Saint Joan of Arc, also known as the Maid of Orleans, was a French saint and national hero who lived in the early 15th century. She is perhaps most well-known for her role in the Hundred Years' War between England and France, in which she led the French army to victory against the English at the Siege of Orleans.
Joan was born on January 6, 1412 in the village of Domremy, France. From a young age, she claimed to have received visions and messages from God, and at the age of 16, she approached the French monarchy with a request to be allowed to lead an army against the English. Despite initial resistance, Joan was eventually granted her request and was given command of the French army.
Under Joan's leadership, the French were able to lift the Siege of Orleans and drive the English back. She also played a key role in the coronation of Charles VII as the King of France, which marked a turning point in the Hundred Years' War.
However, Joan's military successes were short-lived. She was captured by the English in 1430 and put on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Despite her attempts to defend herself, she was ultimately found guilty and burned at the stake on May 30, 1431, at the age of 19.
Joan's execution sparked outrage in France, and she became a symbol of national resistance and courage. In the 19th century, she was officially declared a saint by the Catholic Church on May 16, 1920, following a lengthy process of investigation and review.
There are many interesting facts and little known trivia about Joan of Arc. For example, she was known to have a close relationship with the Archangel Michael, who she claimed appeared to her in her visions and provided her with guidance. She also reportedly had the ability to see into the future, and is said to have accurately predicted the outcome of several battles.
Despite her youth, Joan was also known for her military prowess and strategic thinking. She was skilled at organizing and leading armies, and is credited with helping to turn the tide of the Hundred Years' War in favor of the French.
Joan's legacy has lived on for centuries, and she continues to be celebrated as a national hero and symbol of resistance in France. Her feast day is celebrated on May 30, the anniversary of her death, and she is also honored on January 6, the anniversary of her birth, and on May 16, the anniversary of her canonization. She is remembered for her bravery, determination, and unwavering faith in the face of incredible adversity.