Joan of Arc Biography

(Best Remembered as 'The Heroine of France' for Her Role During the 'Hundred Years' War' Against England)

Birthday: January 6, 1412 (Capricorn)

Born In: Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France

Joan of Arc was a young woman who led the French army to victory over the British in a crucial battle during the ‘Hundred Years' War.’ She is often hailed as the heroine of France. Born into a simple peasant family in France, Joan is believed to have experienced divine visions of archangels and saints from the time she was a young girl. As the daughter of highly religious parents, Joan too was inclined towards God and religion from an early age. Experiencing divine visions further strengthened her faith. She claimed that she was instructed by Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret to drive out the English and bring the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation. At that time, the crown of France was in dispute between Dauphin Charles (later Charles VII), and the English King Henry VI. It had been seven years since the death of the Dauphin’s father, but he still had not been crowned king of France. Led by the voices of the saints, she sought permission to join the Dauphin and his cause. Provided with several military men by the Dauphin, she led the French army in a war against the English and emerged victorious. A year later, she was captured by the enemies and put on trial for witchcraft. Subsequently, she was declared guilty and burned at the stake. Years later, she was declared a martyr.

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Quick Facts

French Celebrities Born In January

Nick Name: The Maid of Orléans, La Pucelle

Also Known As: Jeanne d'Arc, The Maid of Orléans, Saint Joan of Arc

Died At Age: 19

Family:

father: Jacques d'Arc

mother: Isabelle Romée

siblings: Catherine d'Arc, Jacquemin d'Arc, Jean d'Arc, Pierre d'Arc

Born Country: France

Quotes By Joan Of Arc Saints

Died on: May 30, 1431

place of death: Rouen, France

Cause of Death: Execution

  • 1

    What role did Joan of Arc play in the Hundred Years' War?

    Joan of Arc played a crucial role in the Hundred Years' War by leading the French army to several important victories against the English, most notably the lifting of the siege of Orléans in 1429.

  • 2

    How did Joan of Arc claim to receive guidance from saints?

    Joan of Arc claimed that she received guidance from saints such as Saint Michael, Saint Catherine, and Saint Margaret through visions and voices that instructed her on how to help the French crown.

  • 3

    What was the outcome of Joan of Arc's trial by the Inquisition?

    Joan of Arc was found guilty of heresy and witchcraft by the Inquisition and was subsequently burned at the stake in 1431. She was later exonerated posthumously and declared a martyr by the Catholic Church.

  • 4

    How did Joan of Arc inspire French troops and the general population?

    Joan of Arc's unwavering faith, bravery, and military leadership inspired French troops and the general population to rally behind her cause and fight against the English occupation, ultimately boosting morale and leading to several key victories.

  • 5

    What was the significance of Joan of Arc's legacy in French history?

    Joan of Arc's legacy in French history is significant as she is considered a national heroine and symbol of French unity and resistance. Her actions during the Hundred Years' War continue to inspire people around the world.

Childhood & Early Life
Joan was born in the early-15th century in Domrémy, Duchy of Bar, Kingdom of France, to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée. Her year of birth is believed to be 1412. Her parents were humble peasants and owned about 50 acres (20 hectares) of land.
She was inclined towards religion from a young age. Deeply pious, she revered the Blessed Mary and was committed to the service of God.
She started experiencing divine visions when she was around 12-13 years old. According to her own accounts, she heard the voice of God commanding her to serve the French nation by driving out the English and bringing the Dauphin to Reims for his coronation. Her visions were so real, that she felt she was communicating with another person. She also saw saints like St Michael and St Catherine in her visions.
At that time, the ‘Hundred Years’ War’ was raging on, and the crown of France was in dispute between Dauphin Charles (later Charles VII), son and heir to the King of France, Charles VI, and the English King Henry VI. In 1415, King Henry V of England invaded France and defeated the French army at Agincourt. It had been seven years since Charles VI died, but his son was yet to be crowned King of France. Reims, the place where the French kings were traditionally crowned, was captured by his enemies.
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Military Campaigns
On May 1428, Joan was led by her visions to travel to Vaucouleurs from Domrémy to seek an audience with the Dauphin. She first met the captain of the garrison, Robert de Baudricourt, and sought his permission to join the Dauphin. He did not take the young girl seriously and sent her away.
Joan returned to Vaucouleurs on January 1429. This time, she made an announcement regarding a military reversal near Orléans, several days before the messengers arrived to report it. Her intuition about the military reversal convinced Robert de Baudricourt of her divine visions and he allowed her to visit the Dauphin at Chinon.
She was escorted to the castle which was occupied by Dauphin Charles. On meeting him, she told him that she wants to lead the battle against the English. Even though she was just a young girl, the Dauphin was convinced by her confidence. After some interrogation regarding her background, he decided to entrust Joan with the responsibility of leading the army.
The Dauphin provided her with a military and appointed Jean d’Aulon as her squire. She was also joined by her brave young brothers, Jean and Pierre. She told her men that the sword she was meant to use in the battle would be found in the church of Sainte-Catherine-de-Fierbois, and it was in fact discovered there.
Her army arrived at the city of Orleans on 29 April 1429. The city, which had been besieged since October 1428, was almost totally surrounded by the English. The French, led by Joan, attacked and captured the fortress of Saint Loup on 4 May.
Within days, the siege of Orleans was lifted and this marked a turning point in the ‘Hundred Years' War’ between France and England. In the following days, she led several military detachments and liberated many other cities from the English.
All these developments in favor of the French finally paved the way for the coronation of the Dauphin. Joan was with Dauphin Charles when he was finally crowned as King Charles VII of France on 17 July 1429, in Reims. She was hailed as a heroine in France for the courage and valor that she displayed in the battle and her family was granted noble status.
On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction, which was a French political party aligned with the English. The party sold Joan to the English and she was put on trial for several charges.
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Personal Life & Legacy
Following the trial, which she faced bravely, Joan was found guilty and condemned to death. She was executed by burning at the stake on 30 May 1431, and her execution was witnessed by thousands of people. Later, her ashes were scattered in the Seine.
‘The Hundred Years' War’ carried on for 22 years after her death. After the war, a posthumous retrial of Joan of Arc was ordered. The trial pronounced her innocent and she was declared a martyr on 7 July 1456.
Joan of Arc became a symbol of the ‘Catholic League’ during the 16th century, and was canonized on 16 May 1920. She is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France.
As a semi-legendary figure, she is considered to be the epitome of bravery. She has been the subject of several works of literature, arts, and other cultural works since the time of her death.
Facts About Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc was known for her courage and conviction, leading the French army to several important victories during the Hundred Years' War.

She claimed to have received visions from saints and angels, which she believed guided her actions and decisions on the battlefield.

Joan of Arc was only a teenager when she played a crucial role in the war, showcasing her remarkable leadership skills at a young age.

Despite facing immense scrutiny and criticism, Joan of Arc remained steadfast in her beliefs and never wavered in her commitment to her mission.

Years after her death, Joan of Arc was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church, recognizing her enduring legacy and impact on history.

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See the events in life of Joan Of Arc in Chronological Order

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