January 7, 2012 |
Escorted by knights on horseback, a horde of former Joans of Arc paraded this year's Joan through the darkened streets of a city liberated by their namesake nearly six centuries ago. They were headed to Sainte-Croix Cathedral, where, like a martial Rose Queen, she was handed her sword. As the cathedral filled Friday night to celebrate the 600th birthday of a teenage girl who claimed to hear the voice of God, medieval maidens wearing flowing headdresses giggled on cellphones, bagpipe players from Nantes huddled in a corner and the knights in shining armor wandered through the crowd.
January 4, 2012 |
On Jan. 6, people around the world will come together to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the birth of St. Joan of Arc, the brave peasant girl from the French countryside who in 1429 lifted the English siege of Orléans, walloped the enemy army and led her king to be crowned at Reims. French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans a special visit to the village of Domremy, her birthplace. There will be a parade at 6 o'clock in New Orleans, a French pilgrimage retracing the route that led to Joan's martyrdom at the stake in Rouen, prestigious classical music concerts and ceremonial viewings of Carl Theodor Dryer's silent-screen masterpiece, "The Passion of Joan of Arc. " And how typical of the magic of Joan's story that she should have been born on so important a Christian holiday, the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrating Christ's baptism and the coming of the Magi.
November 6, 2008 |
With only a week left before the crush of fall films begins in earnest, this might be a good time to take a step back and immerse yourself in one of cinema's classics. Carl Dreyer's 1928 "The Passion of Joan of Arc," with Maria Falconetti in the title role in a rare screen appearance, is one of the acknowledged masterworks of the late silent period. See it one time only with a modern electronic score played live by Klive and Nigel Humberstone, collectively known as In the Nursery.
April 7, 2007 |
A rib bone supposedly found at the site where French heroine Joan of Arc was burned at the stake is actually that of an Egyptian mummy, according to researchers who used high-tech science to expose the fake. The bone, a piece of cloth and a cat femur were said to have been recovered after the 19-year-old was burned in 1431 in the town of Rouen. In 1909 -- the year Joan of Arc was beatified -- scientists declared it "highly probable" that the relics were hers.
February 18, 2006 |
A team of scientists hopes to crack one of the layers of mystery surrounding 15th century French heroine Joan of Arc: Could a rib and other fragments recovered after she was burned at the stake be hers? Eighteen experts plan a battery of tests on the few remains reportedly recovered from the pyre where the 19-year-old was burned alive for heresy -- including a rib bone and some skin.
May 23, 2005 |
I was there to research a book. The curanderas (healer women) of Cuernavaca had agreed to meet with me and discuss the secrets of their trade. They lived in a modest house, and later in the night they offered me a plastic bowl of green Jell-O. Nothing magical. No one was burning incense, burning candles, sprinkling holy water or chanting mantras. A very noisy, very bad ranchero band was playing in the neighbor's yard to celebrate a barrio wedding.