Jeanne D’Arc 1412-1431, 18 yrs
— Joan of Arc —
“I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”
‘The Maid of Orléans’
‘Hundred Years War’ Military Leader. Martyr. Clairvoyant. Heroine of France. Saint. Mystic. Warrioress.
Without Jeanne, there may be no France. Both her tongue and wit were as sharp as the sword she later carried. She was often found shouting blood curdling threats at the English and their French allies from across the river near her home. She was also known for her sassy sarcastic quips when questioned about her legitimacy.
Born a peasant to tenant Farmers, Romée and Jaques D’Arc, Jeanne was bound to a life of farm life and a skilled seamstress. She was a visionary. Her early visions led her to a devotion to piety and chastity. Her later, more vivid visions, were filled with visitations from Archangel Micheal and St. Marguerite of Antioch, claiming her as ‘The Savior of France.’ Which was the fulfillment of well-known prophecy at the time — a virgin girl from eastern France would rise up and lead France to victory over the English following the word of God. Twenty other people claimed this as well at the time. Yet, Jeanne was the only one granted a meeting with the Dauphin (heir to the throne) Charles VII.
How was it that she among 20 others was granted the meeting?
Jeanne had the support of Yolande of Aragon, Charles VII’s mother-in-law known as the “Queen of Four Kingdoms.” Yolande is historically known for her craft in diplomacy in shaping France as a ruling nation. The virgin prophecy, in which Jeanne was the perfect prototype, was in fact born out of the very provinces Yolande ruled over.
Jeanne cropped her hair and dressed in men’s clothing to cross the enemy territory of Chinon where Charle’s court was located. She requested permission to lead French troops to victory over England’s invasion. A reluctant Charles VII eventually gave her a horse and armor, and sent the seventeen year old Jeanne out into battle in May of 1429 to Orléans where the French were under English siege. Jeanne became a catalyst in the effort and led the French to take over the English fortifications there in just a 3-day period.
Her military career consisted of 13 battles and the surrender (without a fight) of 30 English-allied towns. Jeanne jumped off a building to fall to her death to avoid getting captured by the Burgundians (English allies), but failed. They handed her over to the English where she underwent a torturous trial and then burned at the stake at age 18.
She screamed through the flames upon her funeral pyre for 30 minutes pleading with Heaven for help until the crowd heard her last words shouted into the ethers, “Jesus.”