Joan of Arc, nicknamed The Maid of Orleans or Maid of Lorraine, is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastian phase of the Hundred Years War. She was canonized as a saint.
Born to a peasant family, Joan believed that she was acting under divine guidance. Joan led the French army in a momentous victory at Orleans in 1429 that repulsed an English attempt to conquer France during the Hundred Years’ War.
In May 1430, she was captured by a group of French nobles allied with the English. She was later handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges. He declared her guilty and she was burned at the stake on May 30, 1431. Joan died at about nineteen years of age.
Even as she was burned, she did not recant. To the very end, she continued to claim that the voices she had heard all her life were divine in nature. As she was dying, she called on her three favorite saints for help and before losing consciousness, she yelled out “Jesus”.
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