of God and of the company of the Saints.... How has our pride served us?... What have we gained from our riches?... All these things have passed like a shadow, like a ship that ploughs through the turbulent waters and leaves no trace of its passage.... Thus we are no sooner born than we cease to be, and we have shown no trace of virtue within ourselves.' Thus will the wicked speak, because their hope is like smoke that the wind blows away or like the memory of a traveler that passes by, not spending a day in one place......But the just will live forever; the Lord holds their reward for them. That is why they will receive a wonderful kingdom from His hands and a crown

 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 
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RP3 20v

glittering with glory. He will cover them with His right hand and guard them with His Holy arm!..."
[See Wis 5:1-16. —Trans.]
 

JOAN, with a look of unspeakable happiness.

Oh! how happy I am!... Now death no longer makes me afraid, I desire it as the dawn of my eternal happiness. Holy Martyr, this evening I shall be your sister, with you I'll be able to follow the Divine Lamb and chant the canticle that only virgins are permitted!...

SAINT CATHERINE, getting up.

I'll see you soon again, my dear Sister, in a few moments you will leave this place of exile. Like the dove flying from the ark and finding no place to rest on earth, you are going to fly to the Holy ark and the gates of Heaven are going to open to let you in!...

JOAN

O Sweet Virgin! do not forget your promise. Come to me, sustain my courage during the martyrdom that I'm going to suffer.

SAINT CATHERINE

Yes, I'm going to accompany you and sing of the beauty of Heaven that is going to open before your eyes!... I'm going to sing of the palm and the immortal crowns the angels of Heaven have made ready to give you. (She kisses Joan on the forehead and exits.)
 

[Scene 9]

JOAN, alone,
sings this stanza to the tune of "Pourquoi m'avoir livré" ["Why Have You Set Me Free"] :
Lord, for Your love, I accept martyrdom.
I no longer fear death or the fire.
It is to You, O Jesus! my soul aspires.
My only desire is to [see] You, O my God.
 
 

© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc

 

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