Joan of Arc
By: Isabelle Vanderneck
Joan of Arc was born a peasant, at Domrémy in north-east France. To Jacques and Isabelle d'Arc.
Joan was a pious, illiterate, Catholic, during the Hundred Years' War. A war between France and England from 1337-1453 over a disputed territory.
By the age of 13, Joan began to hear voices from three saints, saying that God had chosen her to lead France to victory.
First she Tried to talk with Robert de Baudricourt, and persuade him to let her talk with the Prince, he rejected her. Joan cut her hair and put on men's clothes. She then went to the Prince Charles, and talked him into allowing her to accompany a French army to Orleans.
While wearing white armor and riding a white horse, she drove the English from Orleans and forced them to retreat. Even today we rarely see a woman at the front line of battle, let alone, leading the charge. Just imagine how extraordinary this was in medieval France.
This was a grand victory for France, although Joan was unfortunately captured soon after by the English. She had to answer to about 70 charges, such as witchcraft, heresy and dressing like a man. She was then burned at the stake.
After Her Death
Twenty years after her death, King Charles VII cleared her name. In 1920, Pope Benedict XV canonized her as a saint, and eventually she became the patron saint of France. She is nicknamed Maid of Orleans, and inspired many works of art and literature over the centuries.