The Round of 32 starts off tomorrow with Saint Joan of Arc (or, as we called her in the Francophone town where I grew up, Sainte Jeanne d’Arc) competing against Lancelot Andrewes.
Who was English. Come on, are you going to let Joan lose to the English again?
(Besides which, he was Anglican. To my Catholic peeps: nuff said, right? 😉 )
Also, Joan identified her voices as St. Michael the Archangel, St. Margaret of Antioch, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, none of whom are in the running this year. So if you have a special fondness for any of them, vote for Joan as their proxy!
I’ve been recommending this piece about Joan because, for one thing, Sady Doyle does such a good job of culturally translating from medieval France to 21st century America:
“Most noble Lord Dauphin, I am come and am sent to you from God to give succor to the kingdom and to you.”
Dear Mister President, Your boss sent me, and I am going to save the entire country, because I am magic.
The story of Joan’s life, as you probably know, doesn’t end well; in fact it’s pretty damn heartbreaking, which this telling also quite powerfully conveys. It’s the story of an uppity woman, a transgressive teenager, who wouldn’t keep her socially-dictated place. She’s the patron saint of soldiers, especially women soldiers, and of rape victims. Of people ridiculed for their piety, and people who oppose Church authorities.
Vote for Joan.