Joan Of Arc was a peasant girl who, convinced that she was acting under divine guidance, led the French Army to a momentous victory
at Orleans against the English who attempted to conquer France during the Hundred Year`s War. She was one of the greatest national
figures in France and her achievements served to awaken the French national consciousness.
Born in Doremy in France, Joan at
the age of thirteen had visions of St. Michael, St. Catherine and St. Margaret who told her that her mission in life was to free
the French from the English and to ensure the coronation of Charles VII. Driven by this mission, Joan, after three attempts and
examination by priests, persuaded the captain of the nearby territory of Vancoulears to escort her to Charles at Chinon in
Joan convinced Charles of her mission and he sent her as the Captain of an army, which raised the siege of Orleans.
Following the victory at Orleans, Charles was crowned in the presence of Joan at Rheims.
However, Joan could not,
unfortunately, persuade Charles to continue the hostilities against the English and the Burgundians near Paris. His negotiations
forced her to remain at court until April 1430 when she took a party to the defence of the territory of Compiegne. There she was
captured by the Burgundians and ransomed by the English who made her undergo a series of interrogations and trials on charges of
witchcraft and fraud. She was burnt in Rouen in May 1431.
Joan nevertheless reflected an image of true female heroism. Such
was her popularity in France during the sixteenth century that she was given the title of ARC.