Joan of Arc, the Brave French Teenager


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Born in the 1400s amidst the battle for the French throne, Joan of Arc, the brave French teenager stepped out with instructions from her visions to redeem France from the English. She died in the course of this venture and was named a saint. Joan is still known today as the patron saint of France. Joan of Arc came from a peasant home in France. She gave herself the name, ‘Maid of Orleans’ which is Translated Pucelle De Orleans in French. She was born in a family who fed from their handy work.

In 1412, Joan of Arc was born to Jacques d’ Arc and Isabelle who were both into crop planting. They resided in a neglected village towards the North eastern side of France known as Domremy. Though Joan wasn’t sent to school, her mother, Isabelle played a major role in educating her in the area of Religion and hand craft. She learnt a lot about the doctrines of the Catholic Church and followed them to the letter. When Joan was 16, her father had arranged for a marriage for his daughter, Joan though, protested against it before the court and was granted her desire.

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During the period of her birth, there was already an on-going war known as the hundred years’ war. The war was between England and France, it was a siege for the heir to the Throne. In 1420, the French Ruler, Charles lost his throne to the king of England, ‘King Henry V’ began to reign in both steads and his reign took its toll towards the northern part of France where Joan and her family lived. Few years after this, the two kings- Charles of Valois and Henry V died living King Henry,s Toddler to reign. This was a great opportunity for power to return to France.

Joan of Arc claimed God was speaking to her in voices and vision 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 directed to seek help from Robert de Baudricourt, the kings’ (Charles) ally. He refused to grant her access initially but when the mass backed her up he gave a band of soldiers to escort her. 

Joan dressed like a man and took off to see Charles. As a royalty, Charles 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 an information that only a messenger of God could give, after having his priests examine Joan to which they found no fault, Prince Charles gave her a go-ahead. Joan of Arc was given a troop of soldiers for the conquest.

They headed for Orleans to fight the Burgundians that were on the side of England, they were able to force them to move to them beyond the Loire River, this though was a momentary victory. It didn’t take long before Joan’s fame grew across the French province. Her troop conveyed the prince Charles to Reims- the place of Coronation, to crown him king. They defeated every province that stood in their way. Prince Charles was crowned King Charles VII in July, 1429. Joan didn’t want to stop there, she wanted the troop to make attempt in the redemption of Paris, but the king dithered it most especially because his friend, Georges de La Trémoille made him feel that Joan power was quickly growing.

Not long after, the Anglo- Burgundians grew stronger and beefed up their army for a returned attack. Joan was commanded by King Charles to resist the Burgundians but was forced off her horse in the process of contending for her town. She was left on the grounds outside the City gates and was taken captive by the Burgundians. She spent months with the Burgundians while the English negotiated for her release to them. Eventually, the Burgundians collected 10,000 francs for her Release.

Joan Arc She was made to stand before Rouen, a commander in England. Meanwhile King Charles VII didn’t want to be associated with her because she was charged with heresy. He was no longer persuaded by her spiritual insight. Joan faced trials upon trials for claims of heresy, witchcraft and dressing like a man. Joan defended herself exceptionally in the public hearings and was soon switched to the private ones. They found no guile in her. Soon they discovered that they had nothing on her and resorted to accusing her of dressing like a man in the army costume.

Joan of Arc signed a document disclaiming her receiving of any divine inspiration, but was seen against warning adorned in the men’s military wear, after asked, she claimed she received instructions from saints Catherine of Alexander and Margaret of Antioch. The Tribunal therefore sentenced her to death. At the early hours of May, 30, 1431, she was paraded to a public place and was burnt alive on a stake. 

This was at age 19. At her death, she had over 100,000 viewers. Tales have it that her heart couldn’t get burned up by the fire. After 22 more years of the war, King Charles gained full rule over France. 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. She was then named a martyr and was also made a saint by the Catholic Church

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