Joan of Arc: A Heroine of France

1. Joan of Arc’s Early Life

Joan of Arc was born in the village of Domremy in northeastern France in 1412. Her parents were Jacques d’Arc and his wife, Isabelle Romée, who were peasants. Joan had three brothers, including Jean, who would later serve as her page and standard-bearer. As a child, Joan reportedly heard the voices of Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint Catherine of Alexandria, and Saint Margaret the Virgin, who told her to drive the English from France and crown Charles VII as king. In May 1428, Joan left her home to seek out Charles VII and offer her services to him.

2. Joan of Arc’s Role in the Hundred Years’ War

The Hundred Years’ War was a series of conflicts fought between England and France over the course of more than a century (1337-1453). At the time, England controlled much of northwestern France, including the city of Paris. In 1428, Joan arrived in the town of Vaucouleurs and requested an audience with Robert de Baudricourt, the commander there. De Baudricourt initially refused to help Joan but was eventually won over by her persistence
and conviction. He agreed to provide her with an escort to take her to Chinon, where Charles VII was currently residing.

Upon arrival in Chinon, Joan successfully disguised herself among Charles’s courtiers and correctly identified him when he met with her secretly. Impressed by her discernment, Charles VII agreed to allow Joan to lead his troops into battle against the English. In April 1429, she set out for Orleans, which was under siege by the English. After arriving there, she helped lift the siege by leading a series of successful military engagements against the English forces. For her efforts, Joan became known as “the Maid of Orleans.”

In May 1429, Charles VII was crowned king of France at the cathedral in Reims. Joan played a key role in this victory by leading French troops to Reims and fighting alongside them during the Battle of Patay; this battle resulted in a crushing defeat for the English army. Following Charles’s coronation, Joan continued to fight for French control of Normandy and other territories occupied by the English.

3. Joan of Arc’s Death and Legacy

Sadly, Joan’s military career came to an abrupt end in May 1430 when she was captured by Burgundian troops during a skirmish at Compiègne. The Burgundians then sold her to their allies, the English, who put her on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Found guilty, she was burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30th, 1431. She was just nineteen years old. Today, Joan is considered a heroine of France and a Catholic saint. In 1920, she was canonized by Pope Benedict XV.

4. Sources

– https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Joan-of-Arc

– https://www.history.com/topics/hundred-years-war/joan-of-arc

FAQ

Joan of Arc was a French peasant girl who, in the early 15th century, led the French army to victory over the English in a series of battles during the Hundred Years' War.

The main events in Joan of Arc's life were her trial and execution for heresy, and her posthumous rehabilitation by the Catholic Church.

Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church in 1920.

Joan of Arc has been an enduring figure in popular culture because she is seen as a symbol of French national pride and heroism.

Joan of Arc's story contributed to the development of the French national identity by making her a martyr for the cause of French independence from England.

It is not known for certain whether Joan of Arc actually heard voices from God, or if she was suffering from some sort of mental illness. However, many people believe that she did hear voices from God, which helped her to lead the French army to victory over the English.

There are many factors that contributed to the eventual defeat of the English in the Hundred Years' War, but it is generally agreed that Joan of Arc played a significant role in this outcome.