This is the first you’re seeing of Joan of Arc on The New Feminist, but it won’t be the last! To my mind, she is the greatest example of new feminism (next to Mary, or course). I may be a little biased, since she is my patron saint (my name, Siobhan, is Irish for Joan), but I think it’s undeniable that she is a great model of authentic femininity. I have been fascinated with her since I was a child; I hungrily consumed as much information about her as I could through books, TV shows, and pictures, even when I was only 4 or 5. Every saint project I did at Catholic school was about her. And later, when I competed as an elite athlete, she served as my inspiration of emotional, physical, and spiritual courage. However, it was only after I discovered John Paul II’s writings on women and began to think more deeply about the nature of women that I began to see clearly why I was so drawn to her. Joan of Arc is not only an outstanding example of courage and holiness; she is also a reminder that being feminine is totally compatible with being a “fighter.” Authentic femininity isn’t about being girly or adhering to traditional stereotypes. Nor is it about cowering in a corner while the guys do all the heavy lifting…far from it, as these “words of wisdom” from St. Joan show! It’s about seeing others with our hearts, cherishing life, and being receptive to God’s will and to those around us. And I like to think that, if she were here today, Joan would be courageously leading the charge toward a new feminism.