Royaume France is my attempt to make sense of a single phenomenon. It is as if my entire life up to that day in October of 2008 was leading to it, and every day after has been an attempt to understand it. The phenomenon was a powerful instant whereby St. Joan of Arc permanently entered my life story through the Jehannian hermeneutics of St. Thérèse’s plays and poetry. I refer to it, using the terminology of St. Edith Stein, as a “divine glance” and an encounter with the combined hearts of St. Joan and St. Thérèse. For the next decade or more, this encounter transformed my life.
Royaume France is an attempt to explain this transformation. It is not about St. Joan of Arc and St. Thérèse of Lisieux as much as it is about their influence on me and on the meaning of that encounter. This journey led me through religion to philosophy and phenomenology and back again. Royaume France is a record of this intellectual and spiritual journey through the influence of the combined hearts of Joan and Thérèse.
Despite the very philosophical language the reader encounters along this way, the work remains highly devotional in nature. There is philosophy and phenomenology but no attempt to make this “divine glance” a purely philosophical affair. The astonishing moment imbuing my soul with a lifelong devotion to St. Joan of Arc is supernatural in nature and a grace from Our Lord Jesus Christ through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I have done my best in Royaume France to explain its meaning which I hope will be a catalyst for a similarly powerful devotion to St. Joan and St. Thérèse in others.