Joan of Arc, also known as Jeanne d’Arc, was a French heroine and a national icon who played a pivotal role in the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. Born in 1412 in Domrémy, France, she began to have visions and hear voices of saints at a young age, telling her to support Charles VII, the French dauphin, in his fight against the English.
At the age of 16, she convinced a local lord to take her to the dauphin, and eventually became his trusted advisor and military leader. She led several successful battles against the English, including the Siege of Orléans, which was a turning point in the war. However, she was eventually captured by the English and put on trial for heresy and cross-dressing, as she often wore men’s clothing during battle.
Despite her claims that she was acting on the divine orders of God, she was found guilty and burned at the stake in 1431 at the age of 19. She was canonized as a saint in 1920 by the Catholic Church, and has since been celebrated as a symbol of French nationalism and female empowerment.
Joan of Arc’s story has inspired countless works of literature, art, and film, and she continues to be a beloved historical figure in France and around the world. Her courage, determination, and unwavering faith in her mission have made her a symbol of hope and perseverance for generations to come.
Let’s take a look at these 30 interesting facts about Joan of Arc to know more about her.
- Joan of Arc was born in 1412 in Domrémy, a small village in northeastern France.
- She grew up during the Hundred Years’ War, a conflict between England and France that lasted from 1337 to 1453.
- At the age of 13, Joan began having visions of saints and angels, who told her to help France drive the English out of the country.
- In 1429, she convinced the Dauphin, the future King Charles VII of France, to let her lead an army against the English.
- Joan dressed in men’s clothing and cut her hair short to avoid being recognized as a woman.
- Despite having no military training, she was able to lead several successful campaigns against the English.
- Joan was wounded several times in battle, including being struck by an arrow in the shoulder.
- She was captured by the English in 1430 and sold to the highest bidder.
- Joan was put on trial for heresy and cross-dressing, both considered serious crimes at the time.
- During her trial, Joan showed remarkable intelligence and bravery, even correcting her judges on points of theology.
- Despite her courage, she was found guilty and burned at the stake in 1431.
- After her death, Joan became a symbol of French nationalism and a hero of the Catholic Church.
- She was canonized as a saint in 1920.
- Joan’s birthplace of Domrémy is now a popular pilgrimage site for Catholics.
- Her feast day is May 30th.
- Joan is often depicted carrying a banner with the words “Jesus, Mary” on it.
- She is sometimes referred to as “The Maid of Orléans,” after the city where she won a major battle.
- Joan was one of the few women to lead a military campaign during the medieval period.
- She is the subject of numerous plays, books, and films, including George Bernard Shaw’s play “Saint Joan” and the 1999 film “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc.”
- Joan’s trial was later declared invalid by the Catholic Church, and she was declared innocent of all charges.
- In 1456, an appeals court officially declared Joan a martyr and a hero of France.
- Her victory at Orléans is considered a turning point in the Hundred Years’ War.
- Joan’s military strategy was to inspire her troops with her own courage and bravery.
- She had a strong sense of her own destiny and believed that God had chosen her to help France.
- Joan’s story has inspired many women throughout history, including suffragettes and feminist writers.
- She is the patron saint of soldiers and France.
- Joan was illiterate, but she dictated letters to scribes.
- The English believed that Joan’s success was due to witchcraft or demonic possession.
- Joan refused to wear women’s clothing during her trial, saying that she had given them up for good.
- Her executioner later claimed that he had burned her twice more after her death, in order to ensure that there was nothing left of her body that could be venerated as a relic.
Joan of Arc remains an iconic figure today, known for her bravery, faith, and determination in the face of daunting odds. Her story has inspired countless books, films, and works of art, and she continues to be celebrated as a symbol of French national pride. Despite the controversy and skepticism that have surrounded her life and legacy, Joan’s unwavering commitment to her beliefs and her people have made her a beloved figure in history. Her image has been invoked by everyone from soldiers to suffragettes, and her memory lives on as a testament to the power of one person’s courage and conviction to change the course of history.