Interesting Facts About Joan of Arc

by Cheryl E 23 days ago in history

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

Interesting Facts About Joan of Arc

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 a 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 o time, France and England were in bitter conflict, engaged is what is now known as the Hundred Years’ War. England gained the upper hand and 1420 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 over take 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 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 her voices 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 causing 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 considered a prophet, seer, or clairvoyant. It may have been said of her that she had second sight, a third eye, sixth sense or extra sensory 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 Joans 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 ray 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.

"Joan's family were present, and Isabelle made an impassioned speech which began: "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 is when 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 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, but there will always be those who consider every aspect of this teenage martyrs life to have been divinely inspired.

history
Cheryl E
Cheryl E
Read next: New Mexico—It's like a State, like All the Others!
Cheryl E

Cherylhas been writing poetry and stories and poetry since age 12. She was also a newspaper columnists for 10 years. She is an advocate for natural cures and a licensed minister:

See all posts by Cheryl E