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The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War$
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Raymond Jonas

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520242975

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520242975.001.0001

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Carnal Vision and Saintly Ambition

Carnal Vision and Saintly Ambition

(p.15) Carnal Vision and Saintly Ambition
The Tragic Tale of Claire Ferchaud and the Great War

Raymond Jonas

University of California Press

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

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