It is very probable that one of the notable information of medieval period is Joan of Arc who fascinates continuously not only historians but also students to this day. She was born in 1412 in the village of Domreny, in the Department of Vosges, France. During the Hundred Years War, there was an area of battle taken in French National heroine. Joan of Arc led the French army to some vital victories at that time. The French army had experienced a number of fields; however, Joan drawn rehabilitated confidence by lifting blockade of Orleans and gained the City of Reims in nine days. Unfortunately, she was captured by the Burundians and put on trial for charges of “insubordination and heretical doctrine”. In this day, Joan of Arc stayed remained a significant in Western Civilization, and French politicians have reminded of her memory. This research paper, based on secondary research, summaries the Joan’s life and based on the findings, the paper draws the conclusion that Joan she is kept in people’s mind in the world over the time. There is actually hope that people will respect and remember her most.
Keywords: born, French National heroine, vital victories, capture, trial
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc or “Maid of Orléans” is a provincial girl. Nevertheless, in a short of time, she assisted a hesitant king crown, reunited all the fragmented people, overturned the situation of a great war between France and English, and turned our history to a new page. When Joan died, all things about her were proved, she was the French saint, a country heroine, she was naive, and had strong inspiration. Even when intimidated with martyrdom and confronted with the death by fire on stake for witchcraft, she asserted that the voices of God still appeared in her head and always guided her. Even she heard the voices or not, her successes make anyone who knows her life has to remember about incredible things she did: a French saint, a countrywide heroine. There are some sources guess Joan of Arc was 19 year old when her trial for heresy was carried out in 1431. After the execution of the saint Joan of Arc, her birthday was celebrated on January 6th. This paper provides a preview of the background of Joan of Arc, her spiritual and military leadership helped to stimulate a discouraged king and nation to fight against the English. The paper also analyses the proceedings of Joan’s trail and provide brief information about the legacy of her with her imagines in art.
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Who is Joan of Arc
From 1337 to 1453, there were a series of conflicts between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France called The Hundred Years’ War. Almost the fighting took place in France, but the French never ever won any key victory over a generation. At this time, Joan of Arc was a person who led the armies of France to several significant victories over the English. And then, Charles VI was enthroned to be the King of France with her support. She was guilty of witchcraft by English. On May 30, 1431, she was burn to death at Rouen, France. Twenty-five years later, she was pronounced to be innocence, and to be died as a martyr. Joan of Arc was beatified on 18 April 1909 and canonized in 16 May 1920.
The name and real name
In fact, the name Joan of Arc is an English bastardization of her name which was never used while she was alive. Her real name was Joan of Arc. She preferred to be called Joan the maid or “Jehanne la Pucelle”. At her trial she confirmed that: “In my town they called me Jeannette, and since I came into France I have been called Joan.”
Where and when she was born
Joan of Arc was born in the little village of Domremy in the Eastern part of France known as Lorraine. It was the last town which still loyal to Charles VII in The Hundred Years’ War. The exact date of her birthday was not recorded but the people of Domremy confirmed that she was born on Epiphany which is January 6.
“It was during the night of the Epiphany of Our Lord (January 6, Twelfth Night), when men are wont most joyfully to recall the acts of Christ that she first saw the light in this mortal life. And, wonderful to relate, the poor inhabitants of the place were seized with an inconceivable joy. And though ignorant of the birth of the Maid, they rushed hither and thither in search of what might be the new event. Their hearts as one were conscious of a new gladness.”–Lord Perceval de Boulanivilliers, writing to the Duke of Milan in 1429 about Joan’s birth.
The Epiphany celebrates the revelation of God in human form in the person of Jesus Christ and part of the celebration commemorates the arrival of the three “Wise Men” who were led to the baby Jesus by a star in the sky above Bethlehem. Therefore, her birthday was generally accepted to be January 6, 1412.
Joan’s family and her religion
Joan’s parents, Jacquesd’Arc and Isabelle, were simple peasants like most of people living in Domremy. She was the fourth born with three older brothers. Jacquemin, Jean and Pierre. Joan described them as: “Simple laborers, honest in their poverty, for they were of small means”.
Actually, Joan of Arc and her father didn’t have a really good relationship. Especially when he wants her to marriage. She had a better relationship with her mother than any one, and learned many things from her mother such as how to sew linen cloths, to spin cloths, housekeeping skills, and especial religion. On the other hand, she learned to farm and to attend the animals from her father.
Joan got a deep religious belief from her mother and spent much of her time praying in church. She said she received the first revelation at the age of 13, when she was in the field alone, hearing voices of angels.”When I was thirteen, I had a voice from God to help me govern myself.” Initially, she kept these experiences to herself. After that, St. Catherine and St. Margaret told her that God had chosen her to help Charles VII to enthrone and drive the English out of France.
Joan of Arc busied with the housework like any other girl when she lived in Domremy. She was told to be a good, simple, modest and pious girl. She often caring for the sick and giving alms to the poor. Especially, she fearing God and his saints, went often to church and the sacred places, frequently confessed and often she was ashamed because of people remarking how she went so devoutly to church.
“Joan was of my wife Jeanne’s kinsfolk. I knew Jacques d’Arc and Isabelle well, the parents of Joan the Maid, good and true Catholics, and of good repute, and I believe that Joan was born in the town of Domremy and that she was baptized at the font of St. Remy in that town. Joan was of good behavior, devout, patient, going readily to church, willingly to confession, and gave alms to the poor when she could, as I witnessed, both in the town of Domremy and at Burey, at my house, where Joan resided during a period of six weeks. Willingly did she work, spinning, ploughing, keeping the cattle, and did other work suitable for women.” Durand Laxart – Joan’s uncle
“Jeannette, whom this concerns, was born at Domremy and baptized at the Church of St. Remy, a parish of that place. Her father was called Jacques d’Arc and her mother Isabelle, farmers, during their lifetime, at Domremy. From what I saw and knew they were faithful Catholics and hard workers, of good repute and decent conversation, according to their condition; for several times I spoke with them. I was myself one of Jeanne’s godfathers. Jeannette in earliest youth, was well and properly brought up in the faith and good conduct and so much so that nearly all the inhabitants of Domremy loved her” Jean Morea – farmer who knew Joan as a child
Why she is still remembered
The Hundred Years’ War was divided into four stages. The English army’s use of chevauchée tactics and destroyed the French’s economy. At the three first stages of the war before the Joan of Arc’s appearance, the English had nearly achieved their goal of a dual monarchy under English control and the French army had not achieved any major victories for a generation. In history of French, Joan of Arc was known as the youngest leader in army. Within two months, she entirely changed the position of French to became the victor in the greet war that had been long about 100 years. The successes that she gained in Orleans and Patay were considered as the important victories in the history. Moreover, her prophetic ability that was always correct was also impressive.
Life and career
Life of Joan of Arc
Joan of arc was born in the northern France when there were many fighting between The English and the French during the Hundred Years’ War. This period of time affected very much on her life. Joan was born in a wealthy family and she was the daughter of Isabelle Romée and Jacques d’Arc in Domremy. is It’s a small village which was in the Meuse River valley and now it’s the department of Vosges, to the East of Nancy, in the region of Lorraine, so Joan of arc also was called Jeanne la Pucelled’Orleans . Her parents owned about 50 acres (about 20 hectares) of land and her father worked as a village official in a small position. They lived in a remote area of eastern France. During the Hundred Years’ War, she had witnessed many scenes of fighting between French and English. A number of local raids occurred during her childhood and she often saw the English burned her village.
Much of Joan’s time was spent on praying in the church because she got a deep spiritual faith from her mother. By the age of 13, she was having the religious visions and she could hear the voices of saints. She said that she later found that she experienced her first vision around 1424 when she was 12 years old. When she was out alone in a garden and saw visions. She identified as Saint Michael, Saint Catharine, and Saint Margaret. Initially, she just kept these experiences to herself. But when Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret told her that she was the chooser to help Charles VII, she told her parents about that. Saints told Joan to send away the English and take the Dauphin to Reims for his When they left, she cried because they were so beautiful. However, her father rejected to send her to Charles. From that point of her life, many historical events occurred and changed her life.
The Way to army
After her first vision of the voices of Saints in a field, Joan started to do her mission. One of the renowned events in the life of Joan is the first meeting between her and Charles VII. Six years later, in 1428, her visions happened again and again. Some of her friends believed she was really divinely inspired and she was prepared a horse and boy’s clothing and her friends accompanied her to the military leader at Vaucouleurs. It was situated just west of Nancy in the present day subdivision of Meuse, Robert de Baudricourt. However, Baudricourt didn’t take her seriously and even ignored her. She returned home after that. She was supported by two men: Jean de metz and Bertrand de Poulengy. After that, under their helps, she had chance to have a second meeting, in January ,1429, and this was the time that a remarkable prediction was made by Joan about a military reversal near Orleans. She was confident when she met Baudricourt. Baudricourt provided her with an accompany of six men to accompany her to the King Charles at Chinon after they received the news confirmed her forecast. She left Vaucoulers and went to Chino on about February 13, and in that time, she dressed as a man. Joan made her journey with her escort in about 11 days. They crossed held land before reaching Dauphin. The story about Joan met the Dauphin Charles was mysterious. According to the history, Joan had impressed Charles during a private conference. Dauphin decided to test her and he had one of his courtiers act as if the king. However, Joan ignored the courtier and she was able to recognize Dauphin and went directly to him even in a crowd. Moreover, she never met him before and had any ideals about his appearance. The meeting was took place in a castle in Chinon on about March 7th, 1429. Many people in the castle had witnessed the ability of Joan and both of them were impressed by her. Simon Charles was a representative of the court and he described that when the King was informed that she would come, he decided to test Joan. At first, he retired behind some others. Nonetheless, Joan realized him very well and made him respect. The King heard fully the story of Joan and he very enjoyed it. Another witnessed in the castle in that day called Raoul de Gaucourt said that he was there in Chinon when Joan came there. He saw her presented herself before many people with humility and simplicity. He remembered that Joan had said she was sent to met the King Charles and help him and to give assist to the kingdom and to him. During the time Joan met Dauphin Charles, Joan met his mother in law and Joan asked her for her to travel with the army and wear as a knight. She used the donated items such as protective covering horse, blade, banner, and other substance utilized by her entourage. She persuaded Charles to put her at the head of the military marching to put aside Orleans. Historian Stephen W. Richey pointed out that Joan was viewed as the only hope for the regime that was near collapse. The decision of King Dauphin Charles VII to put Joan into army influenced very much not only on the conflict between French and English but also on her own life. This decision brought Joan to a new glorious page of France.
The first victory of Joan of arc might be the victory in Orleans. When she left Chinon and at that time she was the leader of the French army, in April 1429, she was eighteen years old. She was prepared with a fine war-horse and she wore a white armor from head to foot, she went to Orleans in the cheering multitude of many people. She brought an ancient sword that she found next to the crypt of a saint, and she thought that sword could bring her the lucky and the belief from the God. The soldiers who were beside her always carefully guarded her. She talked about her visions to the soldiers to inspire the whole army with courage and faith. When she arrived and saw the besieged city of Orleans, she rode around it without any fearless while many English soldiers looked at her in astonishment.
Although Joan of arc was prevented by many English besiegers, she was able to enter Orleans. She encouraged all the soldiers by her cheerful and confident words. She led her soldiers forth to give the battle to the English as soon as possible. She led the army to an amazing success. They quickly took more and more English forts. Joan fights against the English with all her power like a real man leader. Unfortunately, she received a slight wound when she was leading the attacking force. She had to carry the wound out of the battle and she was attended by a surgeon. After that, her soldiers began to retreat. She told them to eat and drink and rest to prepare for the next offensive. Moreover, she promised as soon as she recovered she would touch the walls and then she would force them to enter the other English forts. In a few minutes, she got on her horse again and rode quickly up to the fort and the touched it with the banner. Her soldiers almost instantly carried it. The English was forced to leave the city and brought the city to the end of siege. The French military were so proud of the victory and they called Joan the “Maid of Orleans”. She was well known by this name in history.
By the victory in Orleans, she was very famous at that time, not only the English but also the French thought she had the power of a man. Some people even thought she was not human, she was a saint. She was with the French army passed over several battles and she always brought the victory to the country. The power of Joan made the English at last leaved far to the north of France. Then, Joan urged the Charles went to Rheims and he was followed with twelve thousand soldiers and Charles was crowned king. Joan said to the King Charles that her mission was over and she had to go home to her parents. The King persuaded her to stay a while longer because the France was not tied up from the English. Joan agreed but she said that she could not hear the heaven voices anymore and she was afraid.
Joan fruitlessly sieged Paris in September of 1429 .Then she was captured by the Burgundians on May 23rd, 1430 and sold to the English for 10000 Francs. However, Charles VII entirely made no endeavor to protect her. Joan was imprisoned by the Duke of Burgundy in his place at Vermandois. When Joan made an escape effort but not success, Burgundy shifted her to a northern castle, which was far from French border. At this place, she made an even more escape effort by jumping sixty feet from her prison top into the ditch. Despite knocked unconscious and much black-and-blue from this escape effort, Joan was not seriously hurt. To prevent her action Burgundy then moved Joan to a more protected jail in Arras.
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In fact, Charles had ability to assist Joan but he chose to do nothing when she was imprisoned. Nevertheless, there is no trustworthy historical evidence that Charles ever made an effort to do anything to rescue Joan. The most feasible time for Charles VII to have rescued Joan was during the six months when she was in the Burgundians’ control. Actually, The King could exchange one of the important hostages of Burgundians for Joan or Charles VII could have paid a sum of money for Burgundians to set free for Joan. On the other hand, Charles VII could send out the same army that Joan had led to fight hardly again to protect their admired leader. Most arguments have concluded that he had egoistic personality, therefore, he felt threatened whenever anyone around him became too well-known or too successful. His own son Louis XI even was eliminated from authority by himself when Louis XI began to have what he felt was too much military success. When Joan had dedicated by all her heart to support Charles VII acquire his crown he seemed to never be concerned what would come to her.
Trial and execution
On May 25th in 1430, Paris received the information that Joan had been detained. The pro-English University of Paris recommended that Joan should be delivered to ecclesiastics for enquiry and Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, would control the examination. For this reason Joan had been transferred in his diocese on January 3rd in 1431 from prison of Burgundy for a price of 10,000 francs.
The trial of Joan started on January 13th in 1431 which was carried out by the Church and the State did not control this and Bishop Cauchon with the vice inquisitor of France were the adjudicators. The first thing they did is that taking evidences from many people to prove Joan is a witch. Almost all of these evidences showed that her behavior was so weird, strange “voices” appeared in her imagine, she usually wandered alone, and “Joan of Arc wore male clothing at many points when it wasn’t necessary” (Allen, 2006, P. 2). In fact, she not only accepted men’s clothing, but also had accepted a man’s responsibilities, courageously powerful armies and advising even the King. Joan was called a witch because the women at that time had to bear this label for their efforts to go beyond traditional gender positions. On February 21st in 1431, Joan was convened at the court. Joan always declined to answer any question about Charles VII at the moment she pledged to reveal all the fact. Afterward the initial 70 heresy charges decreased to 12 and Joan at the same time in wet cells became ill. This worried Burgundy due to he wanted that she was still alive before having enough evidences to prove she was a witch in the court. However Joan continued reject to change her declaration. Therefore, she was permitted to receive communion and to make declaration of guilt. On May 23rd in 1431, the judges made a plan to turn over her back to secular powers.
At the first time, her jailers treated Joan really well. Especially, in the period John of Luxembourg kept Joan, he took care of her as a steward. Furthermore, despite her later jailers behaved less kindly and gave cruel treatment her live never was threatened by the death. Due to Joan had made prison break in the past, Bishop Cauchon tied her to a wooden block and sent more guards to watch over her. The reasons they did not execute Joan directly were that if they basically killed Joan, they would create a martyr for France, and then French people would have more encouragement to fight against the English. In reality, the English-Burgundy leaders put Joan on trial for witchcraft but they did not really want to know that she was a witch or not. As an alter-native, they intended to weaken her imagine in the French people’s mind before murdering her. After that they could have more free to kill her without supplying a martyr for France since they supposed that no one would believe and support for a guilty witch, so they were glad to give Joan for University of Paris ecclesiastical powers. In addition, when created the rumor that Joan was a witch, they could also suspect about the prudence of Charles VII for the reason that a witch limited he for a long time. The straight and influential position that religion took in European politics throughout the 15th century was displayed by the way the English-Burgundy allies used the Church to dishonor Joan before killing her.
Joan continuously refused to answer any question about Charles VII, this made the judges who created 70 charges against her in a month really disappointed. They accused her against the Church by demanding to obey the direct power of God from these voices. They told that she un-suitably wore clothes for men, and wrongly claimed to be promised of redemption. When Joan faced with all the questions on these charges, Joan showed her wisdom by giving the competently indirect answers. She was threatened with agony by her angry captors when she wanted to re-main her answers at their pressures. Because Joan still kept her story and never gave up by that useless torture of the court the majority of the charges were reduced from seventy to twelve. Ac-cording to Charles’s (1832) study, they noted how Joan answered some questions of judges:
Asked about the teaching which her voice gave her respecting the salvation of her soul, she said that it taught her to govern herself well, to go often to church, and that it said she also must go to France. And Joan added that the questioner would not this time learn from her in what guise the voice had appeared to her. She furthermore confessed that the voice told her twice or thrice a week that she must leave home and go to France; and that her father knew nothing of her departure. She also said that the voice told her to go to France, and that she could no longer remain where she was, and that the voice told her that she should raise the siege of Orleans. She further said that her voice had told here that she should go to Robert de Baudricourt, Captain of the fortress of Vaucouleurs, and he would give her attendants; and she then answered that she was a poor girl who knew not how to ride a horse nor head a campaign. She also said that she went to her uncle and told him that she wished to stay with him for a little while; and she stayed there about eight days; and she then told her uncle that she must go to the fortress of Vaucouleurs; and he conducted her. (pp. 113-117)
On May 24th in 1431, verdict of Joan was announced. After her trial which was under the control of the Bishop Pierre Cauchon, Joan was tranferred to the secular authority of the Burgundians and English. Joan requested to make an entreaty to Pope, but this was rejected by the court. Be-cause worried what could occur to her in English-Burgundy control, Joan surrendered and signed an abjuration in which she confessed her crimes. With that action Joan had thwarted English’s plan by confessing her responsibility and she would be alive when remaining under ecclesiastical power. Obviously, this made English them become enraged since they hastily wanted to execute her and did not care about the way to do it. Nonetheless, after signing the document when Joan was kept in the prison entire her life, she claimed that the voices reappeared in her head and judged her surrender. Therefore, Joan told that her abjuration was a fault due to she put a cross behind to her name and some theorized that this signal show that she did not consider what she signed was serious. The Church court supposed that she did a relapse and on May 29th they gave her for the secular authorities which she never wanted to meet.
During the period of trial and custody she courageously struggled for her inquisitors. Only when the trial gave the final conclusion, she recanted since punished to be sent to a secular power. She was convicted to be imprisoned all her life. Soon, conversely, she took back her abjuration, was transferred to the secular court because of relapse, and was tied on the stake for witchcraft to burn on May 30th, 1431 in Rouen. Charles VII made late appreciation of her dedication by a restoration trial in 1456 that invalidated the original trial.
As soon as the way Joan would be executed was announced, she became hysterical, she claimed to the guards that instead of burning she wanted to be decapitated, but they never accepted. Before the moment Joan was put on the stake, one English soldier sympathized with the girl who would die when she was too young gave her a handmade wooden cross. Joan kissed the cross and put it near to her heart. During her executing, a Dominican friar soothed her by raised a crucifix for her to look at while she died. Till the end of her life, she nonstop claim that the voices in her head came from the heaven to guide her. She called on her three saints she admired for com-fort when she burned and before she lost awareness, she shouted out the name of Jesus three times.
Legacy and Art of Joan of Arc
After her death Joan of Arc becomes a semi- legendary personage about the four centuries. She is considered one of the first females leading solider, which makes people think about her courage. The information about her was recorded over the time; namely, five imaginative manuscripts of her trial surfaced in documentation during in the 19th century. Also, historians determined the complete preserves of her trial, which consisted of sworn acknowledgement from 115 witnesses. Moreover, a range of fashionable letters emerged, three of which took the signature Jeanne in the tremulous hand of a person learning to write. Kelly DeVries notes in Fresh Verdict of Joan of Arc (pp 3) that there is nobody during the Middle Ages, female or male, has been the matter of more study than Joan of Arc. She has been revealed as saint, heretic, spiritual zealot, soothsayer, uncontrolled teenager, savior of France, turner-of- the-tide of Hundred Years War, and even Marxist liberator. It is in fact that Joan was not a feminist. She manipulated within spiritual tradition that believed a person from any levels of society could receive a divine calling. Not only wrote Kelly DeVries -a women as leader of men: Joan of Arc’s military career but also indicated Stephen W. Richey in Joan of Arc- A military appreciation the people who came next her in the five centuries tried to make everything since her death: demonic revolutionary, spiritual mystic, adolescent, and disastrously ill-used tool of the authoritative, originator and icon of contemporary popular patriotism, highly though of brave woman, saint. She persisted:
Even when threatened with question and faced with death by fire, that she was guide by voices from God. Voices or no voices, her achievements leave anyone who knows her story shaking his head in amazed wonder”.
Also, people know her as straightforward and blameless; D’Alencon assumed that in everything that she did, except for the administration of the war, Joan was a young and uncomplicated; however, in the management of war she was most skillful, both in carrying a puncture herself, in drawing up the army in conflict order, and in placing the weapons. Everyone was overwhelmed that she acted with such cautiousness and clear- sightedness in military matters, as smartly as some great leader about twenty or thirty years experience; and especially in the insertion of weapons, for in that she released herself magnificently. It is clear that writers and composers always appreciated and respected her sacrifice.
Joan of Arc has been a political representation in France since the time of Napoleon. Joan is most powerful as a character of the Catholic Right, according to Richard Vinen, Bikinis and Breastplates: Joan of Arc and Brigitte Bardot. During World War II, not only the Vichy Regime but also the French Resistance used her reflection: Vichy propaganda remembered her struggle against the English with announcement that illustrated British warplanes and the description: The Always Return to the Scene of Their Crimes
Joan of Arc was went along with a range of poems, books and magazine written by many writers and composers such as William Shakespeare ( Henry 6, part 1), Voltaire ( The Maid of Orleans), Giuseppe Verdi ( Giovanna d’ Arco), Mark Twain ( Personal recollections of Joan)… Specifically, Mark Twain’s inscription on Saint Joan of Arc, most people are unconscious that Mark Twain exhausted about decade to discover Joan of Arc and wrote the Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc that was published in Harpers Magazine in 1895. The book detailed all Joan of Arc’s life and the author’s though about her. He said she is straightforwardly and the most peculiar person the human race has ever formed. Twain also assumed that he likes Joan of Arc most of all his books, and it is the greatest; he knows it completely well. What is more, it delivered me seven times the enjoyment afforded him by any of the others, twelve years to prepare, and two years to write. Nevertheless, other people need not to organize and obtained none. In addition, Giovanna d’ Arco is also outstanding production that praised Joan of Arc. Actually, Giovanna d’ Arco is an operatic performance with a initial remarks and three acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by TemistocleSolera. This drama reflected the story of Joan of Arc based on the play Die Jungfrau von Orleans by Fredrich von Schiller. From the past until now many famous writers and authors have been concerned about the life of Joan of Arc, and they convey their thought in their poems, drama, play and put into words meaningfully in sentences. Robert Southey-18th Century Poet whispered that “Foe only to the great blood guilty ones, The Masters and Murderers of Mankind. Joan of Arc has been went in us mind deeply, and no word can describe her at all. She was perhaps the only completely considerate person whose name has place in history. She was really the bravest of the heroic. Besides, Mark Twain, Kelly William Shakespeare…, Philippe- Alexander Le Burn de Charmttes is the primary historian who wrote Joan of Arc’s absolute history in 1817, in an attempt to bring back her family’s reputation from Joan’s status as a relapsed heretic. Also, we have the book Maid of heaven: The Story of Joan of Arc by Ben D. Kennedy. This was the celebrated book that fascinates numerous people, in particular writers and composers. He has read many books about France’s Patron Saint, Joan of Arc, however, he never seen one like Maid of Heaven…Mr. Kennedy does an amazing job of putting such a lyrical story into appealing lyrical form. There is a paragraph that congratulated Joan of Arc
“Thank you, dear maid, for teaching me
God’s truths that can often be so difficult to see
You showed through your life how to serve
Him best, in a world so full of treachery
For all of this and all that you still are,<
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