Joan of Arc
A French saint and a heroine in the Hundred Years' war was Joan of Arc. This farm girl helped save the French from English command and was often called the Maid Orleans and the Maid of France. Her inspiration led the French to many victories.
Joan Of Arc (In French Jeanne d'Arc) was born around 1412, in the village of Domremy, France. She was a peasant girl who, like many girls of that time, could not read or write. Her father, Jacques, was a wealthy tenant farmer and her mother, Isabelle Romee, taught her how to sow, spin, and cook which she was proud of. She also spent much of her time praying to and serving God. She lived like most children did at that time, until when she was about thirteen. According to Wagenknecht: "The Vision first came when she was first thirteen...." 1 The vision was Saint Michael who said she should be a good girl and go to church. When more and more Visions had come it started coming clearer to her and when she saw Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret her duty was clear, she was the chosen one to crown Charles the VII. 2
Since France had been fighting with England in what was called the Hundred Years' War, much of Northern France was captured by the English, including Reims where the coronation for kings had been held for over centuries before him. Since Reims was captured, Charles the VII, who had not yet been crowned; was still called the Dauphin. When Joan had these visions of Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret, she told her family and friends. When she told her father, he would not let her go. After when these Visions told her that England and Burgundy, England's ally, were going to capture Orleans, one of France's last strong forces, she knew she had to react. She needed to go to the governor of Vaucouleurs, an agent of the Dauphin, and convince him to give her an army to escort her to the Dauphin.
She first needed an escort to come with her to see the governor so she asked her cousin, Durand Laxart. He, at first, was skeptical about it, but then he soon came to Joan's side. When she told the governor, Robert de Baudricourt, he said she was a fool and she should go home. But after some time of waiting, Baudri-court let her go, under his protection, to the Dauphin with male clothing, a sword, 3 a safe conduct pass, and a small escort. They departed February 23. They safely traveled at night on byroads for eleven days from Vacouleurs to Chinon. They slept in the open air and disguised Joan, so the English would not notice her when she attended Mass in the towns they went through.
After some time arriving in Chinon, she was escorted to where the Dauphin was. The Dauphin was among his courtiers and she carefully picked him out, while he was among his courtiers. She went there.
Jean Benedetti described it:
Joan made her entrance and according to Jean Cartier, Charles VII's official historian, curtsied as though she had been doing it her whole life. She was a striking woman who dressed, and in many ways behaved, like a man and yet had feminine qualities of compassion and tenderness. Everyone who met was impressed the force of her personality. She had 'charisma'. Moreover she provided a minor wonder by recognizing the king who was hiding among his courtiers, trying to look inconspicuous, and doubtless succeeding. When she addressed him he de denied that he was the king, pointing to one of his courtiers with the words, 'You are mistaken, there is the king.' But Joan persisted, calling him 'Gentle Dauphin'. 2
Joan and the Dauphin spent some time together talking together and she told him 4 that God has sent her there to tell him that God has said that he will be anointed and crowned king in Reims.
The decision was to be postponed for a few months. There was a commission to inspect Joan's history; to make sure that she was really sent by God and not the devil. And Joan herself was questioned and tested at the University of Poitiers and...
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