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On Pilgrimage with Dorothy Day View Comments
By Illustrations by Michael O'Neill McGrath, OSFS

Dorothy Day’s public presence is well-known: journalist, 20th-century reformer, cofounder of the Catholic Worker movement, antiwar and civil-rights activist. But beyond her public persona, Day (1897–1980) lived a storied private life. Through her long-running column in the Catholic Worker newspaper, aptly titled “On Pilgrimage,” and her many other works, readers traveled with Day as she embarked on a journey to awaken the social conscience of a nation. Privately, Day was also making a spiritual pilgrimage, seeking personal enlightenment as well.

The following illustrations are from Michael O’Neill McGrath’s new book, Saved by Beauty (World Library Publications). We added text to help tell the story for our readers. All images are used with permission.

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Michael O’Neill McGrath, OSFS, is a painter, writer, and speaker who loves to make connections between art and faith. The illustrations in this article are included in his book Saved by Beauty: A Spiritual Journey with Dorothy Day (World Library Publications). Text for this story was written by Assistant Editor Rachel Zawila, who has a bachelor of journalism degree from the University of Missouri.

Thank you for your comments. Editors will review all posts before they are visible on the website.

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Joan of Arc: 
		<p>Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.</p>
		<p>Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.</p>
		<p>During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed. </p>
		<p>On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.</p>
		<p>Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."</p>
		<p>Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. </p>
American Catholic Blog A surfer becomes a better surfer as he spends more time in the water and learns from his friends and experiences how to improve. It is so with the virtues too. They’re actionable—which means our ability to pursue the good improves with practice!

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