A Christian martyr who was a female teenage warrior in the Hundred Years’ War between France and England.
Born to a family of peasants in 15th-century Domrémy, France, Joan followed a calling that was unusual to her age and gender at that time. She listened to the voices of saints guiding her to drive the English out of French territories. With determination, she made her way into the French army.
Aged only 17, Joan of Arc led the forces towards victory in the battle for Orleans. More victories followed, but after several months in the battlefields, she was captured.
In the trial, she was found guilty of heresy and burnt alive in front of a crowd of thousands, at the marketplace of Rouen, when she is only 19 years old.
In the 16th century France, she was announced as innocent and became a national heroine. About 500 years later she was declared and canonized a Roman Catholic Saint by the Pope. Joan d’Arc became a symbol of persistence, determination, fearless, and leadership, and due to her gender, she is also a contradiction to the notion of inequality.
“There will be no help if not from me”
More Interesting Anecdotes:
- She called herself “Joan the Maid”, and is now known as “The Maid of Orléans”.
- Most of the court documents refer to her as “this woman” and not by her name.
- At home, she was developing skills as a seamstress.
- Her name is used in both forms: Joan of Arc in English, Jeanne d’Arc in French.
- Her story, based on documentation of the trial, inspired many books, films, theater plays, songs, operas, and conspiracies.
- Her character, braveness, and remarkable life story became a worldwide inspiration, which is honored and commemorated by many statues and memorials all around.