The Swamp logo

Interesting Facts About Joan of Arc

The teen's legacy lives on hundreds of years after she was martyred.

By Cheryl E PrestonPublished 4 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
The Maid of Orleans

Joan of Arc was a young martyr

Joan of Arc was just 19 years old when she was burned at the stake. She was born on January 6th, 1412, and departed this life on May 30th, 1431. When she was 13, Joan began having visions where she was leading France to victory over England. She was a simple peasant girl who could neither read nor write, but this did not stop her faith in her visions.

At 16 she rejected an arranged marriage, and instead took a vow of chastity in order to complete her mission to depose King Henry VI. She believed that the voice of God was leading her and would let nothing stand in her way. Joan's birth name was Jeanne d’Arc, (Joan of Arc in English) and her father was a tenant farmer named Jacques d’Arc. Joan's dad was from the village of Domrémy, in northeastern France.

Although she was not taught to read or write, Joan's mother instilled in her a love for the Catholic Church and respect for its teachings. During this period of time, France and England were in bitter conflict and engaged in what is now known as the Hundred Years’ War. England gained the upper hand and in 1420 a peace treaty disinherited Charles of Valois, who was the French crown prince.

There were accusations that his reign was illegitimate, and King Henry V was declared the ruler over both France. and England. In 1422, his son Henry VI succeeded him on the throne. Many in Joan’s village, Domrémy, were forced to abandon their homes due to the threat of invasion. This was because England, in conjunction with its French allies, occupied much of northern France.

Joan convinced crown prince Charles of Valois to allow her to lead a French army to overtake the city of Orléans. Her vision of winning the battle came to pass as Joan's army was victorious in overtaking the English and their French allies. Although she led the charge, Jeanne d' Arc did not actually fight in the battle. Not long after she saw the prince crowned King Charles VII, Joan of Arc was captured by Anglo-Burgundian forces and turned over to English clerics.

The 19-year-old was tried and questioned by the religious leaders on over 70 charges including heresy, witchcraft, and dressing like a man. Joan had cut her hair and dressed in male clothing so that she would not stand out among the other soldiers and this was used against her along with the voices she heard being considered as from Satan, rather than God.

On May 30th, 1431, the Maid of Orleans, (as she was known) was burned at the stake. In 1456 she was retried and declared innocent posthumously by Pope Callixus III. She was officially canonized in 1920, and is considered one of the greatest saints in history. She is also recognized as an enduring symbol of French unity and nationalism.

Joan of Arc won the future Charles VII over during a private audience while at his castle in Chinon. No one knows the details of this conversation but supposedly Joan revealed information that only a messenger from God could know. Had Jeanne d'Arc lived in later times, her gift of knowing the future would probably have been celebrated rather than leading her to her death.

In this day and age, those who exhibit supernatural gifts are no longer considered as witches, unless they label themselves as such. Today, Joan of Arc may have been called a prophet, seer, or clairvoyant. It may have been said of her that she had second sight, a third eye, sixth sense, or extrasensory perception, (ESP). Those who see into the future today are not burned at the stake, but often are misunderstood, or wrongly accused of using occult methods to obtain their information.

This is especially true when someone predicts catastrophes and they often are accused of dabbling in the dark arts. Lamentations 3:37-38 from the Easy to read Bible seems to validate the sentiments of Charles VIII regarding Joan being a messenger from God. "No one can say something and make it happen, unless the Lord orders it. God Most High commands both good and bad things to happen."

Not much is said about how all of this affected Joan's parents. Its not known if they supported her visions and her mission or perhaps were embarrassed by her actions. Were they ashamed that their daughter cut off her hair, dressed as a man and went off with the all male army? Did they think her crazy for insisting she was hearing the voice of God? What is known is that on November 7th 1455, at the Notre Dame Cathedral, Joan's mother Isabelle, made a passionate appeal on her daughters behalf . Here is what she is quoted as saying.

I had a daughter born in lawful wedlock, whom I had furnished worthily with the sacraments of baptism and confirmation and had reared in the fear of God and respect for the tradition of the Church... yet although she never did think, conceive, or do anything whatever which set her out of the path of the faith... certain enemies ... had her arraigned in religious trial... in a trial perfidious, violent, iniquitous, and without shadow of right... did they condemn her in a fashion damnable and criminal, and put her to death very cruelly by fire... for the damnation of their souls and in notorious, infamous, and irreparable damage done to me, Isabelle, and mine".

On July 7th 1456 the court legally declared the teenager innocent of all charges. This was a little late for her grieving family or to save her life. Legend says that after being burned at the stake, that Joan of Arc's heart remained in tact. Her executioners did not desire anyone to say a miracle had taken place so they cremated her remains twice more and threw them in the Seine river.

Such extreme measures and a sad ending to the life of a courageous young woman. Modern-day scientists indicate that it may have been more medical science, than the miraculous, as the reason Joan's heart survivied but there will always be those who consider every aspect of this teenage martyrs life to have been divinely inspired.


About the Creator

Cheryl E Preston

Cheryl is a widow who enjoys writing about current events, soap spoilers and baby boomer nostalgia. Tips are greatly appreciated.

Reader insights

Be the first to share your insights about this piece.

How does it work?

Add your insights


There are no comments for this story

Be the first to respond and start the conversation.

Sign in to comment

    Find us on social media

    Miscellaneous links

    • Explore
    • Contact
    • Privacy Policy
    • Terms of Use
    • Support

    © 2024 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.