Brief Summary of Saint Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc is an icon of human history. She seems to personify the Middle Ages in so many ways, from the religious fervor that dominated those years, to the sad trials of the innocents that ended in bloodshed. However, while many people know of Joan of Arc, a saint if there ever was one, how many know who Joan of Arc was?
Joan of Arc’s biography begins with 1412, when she was born to Isabelle Romee and Jacques d’Arc in Domremy, France. Of course, this is not the portion of her life that peaks the most interest among scholars. From her birth to the life-changing moment, there is little information on Joan of Arc. To find the point where she went from a simple girl to Joan of Arc and Saint Joan, you have to jump ahead to 1424 when she had her first visions. It was these visions that cemented Joan of Arc and God in the same sentence. It was when Joan of Arc saw what has been termed “Joan of Arc’s Saints”, which were Saint Michael, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret. These three saints told Joan of Arc to drive the English out of France, and that is just what she did. Joan of Arc’s voices would change the history of the Middle Ages and eventually make Joan of Arc a saint.
Through a series of battles and near mythological leadership, Joan of Arc was able to not only capture Orleans, which had been a thorn in the side of the French for years, but she also captured Rheims, Paris and countless other towns to drive the English out. However, while she was a hero to the French, Joan of Arc was nothing but heresy to the English. Eventually she was captured by them and imprisoned. Eventually, Joan of Arc went to her trail, probably the most interesting and debated part of the Joan of Arc biography. During her trial, Joan of Arc’s silent treatment towards the questions only angered the English, who eventually convicted her and sentenced her to burn at the stake.
Joan of Arc met this fate on May 30, 1431 with bravery and conviction, helping her to become Saint Joan centuries later. It was this bravery that helped her to be found innocent by Pope Callixtux III in 1456, 25 years after she died. Legend has it that a simple spectator presented Joan of Arc a cross out of sticks that she could hold as she burned alive.
Today, Joan of Arc is remembered as someone who stood by her convictions and led her people to freedom. Saint Joan of Arc’s biography would continue on for centuries as more and more people would be inspired by her, and even today there are plenty of Joan of Arc websites to offer analysis and theories about who this young girl was.
Photos and text from www.joanofarc.us