Carnal Vision and Saintly Ambition

Raymond Jonas

in The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780520242975
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938281 | DOI:
Carnal Vision and Saintly Ambition

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter discusses Claire Ferchaud's early recollection of Jesus and her deepening spiritual life which made her claim religious visions. Born to a family of farmers, Claire helped on the farm at a young age. She was tasked with tending the animals, an activity that offered her few distractions yet plenty of time for meditation and reflection. Claire's visionary powers dated from her earliest recollections. She was three when she challenged her mother's authority and found solace in a vision of Jesus. Her story of vision highlights a vexed relationship with authority, because Claire's encounter with Jesus followed an act of disobedience to her mother. Her earliest recorded vision of Jesus involved a contest of power in which she must decide whether to submit to the authority, just as her national “mission” during the war set her on a path where she would collide with both religious and secular authorities. Furthermore, her vision follows an unpleasant encounter with the real world; it emerges almost an alternative to it.

Keywords: Claire Ferchaud; Jesus; religious visions; authority; national mission

Chapter.  3472 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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