Joan Of ArcJoan of Arc
When Joan of Arc was born the Hundred Years War was over half way over. She was considered a French saint, a national heroine, and was called the Maid of Orleans. She was born to peasant parents in Domremy-la-Pucelle in France in 1412. Joan attended mass daily and visited the church on a regular basis. France was struggling because they were in need of a king who could get the country back together and keep it together. It was under these conditions that Joan of Arc grew up(www.millersv.edu).
At a young age Joan of Arc confessed to hearing voices. The voices she heard were of St. Michael, St. Margaret, and St. Catherine (www.catholic.org). She was working on her father’s farm one day when she heard one of the voices say, “Great things are expected of you. You must leave your native village and go to aid your king”(www.mcs.drexel.edu). After she had heard the voices she said, “I was thirteen when I heard a voice from God ask for my help and guidance. The first time I heard this voiced I was a young child, and I was much afraid. It seemed to come to me from lips I should reverence. I believe it was sent to me from God.” These voices were advising her to help a Dauphin, later known as Charles VII of France (www.millersv.edu). They wanted her to help him reconquer France because at that time England was after the throne of France (www.catholic.org). The voices also told her to cut her hair and dress like a man (www.netsrq.com).
When the voices told Joan to assist the Dauphin of France, Joan approached Robert Baudricourt about her mission to see the Dauphin(www.mcs.drexel.edu). He was captain of the Dauphin’s forces in Vaucouleur (www.millersv.edu). Baudricourt thought of her mission as silly and unnecessary. She returned home after this trip. The voices became more urgent. She heard them say, “It is God who commands it.” She then left Domremy and revisited Vaucouleur (www.mcs.drexel.edu). Joan acted as the mascot of France’s army. This boosted the morale of the French soldiers (www.millersv.edu). Because of doing this she got to meet the Dauphin and have an interview with him. She made the journey to meet him with six companions and she was dressed in male attire (www.mcs.drexel.edu).
Joan arrived at the Castle of Chinon on March 6 and two days later she saw Charles VII (www.knight.org). Joan tells the Dauphin, Charles VII, that she was sent by God to help France and to take the dauphin to Reims to be crowned king (www.la-pucelle.de). She also says to him, “I am Joan the Maid. Give me soldiers and I will raise the siege of Orleans” (www.mcs.drexel.edu). He ordered that Joan be examined by the doctors at the University of Poitiers. It was suspected that she was possessed by the devil. She was taken to Tours after her examination to have armor made for her. She was given a banner of fleur-de-lis, French coat of arms, and an army was formed for her in Blois (www.la-pucelle.de). She was also given the rank of Captain of the army (www.netsrq.com). She took the army that she was provided with and marched towards Orleans (www.la-pucelle.de).
With over three thousand soldiers and some Dauphin’s best men, Joan of Arc led the siege of Orleans (www.mcs.drexel.edu). The march to the city began on April 29th of 1429 (www.la-pucelle.de). In May 1429 she led the French to a miraculous victory over the English. Her army fought several battles along the Loire (www.netsrq.com). The French captured many of the English fortresses. The English army suffered much loss. Joan continued to motivate her troops by staying at the front of the fighting line and by displaying her courage. She was injured when she got *censored* with an arrow in the neck (www.la-pucelle.de). As soon as she realized she was hurt she pulled the arrow out of her neck, climbed on a horse, and went back to fighting (www.mcs.drexel.edu). The English army retreated on May 8, 1429. The French had taken Jargeau, Meung, and Beaugency, which are all English cities. The English army finally admitted defeat on June 18th in the Battle of Patay. She then led her army through Troyes. This city was taken by storm and they surrendered (www.la-pucelle.de).
She continued to lead her army in battle until she had reached Reims (www.mcs.drexel.edu). The Dauphin had followed Joan and her army through the siege of Orleans. On July 17th, the Dauphin was crowned King of France in the cathedral of Notre-Dame (www.la-pucelle.de). He also was anointed by the archbishop (www.mcs.drexel.edu). When the Dauphin was crowned King, Joan of Arc was given a place of honor next to the king (www.netsrq.com). Joan of Arc’s father was present at the King’s coronation (www.la-pucelle.de). The main part of her mission, which was the King’s coronation, had been completed now and was ready to return home (www.knight.org).
On September 8 Joan led a siege of Paris but she failed. Charles VII gave her the patent of nobility for her bravery. The following spring she was captured by the Burgundian army in the battle of Compiegne, which took place May 14-23 (www.millersv.edu). She was then sold to the English when Charles and the French did not try to save her (www.catholic.org). She was sold for 10,000 francs (www.la-pucelle.de). The English and Burgundians were eager to see her death. To clear their name the English turned her over to the ecclesiastical court of Rouen. She was then tried for heresy and witchcraft (www.encyclopedia.com). The court was led by Pierre Cauchon. He was a pro-English Bishop of Beauvais. Most people thought that she was strange for insisting upon wearing men’s clothing. Many people told her that it was against God’s will for women to be dressed in men’s clothing. She continued to wear them because she said the voices had not told her to stop wearing them and she would continue to do so until she was told otherwise. She also said that wearing men’s clothing protected her from being sexually abused by her jailers (www.netsrq.com).
Joan of Arc was sentenced to burning at the stake after a fourteen-month interrogation (www.netsrq.com). Joan was accused of breaking several laws of the Church (www.la-pucelle.de). The most serious crime that she was being tried for was the claim that she received direct inspiration from God. The church thought that this was a refusal to accept the church hierarchy (www.encyclopedia.com). At the end of her trial she recanted. For this she received life imprisonment. The following day she retracted her abjuration at Saint-Quen Cemetery. On May 28 she was retried as a relapsed heretic in the secular court. On May 30, 1431 she was burned at the stake in the center of the Old Market Place at Rouen (www.millersv.edu). Charles VII did not come to rescue her (www.netsrq.com). When she was burned at the stake she was wearing a paper hat that read, “Heretic, Relapsed, Apostate, Idolatress” (www.mcs.drexel.edu). She was nineteen years old at the time of her death (www.netsrq.com).
A second trial was held in 1456. She was then announced innocent (www.netsrq.com). The first trial was declared null-and-void (www.la-pucelle.de). Unfortunately the sentence could not be taken back. The Catholic Church in France beatified her in 1909 (www.netsrq.com). This recognized the things she had done that in the end cost her life (www.millersv.com). Pope Benedict XV canonized, or recognized her as a saint, in 1920 (www.netsrq.com). She has been used in many types of art and literature since her death (www.encyclopedia.com).