St Joan of Arc


                                                                                         St JOAN OF ARC


St Joan of Arc, the co-patroness of France, was born on January 6, 1412 to pious peasant parents in a village called Domremy.

From an early age she could hear saints speaking to her, including St Michael, St Catherine and St Margaret. By the time she was 13 the messages had gone from personal and general to a specific instruction to drive the English from French territory. They also told her to bring the Dauphin of France to Reims for coronation. Joan said that after the saints left their messages, she wept because they were so beautiful.

By the time she was 16, through her tenacity and persuasiveness, Joan was granted a meeting at the royal court in a private audience with Charles VII and won his trust. Joan had previously made accurate prediction about the outcome of military battles and proved to be of great assistance to the French army for the rest of her life. She persuaded Charles VII to allow her to join other battles to reclaim cities – all ending in victory

                                                                               SOLD TO THE ENGLISH

When Joan travelled to Compiegne to help defend against an English and Burgundian siege, she was captured by Burgundian troops and held for a ransom. She was subsequently sold to the English for 10,000 gold coins, imprisoned at Rouen and tried as a heretic and witch.

The trial record includes statements from eyewitnesses who claimed that Joan astonished the court with her ability to escape theological traps – given that she was an illiterate peasant. But despite the lack of incriminating evidence against her, Joan was condemned to die.

Accounts of Joan’s execution by burning, on May 30, 1431, report that she was tied to a pillar at the Vieux-Marche in Rouen.

She asked Fr Martin Ladvenu and Fr Isambart de la Pierre to hold a crucifix before her, and an English soldier made a small cross which she placed in the front of her dress.  



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