Born in the 1400s amidst the battle for the French throne, Joan of Arc, a brave French teenager, stepped out with instructions from her visions to redeem France from the English. The young lady recorded tremendous success in her quest, however, she died in the course of this venture following many conspiracies.
Joan was brutally killed but after some years passed by, her name was cleared and she was granted martyrdom and named a Saint of the Roman Catholic Church. Know all the details of her biography, accomplishments, and death as you read on.
Joan of Arc came from a peasant home in France and she gave herself the name, ‘Maid of Orleans’ which is translated Pucelle De Orleans in French. Although her precise date of birth is not known, she is said to have been born in 1412 to Jacques d’ Arc and Isabelle who were both into crop planting. They resided in a neglected village towards the Northeastern side of France known as Domremy.
Moreso, during the childhood days of Joan of Arc, there was already an on-going war known as the hundred years’ war. The battle which was between England and France was a siege for the heir to the throne. In 1420, the French Ruler, Charles VI, lost his throne to the king of England and King Henry V began to reign in both steads and this took its toll on the northern part of France where Joan and her family lived. A few years later, the two kings – Charles of Valois and Henry V died, leaving King Henry’s Toddler to reign and this was a great opportunity for power to return to France.
With regards to Joan’s education, sources have it that she did not go to a formal school but her mother educated her in the area of religion and handcraft. She subsequently learned a lot about the doctrines of the Catholic Church and followed them. When Joan of Arc was 16, her father had arranged a marriage for her, however, she protested against it before the court and was granted her desire.
Joan’s Missions & Accomplishments
Joan of Arc claimed God was speaking to her via inaudible voices and visions from the age of twelve regarding France and being devout. In a vision, she was asked to approach Charles VII who was heir to the throne for a go-ahead to force the new fragile English king off the throne so that he could replace him as king of France. In the vision, she was also directed to seek help from an ally of King Charles VI named Robert de Baudricourt.
However, when Joan of Arc approached Robert, he refused to grant her access initially but when he saw that she had the support of the masses, he instructed a band of soldiers to escort her. Joan dressed as a man, took off to see Charles VII – the legitimate son of King Charles VI and heir to the throne. However, Charles VII, being royal, did not welcome her as his initial reaction to Joan’s plea to see him was negative. She finally approached him from a crowd of people and had the chance to talk with him. Joan is said to have given him a piece of information that only a messenger of God could give and after having his priests examine Joan to which they found no fault, he listened to what she had to say.
Joan of Arc was then given a troop of soldiers for the conquest and they headed for Orleans to fight the Burgundians that were on the side of England. They were able to force them to move beyond the Loire River for a short while but it didn’t take long before Joan’s fame grew across the French province. Her troop conveyed Charles VII to Reims – the place of coronation, to crown him king and on their way, they defeated every province that stood in their way.
Prince Charles was crowned King Charles VII in July 1429 but Joan didn’t want to stop there, she wanted the troop to make attempt in the redemption of Paris, but the king refused this, most especially because his friend, Georges de La Trémoille made him feel that Joan of Arc was becoming extremely powerful quickly.
Not long after, the Anglo-Burgundians grew stronger and beefed up their army for a returned attack. Joan of Arc was commanded by King Charles VII to resist the Burgundians but she was forced off her horse in the process of contending for her town. She was taken captive by the Burgundians outside the city gates. She spent months with the Burgundians while the English negotiated for her release. Eventually, the Burgundians collected 10,000 francs for her release.
Subsequently, Joan of Arc was made to stand before Rouen, a commander in England as she was charged with heresy. Meanwhile, King Charles VII distanced himself from her and he was no longer persuaded by her spiritual insight. Joan faced trials upon trials for claims of heresy, witchcraft, and dressing like a man for which she defended herself exceptionally in the public hearings and was soon switched to the private ones. They found no guilt on her but decided to accuse her of dressing like a man in the army costume and eventually turned it into a crime punishable by death.
Death: How Did Joan Of Arc Die?
After being accused of dressing like a man, Joan was sentenced to death and at the early hours of May 30, 1431, she was paraded in public and burnt alive on a stake. This was when Joan of Arc was 19 years old and records have it that over 100,000 viewers were present at her death.
After 22 more years of the war, King Charles VII gained full rule over France and he arranged for a team of people to look into the trial of Joan of Arc. After their researches, she was found not guilty of the charges and was then named a martyr, as well as a saint by the Catholic Church.