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Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc

Introduction

About

JOAN OF ARC

Joan of Arc, also known as Jeanne d'Arc, was born around January 6, 1412, in Domrémy, a village in the northeastern part of France. She was the daughter of Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée. Joan grew up in a peasant family, and although her early years were unremarkable, she claimed to have experienced divine visions from saints such as Michael, Catherine, and Margaret starting at the age of 13. These visions instructed her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War.


In May 1428, Joan approached Robert de Baudricourt, the garrison commander at Vaucouleurs, seeking an armed escort to take her to the French court. Initially dismissed, her persistence eventually won over Baudricourt, and she was sent to Charles VII. After meeting with the Dauphin in Chinon in March 1429, she underwent a rigorous theological examination and was subsequently granted command of an army to relieve the besieged city of Orléans.


Joan's leadership and presence were pivotal during the Siege of Orléans, which marked a significant turning point in the war. She inspired the French troops and boosted their morale, leading to a series of victories that culminated in the lifting of the siege on May 8, 1429. Following this success, Joan persuaded Charles VII to proceed to Reims for his coronation, which took place on July 17, 1429. This event solidified Charles’s legitimacy as the King of France.


Despite her successes, Joan's fortunes turned in 1430 when she was captured by the Burgundians, allies of the English, during a skirmish near Compiègne. She was handed over to the English and put on trial for charges including heresy, witchcraft, and cross-dressing (wearing male military attire). The trial, held in Rouen, was politically motivated and aimed at discrediting Charles VII by undermining Joan's legitimacy and divine mission. Joan was declared guilty and, at the age of 19, was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.


Joan of Arc's story did not end with her death. Twenty-five years later, in 1456, a posthumous retrial ordered by Pope Callixtus III nullified the previous verdict, declaring her innocent and a martyr. Her life and death have had a lasting impact, inspiring numerous works of literature, art, and theater. Joan was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church on May 16, 1920, and is now one of the patron saints of France.


Joan of Arc's legacy is one of courage, faith, and determination. Her role in the Hundred Years' War and her unwavering commitment to her visions and mission have made her a symbol of French unity and nationalism. Her life continues to be a subject of historical study and popular fascination.


REFERENCE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc

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Place of Birth: Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France

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Date of Birth: January 6, 1412

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