Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc (originally Jehanne d’Arc) was born in the village of Domremy, France, to Jacques d’Arc and his wife Isabelle, on January 6, 1412. During the time Joan of Arc was born and growing up, the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) was taking place between two royal houses for the French throne, one English house and one French. The French were split into two aggressive divisions. First, the Armagnacs, which were led by the Duke of Orleans and the Count of Armagnac before King Charles VII took the reins after Joan helped him to the throne. Second, we have the Burgundians, who were followers of the Duke of Burgundy, who united himself with the English in 1420. Unbeknownst to Joan until she was about 12, she would play an important role in this war, and that it would ultimately lead to her demise.
In the summer of 1424, at age 12, Joan began having visions of different angels and saints, such as: the Archangel Michael, St. Catherine of Alexandria, St. Margaret of Antioch, and occasionally the Archangel Gabriel. These visions would instruct her to lift the blockade the English had on Orleans and to release the Duke they are holding prisoner, and also to help the Dauphin (later, Charles VII) to claim the throne. In 1429, at age 17, she journeyed to the Royal Court at Chinon accompanied by an escort of soldiers through enemy territory, to present herself and her visions to Dauphine Charles. He was motivated by her words but nevertheless sent her to be inspected by several high-ranking clergy in the city of Poitiers. The many bishops and numerous prominent theologians, all told Charles that after inspection, “nothing improper has been found in her, only good, humility, chastity, piety, propriety, and simplicity.”
Convinced of her righteousness, Dauphin Charles allowed Joan to travel with an army to Orleans in April of 1949. They would arrive on April 29th and take the English fortress built around the Church of St. Loup, the fortress of the...