According to Catholic teaching, The Maid of Orléans came to national prominence in her native France when the country was in danger of being overrun by a foreign army. With it eventually declared by the Catholic Church that young Joan was divinely inspired, she was proclaimed a Saint and Patroness of both the French nation and France’s Armed Forces by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.
Fast forward almost a century later, many consider France again to be in danger by another foreign power. But this time, the invaders aren’t as conspicuous as the English army and their Burgundian allies.
As Elaine Ganley of the Associated Press penned on Dec. 11, 2015, 26-year-old Marion Marechal-Le Pen is not only the youngest member of the Gallic Republic’s parliament during the modern age, she’s also been dubbed “a woman of velvet with a character of steel”. Marechal-Le Pen is also raising eyebrows as a rising star in France’s controversial National Front political party.
Despite the mainstream media and their political foes decrying the National Front guilty of being “far-right wing” and anti-immigrant, Marechal-Le Pen and her aunt, National Front leader Marine Le Pen, prefer to look upon themselves and the other members of France’s third largest political party simply as patriots who seek to preserve their national identity, distinctive French culture and the country’s standing as one of the historical pillars of Christendom.
Despite her long blonde hair and almost porcelain features, the young lawmaker doesn’t exactly shy away from speaking her mind. As she recently stated at a rally in Toulon, “We are not a land of Islam. Muslims can be French citizens only on condition that they bend to the customs and the way of life that Greek, Roman and 16 centuries of Christianity fashioned.”
The self-described conservative Catholic, Marechal-Le Pen not only appeals to the small but rapidly growing pre-Vatican II Catholic traditionalists, but also to the feverishly patriotic “identity movement” thriving in the southern part of the nation that’s fighting to keep France French.
Currently campaigning for the presidency (governorship) of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of southern France, she vowed that as the president of the province that stretches from the southern French Alps to the Riviera, she would cut funds to pro-abortion groups and taxpayer funds from pro-Muslim associations.
At a recent rally in Paris that brought together all 13 National Front candidates, the crowd whooped with delight when Marechal-Le Pen took the stage – and spontaneously erupted into singing “Happy Birthday” to her.
“She has something hereditary, a political sense,” said Marc Lecointe, a 40-year-old finance professional. And her looks?
Speaking like a true Frenchman, Lecointe replied, “That helps.”