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Joan of ArcJoan of Arc

Life: 1412-1431
Birth Place: Domrémy, France
Historical Role: Catholic Saint, Military Leader
Titles: Catholic Church Saint, Maid of Orleans
Primary countries affected:France
Secondary countries affected: United Kingdom
Events: Hundred Years War (1337-1453), Siege of Orleans (1429), Battle of Jargeau (1429), Battle of Meung-sur-Loire (1429), Battle of Beaugency (1429), Battle of Patay (1429), Attack on Paris (1429), Trial of Joan of Arc (1431)


Joan of Arc, is a French national hero, she is credited with reviving French resistance during the Hundred Years War against England and Burgundy. Joan of Arc is the daughter of Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée both of modest background. At 12 years of age, Joan experienced her first visions in which she received a message from Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, to defeat the English and to crown the rightful King of France, Charles VII. In order to accomplish her mission at the age of 16 she made her way to Vaucouleurs to ask for an escort to see to go find the dauphin in Chinon, after an unfavorable first response, eventually she was granted an escort of which Jean de Metz and Bertrand de Poulengy were part.

Once Joan arrived at Chinon she impressed Charles VII during a private hearing. Joan was then sent to Poitiers to examine her claims and assure she was not an heretic. She arrived at the Siege of Orleans in 1429, at first she was not taken seriously, but she still participated in the battles, as a standard bearer and raised morale. She lead a few battles on her own initiative and captured the stronghold of Les Tourelles. After these victories the Siege of Orleans was relieved. Jeanne went on to fight a few skirmishes on her way to Rheims in order to crown Charles VII, she took part in the Battle of Patay where the English were completely routed. She eventually made her way to Rheims and Charles VII was officially crowned King of France. After the coronation Joan led an attack on Paris, but it was unsuccessful and she had to withdraw soon afterwards. After this setback she went to Compiègne and was captured by the Burgundians.

She was eventually bought by the English, and put on trial for heresy. She had no chance of winning her trial, as it was decided before it even started, the English wanted to destroy her mystique. During the trial Bishop Pierre Cauchon played a leading role in convicting her. However, Jeanne who was just 19 conducted herself remarkably during the trial and answered every question correctly. One question was If she knew if she was in God's grace, she answered "If I am not may God put me there, and if I am, may God so keep me" a perfect answer, because no one can be certain of being in God's grace. She astonished her interrogators who were unable to get her to confess to anything. Despite all this, Jeanne was convicted for heresy and burned at the stake, the English burned her twice to prevent any remains, they then threw her ashes into the Seine river.


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